Monica Lewinsky's #MeToo Is Valid

Monica Lewinsky's #MeToo Is Valid

Yes, it was consensual. No, she didn't ask to be the scapegoat.

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman" is what former President Bill Clinton said in an interview back in 1998 when discussing his extramarital affair with the then 22-year-old intern, Monica Lewinsky.

That infamous line resulted in not only President Clinton being impeached for lying under oath, but propelled young Monica Lewinsky into the public eye.

Monica Lewinsky has stated that the affair she had with the President was a consensual affair. Yet, she also tweeted #MeToo in light of the movement taking root in the country. Many people have said that her experience does not fit with the #MeToo movement and that she should be quiet and move on with her life; they continue shaming her on the internet for an affair that occurred and ended two decades ago.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I also didn't say "Girl, sit down and relax." When I saw that she stated that her affair with the former President "constituted a gross abuse of power" I was confused and a little angry.

What power did the President of the United States have over her? She said it was consensual. She wasn't forced. So, I looked into it. The more I read, the more I saw what she was trying to say.

The "gross abuse of power" was not directly the power that the President had over her, it was the power the administration had.

The administration made her the scapegoat.

They blamed everything on her, shaming her, and humiliating her.

The power did not come from the fact that she was forced to do anything. The relationship was consensual. The power came from the fact that she was merely an intern who fell for the most powerful man on the planet.

But what does this have to do with the #MeToo movement?

Yes, the movement has been built on providing support for victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment who have been afraid to come forward. But the movement was also built on reducing the abuse of power that ends up haunting the victim later on in their life.

Monica Lewinsky was not forced or made to do anything. Except live with the fact that everyone in the world would know her as the former President's mistress. It won't matter if she cured cancer or ended world hunger: she's the girl that had that affair.

The administration made that certain. They made the affair public and made her the scapegoat. But it takes two to tango, so shaming her for an affair that was consensual is an abuse of power.

Go ahead and say that she doesn't belong with the rest of the victims of the movement. I'm standing behind her and her tweet of #MeToo. She belongs because she did not ask to be publicly shamed and humiliated.

She made a mistake and regrets it. Every day. She's just realized that the aftermath was not her fault because she is not solely to blame.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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Will Enough Ever Be Enough?

Yet another school shooting in America, still nothing done. We are dying.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018: We are all heartbroken to hear about another school shooting.

At Great Mills High School in Maryland, a 17-year-old male is pronounced dead at the scene after shooting two other students and a school resource officer. Just before their first period started, at 7:55 am, Austin Rollins shot one male and one female student with a handgun before being shot by the school's resource officer. While the 16-year-old female is in critical condition, the 14-year-old male is currently stable. This is the 17th school shooting in 2018. That's 17 days out of the past 80 that parents have gone to bed with their children in body bags as a result of gun violence.

I don't care what political party you associate with, gun violence is completely out of control. I am a registered Republican and completely agree with stricter gun laws. Learn the difference between a gun ban and sales control. Concerned citizens are not trying to take away your guns, but are trying to take away the rights from those that are risks.

Could you imagine legally having to send your child to school but never coming back? You've packed their lunch, maybe with a special note, and gave them a kiss before they left for school, not knowing that it was their last. No matter where we go, we are not safe. We can't go to malls, movie theaters, schools, or even churches without having to worry if it will be our last trip. Our homes, our places of worship, and our schools are supposed to be the places where we feel safest and, instead, our children are filled with fear. Instead of focusing on the political views that divide these groups, why don't we focus on what unites us? Why don't we focus on protecting our kin?

Everyone has had an opinion on the walkouts that have been happening around the country. Everyone has had an opinion on the 17 minutes of silence for the 17 children lost in the Florida shooting. I've seen people disgusted that Nickelodeon had 17 minutes of broadcast cut because it "interrupted the only program [I] let [my] children watch".

If your child was shot at school, you wouldn't have to worry about what programs they watch, but rather where to bury them and how to afford their memorial.

I've seen people saying that it's no wonder that Millenials are dumb. They "find any excuse to cut class". Have you thought about the fact that they are genuinely worried about going to school?

Personally, I've experienced both a shooting scare at my high school and a bomb threat at my college. I shouldn't have to worry about my life ending. I'm legally forced to go to high school and get an education or I'm putting myself into a lifetime of debt to get a degree.

We are all too young to stress about gun violence. Our school years are supposed to be the times our of lives, but they're being wasted on worrying about dying every day.

Rest in peace to all of those who have lost their lives in shootings, not only this year, but always. Hopes, thoughts, and prayers go out to their loved ones. One day, we will unite and find a solution.

We need to work together and forget the labels of parties and cliques in school and look out for one another instead. There is no kind but mankind.

Cover Image Credit: Boston Herald

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The Republican Versus Democrat Stigma Needs To Slow Down

We Need To Be Individual Again

We as a society have developed an unnecessary need to place people in a specific party based on what could be a single value out of many. This is a letter for those who do not define themselves as one or the other; for those whose values range between conservative and liberal, for those who feel the unfortunate pressure of society to choose one even though your values do not fit just one.

The political parties at one point generally just meant “these are my basic beliefs, so this is the candidate I will vote for because they most closely represent them.” Party affiliation was harmless. Republicans and Democrats could get along fine, differing opinions not getting in the way of relationships and alignment. More importantly, you did not have to be part of a specific political party to be an active member of society. Your opinions and principles were yours.

Over the years following the last two election races, political parties gained a much more significant and defining meaning in our lives as individuals and as members of society. There is a newly developed stigma behind political opinions. You are almost pressured to feel one way or another about every single topic. If a majority of your values are of the conservative agenda, you must be a heart-and-all Republican. In contrast, if you are more liberal-leaning you are docked as a set Democrat. We as citizens are being labeled according to what may be a few hard-values. And dishearteningly enough, can be ridiculed for what we value. Even if you might not value everything the same as your determined party.

There exists those of us that hold values from both parties. It is possible to value women’s rights and also value a traditional marriage. It is possible to be a gun owner and also active in keeping children safe in school. You do not have to just submit to every belief of one party. You can value aspects of different parties and still be a functioning member of the American society. Do not let the looming obligation to declare yourself as strictly one or the other. You do not have to pretend you agree with everything Democratic or everything Republican; you can have your own values. And you should. Our society is messed up in the way that values are pushed on citizens. We are meant to be free individuals with our private values.

It is not fair to those of us who value different things. Not every American is a to-the-bone Democrat or Republican. It is possible to hold liberal beliefs as a conservative person. And Vice-Versa. We need to stop labeling one another as one or the other, conservative or liberal. We need to stop silencing each other because we have differing views. We need to accept not everyone is perfectly one party, and diversity exists. Open mindedness exists in Americans, despite the seemingly growing generalizations. We need to be able to agree to disagree on certain topics.
Cover Image Credit: LexiHanna

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