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Monica Lewinsky Re-Enters Public Life To End Cyber-Bullying

Monica Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky has re-entered public life and launched a career as an advocate against cyber-bullying. The following video captures only her fourth speech since her scandalous affair with President Bill Clinton. It was delivered to a crowd at the Forbes Under 30 Summit.

The speech is pretty powerful and inspiring. I got a little teary-eyed around 7 minutes 40 seconds when she talks about her mother. A few times throughout the speech she talks about how she wanted to die, about nearly being humiliated to death.

Here is an excerpt:

“Who knows how the hell I survived. Denial can be pretty useful, still. But, these days I need it less and less and in smaller and smaller doses. But, having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive, too. I want to put my suffering to good use and give purpose to my past.

Remember the words of Carl Rogers, the psychologist. ‘The most personal is the most universal.’

People who share with me their experiences often qualify what they say. ‘Oh, it was a nightmare for me, but nothing compared to what happened to you.’ What I say to them is, if I drowned in 60 feet of water and you drowned in 30, is there really a difference? We both drowned.

…I believe in the power of stories. The power of stories to inspire, comfort, educate, and change things for the better. Fictional stories, stories from history, news stories, and yes, personal stories. I believe my story can help; Help to do something to do something to change the culture of humiliation…I have been publicly silent for a decade, but now I must, as T.S. Eliot’s Prufrock said, ‘Disturb the universe.’

I don’t know what came first. The coarsening of culture or the worsening of behavior…online we have a compassion deficit. An empathy crisis…Oscar Wilde wrote, ‘I have said that behind sorrow there is always sorrow. It were wiser still to say that behind sorrow is always a soul. And to mock at a soul in pain is a dreadful thing.'”

Two generations have reached adulthood since Monica Lewinsky nearly “disintegrated” over the Star report and ensuing media frenzy in the wake of her affair. Those generations, Gen Y and Generation Z, have little or no memory of these events. This will allow Lewinsky to establish herself with new audiences mostly on her own terms. Heck, she might even achieve cult status among these generations who find her survival harrowing and her affair largely insignificant within the context of other, more damning information that wants to be free. That is the techno-optimistic zeitgeist of many a Millennial and Gen Zer.

Follow Lewinsky her on Twitter.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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1 Comment

  1. Andi

    All I can say is it is about time she had a chance for a life. She has been punished for something that I lot of people have done for a very, very long time, simply because of who she did it with. She has suffered (unjustly) in my book as if she was the lead character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel. Whatever your political leanings I am happy to see her out in the public eye again!


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