Opinion

Hillary’s Free Pass to Bill on National TV Only Supports Trump’s Pussy Grabbing

When you’re the president, they let you do it.

No, those aren’t words that came out of Donald Trump‘s mouth. Rather, it was the attitude that Hillary Clinton conveyed to the world when she defended her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky in her interview with CBS that aired on Sunday.

Never mind that Lewinsky was a 21-year-old intern and Bill Clinton was more than twice her age and the most powerful man in the world. She “was an adult,” as Hillary Clinton said, which makes it all okay.

It is, of course, the same attitude that Trump espoused when he made his infamous remarks to Billy Bush behind the scenes of Access Hollywood. In case you’ve forgotten, our current president described he supposedly acts with beautiful women, not waiting before making a move, and claiming women allow him to get away with it because he’s famous.

You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.

Those remarks drew the ire of the country, and rightly so. The best thing that could be said about them is that they were disgusting. Democrats insisted that the comments were fars worse than that, and constituted an admission of sexual assault. At the very least, I’d say it’s an example of a toxic attitude towards women that the #MeToo movement has shown to be typical of men in positions of power.

It’s an attitude that Trump’s 2016 opponent seemed to condone with her dismissive attitude towards Monica Lewinsky.

During the conversation, CBS’ Tony Dokoupil brought up Monica Lewinsky, and how there are those who might say the power imbalance between a White House intern and the President of the United States is so skewed that it wouldn’t be possible for Lewinsky to consent to their sexual relationship. Clinton disputed this, based on Lewinsky being old enough to consent.

When asked if it was an abuse of power, Clinton said, “No, no.”

Lewinsky, meanwhile, feels very differently. While she has never accused Bill Clinton of assaulting her, in hindsight she has recognized that what he did was inappropriate (beyond the whole adultery thing). In a piece she wrote for Vanity Fair earlier this year, Lewinsky characterized Bill Clinton’s actions as “a gross abuse of power,” and an “inappropriate abuse of authority, station, and privilege.”

By saying that Lewinsky was an adult and therefore the affair was okay, Clinton essentially gave her husband a free pass on national television, and in the process gave a pass to countless other men who use positions of power to take advantage of women. How she can do this in an age where women are finally speaking out against such abuses of power–those committed or allegedly committed by men like Roger AilesBill O’Reilly, and Harvey Weinstein–is appalling.

Even one of those accused men, Louis C.K., recognizes the effect that a power dynamic can have sexual behavior. The comedian admitted to masturbating in front of aspiring female comics, and apologized for it. He stated that when he did it, he rationalized it because he always asked first, but he said he later realized that the power he held made it so that a request like that “isn’t a question.” He acknowledged, “The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”

It would be great if more men would come to this realization. It’s disheartening  that Hillary Clinton won’t.

[Image via CBS screengrab]

 

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

  1. Mediaite
  2. The Mary Sue
  3. RunwayRiot
  4. Law & Crime
  5. AmboTV