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Monica’s High Price

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The National Enquirer reported last week that now-38-year-old Monica Lewinsky (famous for her shocking affair with President Bill Clinton) is living the life of a near recluse and is “desperately trying to live down her scandalous past.”

One of Monica’s friends said her “self-esteem is at an all-time low.” She has tried several high-profile projects to become self-supporting — most notably, a line of handbags that failed spectacularly. She has reportedly given up her own apartment and “drifts between the two coasts” staying with relatives and friends. Friends say that she is “alone most of the time and is pretty much a social pariah” who has given up on finding love. To summarize: “Monica still feels like she’s the punch line to a dirty joke.”

There is something wrong — but not surprising — when a young female intern suffers long-term consequences for an affair, while the powerful male, former President Bill Clinton, has moved on with his life and regained most of the power and prestige that he enjoyed before the firestorm of publicity about his moral failings and his ultimate impeachment in the House and trial in the Senate (where he was found “not guilty” and remained in office to live another day and rebuild his reputation and career).

Monica was 21 and an intern at the White House in 1995 when she engaged in a sexual relationship with then-President Clinton (D). Like many young women engaged in such illicit behavior, Monica claims that their affair was driven by mutual love, and she contradicts the accounts by Mr. Clinton that dismiss the relationship as mere physical lust that meant nothing. She was profoundly wounded by the former President calling her “that woman.”

Yet, throughout the ages, women have paid a high price when they have put a low value on the worth of their gift of intimacy. Monica is not alone in realizing — after the fact — that a guy who wants free sex will place no value on the privilege of sexual intimacy no matter what he says beforehand, and no matter his wealth, status, power, or position of privilege.

Bottom line: a man with character does not take what he wants without first making a commitment commensurate with the value of the gift he desires. This is a sad lesson that Monica Lewinski and countless other women have learned from bitter experience.