As the founder of The Women’s Code, the recent revelation of Monica Lewinsky as “patient zero” in cyberbullying stopped me dead in my tracks. In The Women’s Code, all women support each other so ripping one of us apart in public is just not what we do. Yet, what she is saying rubs me and here is why…
It’s hardly the first time, nor will it be the last, that a young, naïve, and impressionable woman falls for an experienced and powerful man. Who amongst us over 40 isn’t flattered by the attention of a young hopeful? The story is so old that I am yawning at the thought of reading about it again.
Are there really still women out there who think going out with a married man will ever turn into anything meaningful and good? We should know by now that powerful married men with children don’t leave their wives for their lovers, no matter what they say.
But there is something feisty about Lewinsky that grabs my attention. Sure, Lewinsky made a few mistakes. We all do. I know women who’ve had affairs with married men and maybe you know one too. It happens, unfortunately.
Yet, Lewinsky insists it wasn’t just that an affair but that it meant more. She keeps spinning the story and now she’s latched onto the buzzword cyberbullying. She considers herself patient zero.
My jaw dropped to my chest. She’s got balls.
I get it that Lewinsky is not going quietly. She WAS slaughtered in the press and there hasn’t been much good said about her—ever. One can only imagine what the explosion of your romantic affair with the President of the United States would do to the rest of your life. You are basically done. You can safely presume any job offered to you afterwards is only to acquire a piece of your fame. What serious business would want to hire such a controversial figure? How many men would introduce a woman who is known for a particular set of skills to their family?
What are Monica’s choices? She can move to a quiet place and attempt to put all of this behind her and reassemble what is left of her life with dignity. Of course, that would mean repenting at some point and asking for forgiveness. Something I don’t see her doing.
The other choice is to run with the wolves. And here she is.
Oddly enough, her story is a mixture between being a victim and a thinly-veiled marketing trick of David (Monica) versus Goliath (the press). Her story appears a bit off. As I watched her on TV, I felt as though Lewinsky herself wasn’t even entirely convinced by her own words. My prediction is that this, too, will fall off the wayside like any of her other attempts to turn her past into something that makes sense.
Yet, a part of me feels for her. I watch in awe as she continues her path as an unlikable character—one the press loves to eat alive again and again.
It all boils down to choices. As women, we must think the consequences through before we act in contentious ways. (Even though we know it’s not quite the same for men.) What is going to hurt more—to search for a way to forgive ourselves for our own mistakes and let them go, or to keep searching for something that will justify them? It’s up to us, so let’s be smart about it.
As for The Women’s Code…we support all women. Even, or especially when, we strongly disagree with them. In my opinion Lewinsky needs a few good girlfriends. We all do.