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Monica Lewinsky On Battling With ‘Virtual Stone Throwers’ And Why This Needs To Stop

Posted on March 30, 2015 in Society, Staff Picks, Taboos, Women Empowerment

By Trishla Singh:

Monica Lewinsky, who hit the headlines in 1998 for having a romantic relationship with Bill Clinton, instantly became a commodity to be sold in the ‘Marketplace of humiliation’. The idea of Monica Lewinsky, a multi-dimensional individual seized to exist, and she was consumed by prying eyes and gossip. In this brilliant TED video, Lewinsky talks about how shaming has become a form of consumption. How corporations use gossip, invade the privacy of people, pry out the most humiliating parts of their lives and display it online – all for the sole purpose of garnering more clicks and making more money. She talks about cyber bullying, humiliation, and the toll these acts of violence take on individuals who are targeted.  She says, “I have seen some very dark days in my life, and the compassion and empathy from my family, friends, and sometimes, even strangers saved me.” All because her private words and choices were released to a mass audience without her permission in 1998. She was fighting against the culture of public shaming at the tender age of 24. She was fighting against labels such as “tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo, and of course, that woman…”

“Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop,” says Monica Lewinsky. She says, “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become constant — and can turn deadly. In a brave talk, she takes a hard look at our online culture of humiliation, and asks for a different way.

Featured image credit.