monica lewinsky, ted talk, cyberbullying

Monica Lewinsky’s Cyberbullying Advice Could Prevent The Next Tyler Clementi Suicide

If anyone is an expert on media witch-hunts, it’s Monica Lewinsky. The former White House intern had her life taken over and exposed for all to see when her 1998 sexual affair with then-President Bill Clinton became a media feeding frenzy.

Though she has kept a low-profile for almost a decade, she’s regaining notoriety for her inspiring TED Talk on cyber-bullying, slut-shaming, and the devastating effects they can wreak on their victims — before you laugh, you should listen for yourself.

No matter how you feel about Lewinsky’s presidential affair, her actions as an infatuated 22-year-old resulted in decades of harassment — being called a whore and a home-wrecker, ridiculed for her physical appearance, and roundly mocked online and in late night talk shows ever since. The shaming financially and emotionally devastated her, driving her to seek a graduate degree in London while the public moved on.

Tyler Clementi, bullycide, suicide, cyberbullying
Tyler Clementi

Now an advocate against online bullying, Lewinsky’s TED Talk drew attention to the harm the LGBT community has endured as a result of online shaming, highlighting the case of Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers student who took his own life in 2010 after his classmates circulated online webcam footage of Clementi kissing another male student.

Such tragedies are preventable, Lewinsky suggests, if we remember to treat others with compassion when using the web. Next time we see someone being targeted, she challenges us to take the moment to become an upstander and leave an encouraging comment or flag the conversation to be taken down.

Finally, Lewinsky reaches out to those currently suffering such attacks, offering the following wisdom: “You can survive it. I know it’s hard. It may not be painless, quick, or easy. But you can insist on a different ending to your story.”

For those interested in joining the fight against cyber-bulling or learning more, please visit The Tyler Clementi Foundation.

  • Lonny Parr

    Dudes, what’s with all the recycled booty lately?

  • Okay can I say it?  What’s the big deal?  They made it seem like they made out.  Quite honestly it looks more like they bumped into each other then hugged.

  • Darek M

    He kissed him like he would kiss his mother 

  • Seems like much ado about nothing.

  • Adam Corona

    what a waste of space and time on this!

  • nothingpetty

    A kiss is just a kiss,
    A sigh is just sigh

  • Ashley Valencia

    I too am going with “bumped into”. This should be more about unexpected clumsiness in football players than anything…

  • angel

    What I see, that is lip on lip. I have yet to see anyone actually “trip into the lip” or accidentally plant a great big kiss on someone without meaning to. Never.  Get over, kids, your hero is a…I’ll be nice…but it rhymes with hero.

  • Looked like an accident to me. It looks less like kissing and more like an odd camera angle.

  • making such a big deal out of nothing. seemed accidental.
    i love unicorn booty, but this is pathetic.

  • Pingback: Queer Kids Are Dying, Do They Really Need To "Toughen Up"? | Unicorn Booty()