Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Monica Lewinsky's Tweet On Sexism Proves We've Got A Long Way To Go In Supporting Women

By
Share
Ad failed to load

This year has proven to be quite the catalyst for advancing women's rights and changing the conversation around assault, harassment, and the abuses of men in power. After The New York Times ran its powerful story about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, and women all over the world pitched in with their stories of #MeToo, it seemed a bit like we (finally) flipped some kind of cultural switch that put blame where it belonged. However, as Monica Lewinsky's tweet on sexism today pointed out, we've still got a long ways to go when it comes to changing the script.

On Twitter, Lewinsky shared a screen capture of an article that read "HLN to revisit 'The Monica Lewinsky Scandal' with two-hour special," and crossed out the program's name, replacing it with options like "The Starr Investigation" and "The Clinton Impeachment."

"Fixed it for you," she tweeted. "You're welcome."

Ad failed to load

Romper reached out to HLN for comment, but did not hear back immediately. However, it's been nearly two decades since news first broke of President Bill Clinton's affair, and even today, Lewinsky has to fight against media characterizations of her. As she succinctly put it in a Vanity Fair article in 2014:

America’s B.J. Queen. That Intern. That Vixen. Or, in the inescapable phrase of our 42nd president, "That Woman.”
Ad failed to load

The 1998 scandal, to be clear, had little to do with Lewinsky and much more to do with Clinton. After all, one person was a president, married, and in a very public role. The other was a 22-year-old intern. It's clear where the responsibility should have lied then — and should remain today. And yet, Lewinsky has remained a well-known name for nearly 20 years, appearing in Beyoncé songs and media headlines long after the infamous affair was over.

Clinton, on the other hand, got to move on with his life. In recent weeks, as #MeToo has taken over social media and transformed conversations, he's made it back into headlines, of course — but over the course of the last two decades, it seems like Lewinsky mostly got the worst of it.

"With every marital indiscretion that finds its way into the public sphere—many of which involve male politicians—it always seems like the woman conveniently takes the fall," Lewinsky wrote in 2014. And judging by the title of Sunday night's special, she's still correct about that today.

Ad failed to load

Considering the sexual misconduct allegations taking over headlines these days, Sunday's two-hour special on Clinton's affair in 1998 is likely to focus more on Clinton and the sexual misconduct allegations that took place during his presidency. (Clinton's lawyers have denied all allegations, according to The New York Times.) And yet, the title of the true-crime special remains. "The Monica Lewinsky Scandal."

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load

Sure, calling a program "The Monica Lewinsky Scandal" is likely to draw more eyes to the show, because we still live in an inherently sexist society, and there's inherently sexist history tied to Lewinsky's name. But for things to change, the media needs to start valuing social change above clicks or profits. And if they don't, then viewers need to remind them to do so, by voting with their clicks and their dollars.

Ad failed to load

Especially after the year the United States has had — after hearing so many women's stories of sexism and harassment in 2017 — maybe someone in the production of the program should have stopped and said, "Hey, maybe we should think of a different name. Maybe this isn't such a grand idea."

It's not going to be easy for society to do a 180-degree turn and start changing the way it treats women. But it needs to — and calling out program names and headlines that are sexist is a great place to start, even when it's a good 20 years overdue.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}