Just yesterday, Hillary Clinton insisted that Bill did not abuse any power when he allowed his intern, Monica Lewinsky, who was half his age, to sexually service him. Hillary’s words are beyond belief and beyond embarrassing.
As someone who has studied sexual violence against women for nearly 50 years, I am deeply troubled to see it used for partisan political gain. Doing so inflames anti-feminists, but more important it cheapens the momentum of the #MeToo movement and, I fear, will make it harder, not easier, for the next rape victim to successfully press charges.
My latest book, A Politically Incorrect Feminist, deals with this issue in depth and at length. In my day, most women in America were routinely sexually harassed as well as sexually assaulted. We were taught to blame ourselves. We also understood that if we complained we would not be believed or we’d be further shamed. We learned how to tolerate hostile workplaces, hostile public spaces, and hostile home environments. Many of us became tough survivors. Some, especially incest victims, fell through all the cracks.
All this was forgotten or, rather, this was knowledge that was systematically disappeared. By the mid-1980s, if not sooner, our best and most radical feminist work was no longer being taught in universities. The #MeToo movement had to reinvent the feminist wheel.