LGBT

Bill & Hillary, Monica, feminism & sexual harassment

“Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the possible 2016 presidential contender… has resurrected the Monica Lewinsky scandal,” writes Liza Mundy (“Monica Lewinsky, Reconsidered,” Politico.com, 13 February 2014), adding, “Paul, to his credit, hasn’t dawdled on the lurid details—rather he’s framed the discussion as a matter largely of workplace behavior, challenging Democrats’ self-image as the party friendly to women.” And isn’t this exactly how the scandal should be framed?
But according to her confidante, Diane Blair, “the First Lady rejected the idea that it was a misuse of power by a boss over an underling, saying that while her husband displayed (in Blair’s paraphrasing) ‘gross inappropriate behavior,’ it was ‘not a power relationship’ nor was it ‘sex within any real meaning…of the term’.” Which goes to show that Hillary is no feminist; anyone who would say that the president of the United States didn’t enjoy a relationship of power with a 20-year-old intern doesn’t understand either gender or workplace dynamics, because it was precisely ‘a misuse of power by a boss over an underling.’
Clinton supporters and partisan Democrats have always wanted to frame this as a question of puritanical right-wing Republicans attacking someone for his private life, but the Oval Office is a public space occupied by an elected official and in the workplace, no woman should be subjected to sexual advances by a boss. The fact that Hillary will acknowledge that truth discredits her as a feminist, because no woman who felt real solidarity with other women would ever denigrate a victim of sexual harassment as Hillary did Monica.

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