Monica Lewinsky Wants You To Click With Compassion

As the 'patient zero' of online shaming, Lewinsky has something to say

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Monica Lewinsky named herself as the 'patient zero' of online shaming in her 2015 TED talk, 'The price of shame', and we can't really disagree.

What happened between her and the then most powerful man in the world, Bill Clinton, when she was a 22 year-old intern, saw him impeached, though able to keep his career as an esteemed philanthropist and his family. Whilst Lewinsky was suspended in a point of public ridicule for the next twenty years.

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The scandal was named after her, the 'Lewinsky scandal', Beyoncé even made a verb of her name, singing in 'Partition' that, 'He Monica Lewinsky'd all on my gown'

Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton in 1998

Considering Clinton was the President, lied under oath, was about a bazillion years senior, was married and ejaculated onto her skirt, it's strange it isn't the 'Clinton Scandal' or that the lyrics read 'He Bill Clintoned all on my gown'. But we digress.

As attitudes have changed in recent years, people have come to realise that slut-shaming is not ok, and that women should not be punished for the misconduct of powerful men.

This new climate has meant Lewinsky has been able to evolve into an anti-bullying advocate. Her 2014 Vanity Fair article, 'Shame and Survival' re-introduced her to a more accepting audience and a new career.

Monica Lewinsky at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Her latest output is in the from of a PSA which aims to expose the horror of cyberbullying and trolling.

The short film shows actors confronting one another with real comments from the internet.

A white woman approaches a Muslim woman and says, 'You know what? All of you Muslims need to go back to the hellholes you're from. Can you believe this? Fucking terrorist,' and a man confronts a gay couple, 'I think gay people are sick, and you guys should just kill yourself.'

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These scenes are embedded in real-life places, with the unwitting public. In each scenario bystanders stand up for the victim, proving that online harassment is not tolerates in real life.

Lewinsky spoke to People about the film, saying it highlights, 'How people hiding behind a screen will write something they'd never say to someone's face — and what that says about the inhumanity of their actions. It's a stark and shocking mirror to people to rethink how we behave online versus the ways that we would behave in person.'

On her own Social Media, Lewinsky is one to call-out those still mocking her.

When a cruel joke about her 'taking the knee' (a reference to the controversial position of peaceful protest at American sports games) gained some traction on Twitter, she called out the offending party.

She told People how things like this affected her:

There are many ways that I have been able to move forward but there are certainly times [like] with that meme that was going around, where I'm still held frozen in amber from incidents from two decades past. It reminds me once again what it's like to be on the other side. And it's sometimes made worse when I know people I care about — especially my family — see these memes, too.

Her new campaign #ClickWithCompassion, is gaining traction, with the likes of J.K. Rowling supporting it, and we're right there with her.

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