I’m sorry. I’m sorry because at the time of your affair with that man, president Clinton, I was a new feminist. With all the knowledge of a 1998 feminist possible, I did exactly what I shouldn’t have done- I blamed you. I loved bill Clinton, mostly I still do. I took a very, “boys will be boys” attitude at the time. Come on, he was handsome-ish , powerful, charismatic, smart, he seemed to otherwise champion women’s rights. Geez- see Monica… I could have been you (if I’d been more politically ambitious and less interested in my acting career. Which btw has gone about as far as your political career in the past 20 years). I’d have swooned over the attention of the president/specifically Bill Clinton. My god- this is a man that made even Hillary Rodham swoon. I was only one year older than you. I would have ruined my blue dress too. And I would have been shocked, hurt, devastated when my lover, his wife and the entire Democratic Party threw me under the bus. But it was so much easier to vilify you, to call you a slut or (perhaps) worse call you dumpy. Because the attention of that man, would have crushed my sense of logic and reason, would have overtaken my 22 year old sensibilities faster than you could have said “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”. Because he was wrong. He knew he had almost nothing to lose and you had everything to lose and time has proven him right. Worlds’ worst boyfriend was otherwise one of our best presidents and we allowed you to take the fall for his human flaw.
Maybe I am most sorry because I feel badly that things happened this way to you (and God only knows if I had had to suffer from the same public humiliation as the result of any of the gutter scum I “dated” in the late 90s I would probably have not even been as brave as you) -and looking back we pretty much all took the classic bystander approach. But you didn’t deserve that. So I’m sorry.
I’d like to put forth that you are a bit of a pioneer in the field of public slut-shaming and because of you our collective consciousness has had to take a look at the women betrayed by powerful men. We have been forced to reflect on how we respond to women and men in sex scandals. Who do we blame? How do we publicly treat men and women who both make ill-advised choices? Now, then and always the personal is the political and you unwittingly (and arguably-ungracefully) have burned your bra in the caldron of public humiliation in order to shine a light on my own post adolescent lust for male approval. Despite my own education and feminist enlightenment, I failed to see the opportunity right in front of my face. Fortunately ( for me as well as the boarder community) thinking and learning are long term endeavors and just like I now know that dogs are not just the male version of cats ,I know that you got the shitty end of that deal. Impeachment was nothing compared to not being able to find a job or peace for a very long time. I hope you’ve found it now Monica. You really deserve it.