While you’re roasting your Fourth of July wienies or craning to the sky at the fireworks, you might want to observe a moment of silence for Monica “Because It Was There” Lewinsky, now age 30, unwed, not getting any slimmer, and left high and dry in many senses of the phrase in all the hoopla over her onetime swain Bill Clinton’s new autobiography.
Myrna Blyth, IWF fave and author of the best-selling Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness–and Liberalism–to the Women of America, has a fine column about poor Monica this week on National Review Online. Myrna’s theory is that Monica was sold a bill of goods by Cosmopolitan and the other chick-mags that peddle the line that putting out for sex early and often is the key to finding a good man. Myrna ought to know; until recently she was editor-in-chief of the Ladies’ Home Journal, which sold a similar line to women. Myrna writes:
“In the current Cosmo, American women of normal intelligence are advised to analyze their man’s personality and sexual preferences by studying the way he eats ice cream. According to psychotherapist Christine Webber, author of Get the Happiness Habit, the best educated women in the world can get the real scoop on his inner cravings by watching him when he’s alone molesting a Snow Cone. Don’t laugh. Cosmopolitan has editions in almost 100 countries, exporting stories like ‘Men Unzipped: 5 Down-There Shockers (and how to handle them brilliantly)’ and ‘His Butt: What the Size, Shape and Pinchability of those Sweet Cheeks Reveal about his True Self’ to millions of impressionable young women. (And we’re surprised that people worldwide are disgusted by American pop culture?) I have no doubts that Monica first moves on Bill, from showing him her underpants to licking the cheese off her pizza were definitely Cosmo-inspired….
“Nowadays, I feel kind of sorry for Monica, who I have met a couple of times. She is a size-16 beauty, not an easy thing to be in a world that demands that beauty comes only in size six packages. While the Clinton increase their bank accounts, and retain their power, she has become, at best, a C-List celebrity, who hosted last year’s most dreadful reality show Mr. Personality. Maybe she was trying to find an alternate answer to ‘What was the most mortifying thing you ever did?'”
At age 30, Monica has only a few years left to find herself a lifetime mate and bear the children that most women deem to be their most important and fulfilling responsibility–or else to get herself a real career. But in her twenties, instead of setting serious job goals for herself or looking and holding out for a man who was proper husband material, she frittered away her time in romantic fantasies about a man who not only already had a wife but neither respected nor seriously cared for Monica herself. I have no doubt that Monica got her ideas from Cosmo or similar mags in the business of selling young women the idea that life is an eternal sex-carnival over which they, the young women, are the ringmasters. What Cosmo doesn’t tell you is that time–such as the six years after the Bill ‘n’ Monica sizzle of 1998–passes very quickly, and that the years of the power of female sexual allure are as fleeting as spring blossoms. It’s ripe, soon-to-fade summer now, Fourth of July time, for Monica Lewinsky as well as for the rest of us.