The selection of Monica Lewinsky as spokesperson for the Jenny Craig
weight-reduction program is yet another significant sign that our
culture has turned to mush.
While scores of White House interns were sorting mail, filing memos
and running errands, Monica Lewinsky was in the Oval Office of the
president of the United States laying the foundation for a fabulous
career by sexually servicing another woman’s husband. She followed this
up with lying, cheating and attempting to get a friend to commit
There was a time when Monica would have been a social pariah for what
she has done. But our standards have changed. We have rid ourselves of
heroes and icons who personify nobility and goodness. We decided that
accommodating our flaws is easier than correcting them.
Perfect heroes make us uneasy. They are living reminders of what we
ought to be, but are not. We are more comfortable with sluttish icons
like Madonna and Monica, whose fame and popularity validate all that is
wrong within us.
The Monica story is symbolic. A scrutiny of its messages tells us a
great deal about what is happening to our nation and our culture. We
need to know where we are headed, and to make a conscious decision about
it. If we are to become a heathen nation, we should do so by choice and
not by drift.
The bottom-line truth is that, given our new and revised standards,
Monica quickly qualified for instant celebrity as a thong-snapping hussy
with alley-cat morals. As the only nation in history that ever put a
sexually transmitted disease on a pedestal, we had no trouble in finding
a place there for Monica.
We routinely enshrine decadence. We publicize horrible crimes in such
a way that we remember the names and faces of infamous murderers but
can’t name a single one of their victims. There is no mystery as to why
a couple of kids at Columbine High School expected to become legends by
executing a mass murder of their teachers and classmates.
The questions we need to ask are: What does this tell us about
ourselves and our society? What is the meaning? What are the messages?
No matter how you look at it, this has been a horrible defeat for the
gallant women who have struggled over the years to redefine the role and
image of women in society.
Apparently, Monica has defined a knee-pad path to fame and riches for
many young women, and, alas, defined for many young men a view of how
women may be used in life and business.
The Monica episode has revealed the abject hypocrisy of the
neo-feminists in the reportedly lesbian-led National Organization for
(liberal) Women. This group of confused pretenders had no problem with
the quid pro quo sexual arrangement between a powerful executive and the
young intern who worked for him. Their silence has been stunning. They
joined Monica at the feet of Bill Clinton.
They sold out women in general — and in particular, they sold out
the sexually harassed Paula Jones, the probably-raped Juanita
Broaddrick, and the cruelly defamed Gennifer Flowers and Kathleen
And speaking of putting ideology and liberalism ahead of women’s
rights, who can ever forget the displaced rage of Monica’s father. In
the middle of it all, he attacked Ken Starr, but never criticized the
behavior of the most powerful man in the world, who was using his
daughter like an alley tramp. In this respect, he was not unlike most
Democrats in the Congress and many liberals in the media.
There is another issue that demands attention. It is the concept that
a woman’s worth is directly correlated with how she is shaped and how
much she weighs rather than with her knowledge and character. It is a
tragedy that society would accept such nonsense; it is an even greater
tragedy that women would. But women have; they obsess over their weight,
and go to bulimic extremes to get that fleshless, skull-and-bones Gandhi
Where were the champions of women’s rights and dignity when Linda
Tripp was being brutally ridiculed and demeaned, not for what she had or
had not done, but for how she looked?
There is something inherently wrong when the managers of a large,
publicly owned corporation deliberately choose a heavily bagged
anti-heroine to represent them and to hype the message that losing
weight is a road to redemption. All of us, particularly our beloved,
happily hefty sisters, have a right to be mightily outraged.
The hope is that Monica will blow up in Jenny Craig’s face.