This one has been in my head for a few days or weeks. It seemed not to be so important as to warrant a post. But I read something yesterday. Maybe on CNN or MSNBC and this author took the former president to task and I think she nailed it. She really got what was wrong with him not personally apologizing to his former intern and lover.
Now. I don’t think that at 22, Monica did not understand that what she was doing was wrong. She knew Bill Clinton was a married man. As far as I am concerned, a woman as young as age 16 has enough reason to distinguish her sexual choices. Certainly, by 22, if they can bust up a marriage and get the man to marry them instead and have his babies, many a 22 year old would go for it full throttle and the poor 40 something wife would not be able to do a darn thing about it but cry. Because how is she going to compete with the firmness and suppleness of a woman half her age hell bent on seducing her husband?
With that being said. I don’t think husbands and men are helpless creatures who are seduced by 20 something temptresses. These men are often the aggressors who seduce knowing full well what the bleep they are doing, and the 20 something eventually becomes their willing accomplis who sometimes (like in the case of the Buttafuccos in Long Island) actually lose their minds and try to take out the wife. It usually is the man who is evil first, who has a long eye and an insatiable greed for more and more and more sexual pleasure and what have you. Eventually, the woman goes along. Sometimes she could be a victim of this libertine. But other times, like I said, she went along willingly. I mean, it’s crazy. It is complex. It is a mess. It is a story as old as humanity. But there you have it. This stuff happens.
With that being said, Bill Clinton should still have apologized to Monica personally. Not because I think she was a victim. I think she was old enough to know exactly what she was doing. I think if he had left Hillary to marry her, she would not have objected. She was a woman, and adult. She was a willing accomplis.
However. This was no Stormy Daniels affair. This was on ongoing relationship between the President of the United States (in his capacity as president) and a much younger intern who worked for him in the capacity of a subordinate and intern and was in her impressionable years and who rightly or wrongly imagined herself “in love” with him.
There was a power differential in this situation that was just breathtaking. Not only was he her boss and the president of the United States (the most powerful man in the world!) but he was the one who was married. Monica was single. He was married. And he was much older than she was to boot. And yea, sure, as I said, she was a “willing” accomplice and I am sure that when she was selecting sexy lingerie with which she hoped to execute her most seductive techniques, being 22 in her mind was an asset, not a hindrance or liability.
Still. We now have the benefit of hindsight. And clearly, the consequences for this “young” woman were so enormous as compared to this man – who was anything but innocent in this situation. She could never find a job after that for god’s sake! He went on to earn millions! His wife almost became president!
And just from the standpoint of human sensitivity alone, I thought a personal apology to this woman whose life went on this trajectory when she was so young because of a joint decision they both made to have an extra-marital affair (and this is not a judgment, it just is to say this is what happened) would have been the least Bill Clinton would think he owed her. Or, at a bare minimum, to have remained silent, rather than brag, that he had “never apologized to her personally.”
I heard him in the interview and all I could think was “ugh. What an asshole!”
And it was too bad. Because up until he said that, I was one of the 3/4 of the people in the country who had been on his side.