The Other Woman

I can’t figure out why Kim Kardashian was able to ride a sex video to fame and fortune, while Monica Lewinsky is unemployed and a punchline. In a teaser for an article that hasn’t even hit the press yet, she relates that she never found a respectable job.

After moving between London (where she got her master’s degree in social psychology at the London School of Economics), Los Angeles, New York, and Portland, Oregon, she interviewed for numerous jobs in communications and branding with an emphasis on charity campaigns, but, “because of what potential employers so tactfully referred to as my ‘history,’” she writes, “I was never ‘quite right’ for the position.

Amanda Hess points out the horrible double standard that still exists for cheaters. “As Bill Clinton rakes in cash off of book deals and speaking engagements like any other former president, Lewinsky is left to feed on scraps from the scandal.”

I hope that the article gives Lewinsky a second chance. She sounds smart and even funny in the article. Good for her.

19 Thoughts on “The Other Woman

  1. I think the difference is explained by the different types of employment each was trying for.

    • AmyP on May 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm said:

      Yes.

      “…she interviewed for numerous jobs in communications and branding with an emphasis on charity campaigns.”

      She couldn’t have chosen worse.

    • So, is the Vanity Fair article a teaser for a book contract? Sounds like it to me. I’m guessing the story could still be sold, especially if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee. I *think* I would have advised my daughter to have moved on (though I don’t know, telling your side of the story is a pretty powerful motivator).

      And, does “never found a job” mean that she’s been able to continue to live with parental support until she’s 40? I don’t think I’d have encouraged that choice, even if the alternative was tell-all books. But, I guess, she lost that choice in the period after the scandal had died down and other stories replaced it.

      Wow, and her age reminds me of how much time has passed (and how much older I am). I lived in DC when this scandal broke, and knew people who at least knew people who worked in the White House, so it felt very personal at the time.

      • I lived in DC when this scandal broke, and knew people who at least knew people who worked in the White House, so it felt very personal at the time.

        Mildly amusing fact of no particular importance: the father of my best friend from when I was in the Peace Corps was a military officer who worked in the Pentagon. The job that Lewinsky was given to help keep her quiet was as his secretary.

  2. Also, one of them was the president of the United States.

    • I was talking about Lewinsky and Kardashian.

      • I was actually referring to the Hess article where she complains about the “double standard.” Shockingly, the person with enormous power and prestige is given a pass, while the other person is defined by this experience. My point was just that I don’t think it’s a male/female thing, it’s a President/anyone else at all thing.

  3. Poor little thing. Every time I see someone whose life has basically gone badly like that, I think of what a bundle of hope she must have been to her parents, and how difficult these various events must have been for them.

    But hey, Tom and Daisy–I mean, Bill and Hillary–are doing fine. What scumbags they are.

  4. Louisa on May 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm said:

    I was watching one of the morning news programs (don’t remember which one) and there was an analyst suggesting that had the scandal broken ten years later, when we had things like Twitter, she would have been able to control the narrative a lot more, as well as speaking back to it.

    I’m surprised to find out that she never moved on. It’s also sort of sad that she never married — though I’m trying to picture a guy bringing her home and introducing her to his mom. Or having Monica Lewinsky for a mother — imagining what the catty mean moms in the carpool lane and PTA would be like then.

    Personally, if I were her I would have changed my name (and my hair) and maybe sought out a job that wasn’t so public — teaching school? teaching online? nursing?

    • I’m not sure that a confused and conflicted 20-something, going up against the White House communications apparatus, would have been able to control the narrative.

      The real moral, for me, is that we must protect our daughters from sexual predators. That gets harder once they are 18, but we do our best. Now cue hundreds of outraged feminists raging about patriarchal control of young female sexuality. I don’t care.

      • Wendy on May 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm said:

        “Now cue hundreds of outraged feminists raging about patriarchal control of young female sexuality. I don’t care.”

        Control is not protection.

        Here’s a possibly interesting idea-ish thing. I just found out that a friend of mine bought her daughter a vibrator for her 13th birthday, and now her younger daughter, recently turned 13, also wants one. Should we be encouraging our daughters to masturbate? See also
        http://jezebel.com/the-most-important-thing-teen-girls-should-do-but-dont-1563444100

      • How would Monica’s parents have protected her from this particular sexual predator? I like to blame the men, but you’d imagine that being impeached as president would have been a pretty dramatic deterrent to future predators, but it doesn’t seem to have been (the incidents of ugly sexual behaviors seems to continue un-diminished).

        I don’t particularly find Wendy’s suggestion protective, either, ’cause I suspect that the Lewinsky/Clinton interchange was about power than not pleasure, in any case.

      • Wendy on May 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm said:

        My suggestion wasn’t Lewinsky-related per se, but maybe an overall approach to understanding pleasure as one thing and power as another, and sometimes the trouble is that it gets mixed up for younger people.

      • I don’t care.

        Well, you got that part right.

    • Yes, if you really want to move on, choosing non-public employment would have been the way to go. The name/face would get into the way of any public role (and, marketing/fundraising certainly is that). I think you could survive teaching, or legal work, or some other form of professional employment without changing your name (though a name change might make it easier).

      I’ve worked with people with public pasts before — and people will look the other way, in the right profession. But, it requires working with a group of people who will get to know you, not a job where you are meeting people again and again.

      And, as a potential mother in law (though my son is too young for ML, so I’m only speaking hypothetically), I can’t imagine thinking that Lewinsky’s particular background would make her unsuitable, and, neither, as a mom in the car pool lane.

      • AmyP on May 7, 2014 at 1:53 pm said:

        Teaching would be difficult to secure and hold onto with her name. High school teaching, in particular, would be hell.

        “But, it requires working with a group of people who will get to know you, not a job where you are meeting people again and again.”

        That sounds right.

        And/or a non-people job or a backroom job.

        I’m surprised she didn’t change her name.

  5. Rewriting again since my first response “timed out” for some reason.

    I feel sorry for her.

    Of course she shouldn’t have had an affair with Clinton. And she’s hardly the first young woman to have an affair with an older, more powerful man in the workplace. It was foolish and it wasn’t a level playing field.

    What I find ironic is that the same people pointing fingers at Clinton for being a predator are also the same ones quite happy to drag Monica’s name through the mud. Helped set her up for betrayal by a supposed friend/colleague (can’t recall her name) and kept the story alive as long as they could.

    How is that not predatory behavior as well? Something that some of us, if not many, have also done in our youth – a private mistake – becomes political fodder and ruins a life.

    And to what end? Was it worth it? Really?

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