#MeToo Founder Tarana Burke Breaks Down Why Bill Clinton’s Affair With Monica Lewinsky Was an Abuse of Power

It’s been one year since the #MeToo movement went viral and conversations about sexual misconduct became more prevalent than ever in the media. In light of the movement, CBS recently asked Hillary Clinton about her support of former president Bill Clinton following his infamous affair with Monica Lewinsky and his sexual assault accusations .

In the interview, Clinton denied that the affair between her husband and then-intern Monica Lewinsky was an “abuse of power” and then pivoted the conversation towards current president Donald Trump’s numerous sexual misconduct accusations.


During a conversation with The Root, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke responded by breaking down how power plays a key role in sexual violence.

“It’s absolutely an abuse of power,” says Burke. “Two people made a choice and one of those people was the most powerful man in the world.”


Watch the interview above.

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Part of the problem with discussions like these is we leave out reality. Rarely are sexual or romantic relationships established with complete equality between the parties involved. Yet, we do not & we cannot hold the more powerful entity responsible for what the less powerful entity freely decides to do. Ms Lewinsky has stated repeatedly (at least prior to #MeToo) that she didn’t merely acquiesce to advances. No, she was an active participant charmed by her own sexual power in relation to Clinton.

I consider it an abuse of office perhaps, but I see no sexual violence done to her in the affair. The violence committed against her was by the American ppeople who cast her as the “slut”. I’m not suggesting they were equally culpable. No, Clinton was far more culpable; however, his culpability doesn’t negate her consent.

I won’t see women infantilized as a product of #MeToo. She was not coerced. She was not threatened. She was not manipulated. It was rather clear from the beginning - he was President - the only thing she was ever guaranteed to get was dick and a hasty exit.

Her being infatuated with the President's infatuation is not equal to an abuse of power.