Monica Lewinsky offered up some incredible insight in a rousing Ted Talk yesterday at the annual Ted Conference in Vancouver. Lewinsky spoke of the fall out from the enormous scandal that erupted from her affair with President Bill Clinton, but also brought to the Ted table some highly relevant reflection on how she’s coped with it.
“I was branded as a tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo and, of course, ‘that woman.’ I was known by many, but actually known by few,” she said. “I get it. It was easy to forget ‘that woman’ was dimensional and had a soul.”
But she said that one event that finally allowed her to gain some perspective on her own public shaming was when Rutgers student Tyler Clementi killed himself after his roommate secretly filmed him having sex with another man.
“Tyler’s tragic senseless death was a turning point for me,” Lewinsky said. “It served to re-contextualize my experiences and I then began to look at the world of humiliation and bullying around me and see something different. There is a very personal price to public humiliation and the growth of the internet has jacked up that price.”
It leads into a very inspiring discussion of a lot of issues LGBT people face in our era of technology, and is absolutely worth 20 minutes of your Friday. Watch the whole talk below: