Wednesday, March 28, 2018

THE MORAL CONFUSION OF MONICA LEWINSKY

"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky"
--President Bill Clinton

For those of you too young to remember, Monica Lewinsky was one of a long line of women which president Clinton had affairs with, sexually harassed, and allegedly even raped over the course of his life and career.  She was a young woman working as an intern, and a big star-struck fan of the president, and infamously she wore a special blue dress to a session with the president in the oval office which ended up being front page news involving oral sex and DNA.
Monica Lewinsky became kind of a cultural touchpoint involving the presidency and that blue dress emblematic of Clinton's time in office.  She sort of disappeared from the public after a while, and some despised her for her part in harming Clinton's legacy and leading to his impeachment for perjory.
Indeed, the events surrounding Lewinsky killed a growing movement at the time trying to define sexual harassment as "anything a woman at any point decides she didn't care for" in the broadest possible terms.  Even a consensual relationship initiated by the woman was being argued as being sexual harassment if the man was in any position of authority.
Then the news came out that the darling of the left, the icon of progressivism, President Clinton, was having an affair with an unpaid White House intern, and suddenly the talk about all that disappeared.
Until recently.  A few months ago, Monica Lewinsky admitted that she was having second thoughts about the events, events which she previously was completely comfortable with.  Why?
Lewinsky wrote in Vanity Fair magazine about how she had "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" following the affair, and went on to write:
"I now see how problematic it was that the two of us even got to a place where there was a question of consent. Instead, the road that led there was littered with inappropriate abuse of authority, station, and privilege. (Full stop.)"

"Now, at 44, I'm beginning (just beginning) to consider the implications of the power differentials that were so vast between a president and a White House intern. I'm beginning to entertain the notion that in such a circumstance the idea of consent might well be rendered moot. (Although power imbalances—and the ability to abuse them—do exist even when the sex has been consensual.)"
This is all, of course, in the context of the "Me Too" movement, about sexual harassment, molestation, and rape by figures in government, entertainment, sports, and media.  This has largely died down, probably because it did not have the desired effect of toppling the president, but still it has had the impact of making many on the left admit that yes, President Clinton was a scumbag who abused his power and probably left a long line of abused women in his wake.
The Confusion
But Look at what Ms Lewinsky says here.  Why was this a bad act, why was it wrong for President Clinton to do this?  Because of the "power differentials" rendering consent "moot."  Her entire moral calculus is based on relative power, the oppressor/oppressed template of the modern left.  At no point does she even begin to mention any culpability on her own part.  At no point does she talk about how it was adultery and damaging to the relationship of marriage. At no point does she mention this being bad for the country in terms of moral corrosion.
Her whole argument is not that this was sinful, wrong, adulterous, or improper behavior, only that President Clinton was a bad guy for being so powerful and she so minor in the grand scheme of things.  Even though she was a willing and eager partner, she still suggests it was abusive, non consensual behavior.
So she's blameless in this, and its not wrong to commit adultery, there's nothing innately immoral in what they did.  Its just a power differential problem.  Why this bizarre approach?
The Reason
Well partly because to admit otherwise admits an overarching absolute standard for moral behavior.  If you admit that its sinful and wrong to commit adultery, that's an admission that marriage is a special state that should be protected and further that there is a moral code that we are supposed to follow, one that is outside our personal whims and ever-changing cultural ideas.  And that's a bag of responsibility and moral significance that the left really does not want to even consider possible, let alone admit to.
But there's another reason for this strange approach.  It is the desire of the left to portray men as predatory monsters, dangerous, awful creatures who need to emasculate themselves in order to function in their utopian cultural dreams.  Its men who do all bad stuff, or lead people to do bad stuff, and hence men need to change, being the nexus and source of all terrible things.  A man being in power is by its self an abuse, no matter how willing a woman is to go along.
And this scheme extends its self further, condemning any man in any position who sleeps with any woman at any time.  He's the oppressor, even if she was willing and happy.  Consider President Donald Trump who is accused of over a decade ago of having an affair with a woman subordinate to him.  She came to him seeking work on a show, they claim.  He's one of the #MeToo types that abuses women!  He's another Harvey Weinstein!  He's a monster!
She was certainly willing (being a prostitute, nude model, and porn star), but because of the "power differential" well, it was wrong, it was as bad as Bill Clinton and we all know what happened to him, right?  Right?  They impeached him for having sex!  Those prudish Republicans!  And now they elected another Bill!  Hypocrites!  Impeach this one, too!
Never mind that it was consensual.  Never mind that it was twelve years ago.  Never mind that he wasn't the president of the United States with an intern.  Never mind that there is no evidence or hint of anything since then.  Never mind that Bill Clinton did it in the oval office while on the job.  Never mind that he was impeached for the federal felony of perjuring himself in testimony before a grand jury and lying to a federal officer.
Its all about leverage to try to get rid of President Trump.  And that's the end of it all.  Monica Lewinsky continues to be a used tool of the left, manipulated into this ridiculous article which admits that the entire Democratic Party, leftist America, entertainment community, and news media were all completely, in full knowledge, deliberately wrong about Clinton for decades.  She had to word it in a way that ignores every sense of morality and justice so that they can lever this into yet another wearying attack on the president.
And its not working, so far at least.  The story interests people but they largely are indifferent to yet more news that President Trump used to be a philandering scumbag.  Everyone already knew he was a serial adulterer in the past.  This isn't news.
But sadly, Monica's confusion about morality isn't restricted to her or this article.  Its just an example of the sad, bizarre pretzels people can spin themselves into while trying to avoid the obvious truth and build their ideology on sand.

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