Shalom Life | December 17, 2014

Monica Lewinsky Leads Anti-Bullying Campaign, Calls Herself "Patient Zero"

Bill Clinton's former intern speaks out at the Forber 30 Under 30 Summit.

By: Ashley Ramnarain

Published: October 21st, 2014 in Culture » Society » News

Monica Lewinsky Leads Anti-Bullying Campaign, Calls Herself "Patient Zero"

Monica Lewinsky gave her first public speech at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit about online bullying this past Monday. After thanking all the artists who included her in their “rap lyrics”, she went on to explain the story of how “Monica Lewinsky” became a household name.

"I fell in love with my boss in a 22-year-old sort of way," Lewinsky told Vanity Fair. "Overnight I went from being a completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one. I was Patient Zero, the first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the internet."

Lewinsky went on to explain that she almost hit her breaking point, coming to the realization that “there were two Monica Lewinksys” in her life – the one the press discussed and herself.

“What does it feel like when your name or your likeness is ripped apart online? It feels like a punch in the gut, as if a stranger walked up to you on the street and punched you hard and sharp in the gut. For me, that was every day in 1998,” Lewinsky explained, continuing,

“Thankfully, people aren't punched every day on the street. But it happens all the time on the internet. Even as I'm talking to you now, this is happening to someone online. And depending on what you guys are tweeting, this might be happening to you later. The experience of shame and humiliation online is different from offline. There is no way to wrap your mind around where the humiliation ends. There are no borders. It honestly feels like the whole world is laughing at you. I know. I lived it.”

Lewinsky ended her speech with telling her audience that, “What I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive too.”


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