Cyber bullying and Monika Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky, in her own words was “possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the internet.” A cyberbullying victim, Lewinsky was humiliated on the internet because it was revealed that she had been having an affair with her boss, a married man. The reason why the controversy took this shape was because that married man happened to be the President of the United States of America.


After having faced abuse for years, Lewinsky at 41 decided to make a comeback. At a recent Summit in Philadelphia, she started her speech with: “My name is Monica Lewinsky – though I’ve often been advised to change it.”
Cyber-bullying is probably the most tolerated form of harassment. Writer Jessica Valenti shares how a picture of her in a gap sweater led to offensive and demeaning comments from people all over the internet. One of the commenters was a law professor, according to her.


Valenti writes, “Indeed, more than 16 years after Matt Drudge took Lewinsky’s affair public, ‘slut-shaming’ and the public humiliating of women – for real or perceived sexual indiscretions – is as ubiquitous as the internet cat meme.”


[Picture Courtesy: ABC News]

People today and especially women online are subjected objectification much more than they did before. Valenti mentions two cases of a 17 year old girl and a fifteen year old girl who both committed suicide after being raped and then abused on the internet. She adds how in 1998 it was common for men to release private videos of their former partners as a form of revenge.


There are however men who too have to face cyber abuse. Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old student resorted to killing himself after some students streamed images of him kissing another man. Lewinsky says that after the death of that student, her “own suffering took on a different meaning” and she now looks forward “to get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment.”