I watched this six-part series because I have always been fascinated by Monica Lewinsky. Horrified by what she went through, what our “justice” system put her through, what our President put her through, what the media did to her. It seemed like a nightmare life. Maybe I like nightmares or flame engulfed car crashes. I also like(d) Bill Clinton.
So many people hate the Clintons, especially Hillary, and I wondered if this documentary would shed some light on why. I did learn a few things, but not why so much of America hates Hillary. I learned for example that Bill Clinton has been accused of rape and sexual harassment. Of course I know about Paula Jones, but she was the only woman who I knew of that claimed he’d forced unwanted sexual attention onto her.
Then I saw the interview with Juanita Broaddrick. And I believed her. She said when Bill Clinton was running for governor, he raped her. She gave details that rang true. About how every time she screamed he’d bite her upper lip and press down hard on her left shoulder. Very precise. And her emotion was unmistakable. She said she had to quit going to church after the rape because in her church there was always a prayer for the President and she couldn’t pray for him.
Juanita didn’t tell her story for a long time. Why? Because she didn’t think anybody would believe her. That also rings so true. Women know all about this. Just ask Christine Ford. And Monica. Monica was a revelation. She didn’t do a strip tease, feeding out juicy morsels to the public, one at a time. She didn’t save her blue dress for the big reveal. She was betrayed by a friend, entrapped by the FBI, used and dumped by Bill Clinton. She only testified after she got an immunity deal, which was smart, but she wasn’t trying to be smart, she was scared of going to jail. The FBI had also threatened her with putting her mother in jail, too.
Ken Starr is a horrible person. But he also did something surely unintended for women. He made Monica so infamous that everyone knows her name. Everyone knows a lot of things about her. And everyone, including me, judged her too harshly. She was 22 years old when Clinton beguiled her. This was, at the very least, an abuse of power. I didn’t use to think so. I thought their affair was consensual. She admitted she loved him, after all. She started the flirting. She inexplicably saved the blue dress.
I had no idea to the extent our government went to silence women who had been sexually abused by Clinton. Kathleen Willett. I remembered her. How did I brush that off? Where the hell does HE get off treating women like that? There’s a story I used to tell myself: all men, given power or money, will behave this way with women, so be careful. Don’t ever be alone with a guy like that, because sexual abuse of women by men is a DNA fact of life. My own life history supports that idea, but I don’t believe it anymore. I don’t think Obama ever raped or sexually abused a women in his life. Nor did Jimmy Carter.
I have always supported Bill and Hillary Clinton but that’s changed. I now support Monica Lewinsky and Juanita Broaddrick. And I no longer think, given half a chance, all men are sexual predators. My own experiences led me to that crazy theory. Maybe yours did, too. But we are in a new era. Eyes have been opened, including mine.