Monica Lewinsky wants to “burn the beret, the blue dress” and tell her side of the story about her affair with President Bill Clinton and the painful aftermath.
The former White House intern wrote an essay in the June issue of Vanity Fair, which hits newsstands Thursday.
You can pick up a copy of the magazine on a news stand or download from the Apple Store if you have an iPad. But you can also read on here for some highlights…
1. It Was a Mutual Relationship, Not Just 1-Way Oral Sex
Though she doesn’t volunteer any specifics about the nature of her physical relationship with Bill Clinton, Lewinsky takes issue with the assumption that she gave Bill Clinton blow jobs and got nothing in exchange.
She describes answering a question about being “America’s premier blow job queen” during the taping of a 2002 HBO documentary as follows:
“I don’t actually know why this whole story became about oral sex. It was a mutual relationship. … The fact that it did is maybe a result of a male-dominated society.”
2. Employers Feared the Clintons Might Retaliate Against Them for Hiring Lewinsky
Lewisnky writes that because of her “history,” she’s never been able to keep a full-time job at a traditional company. And she says at least part of the reason for that was that in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, employers reliant upon government grants feared that needed grant money would be in jeopardy if Hillary Clinton was elected president.
3. She’d “Give Anything to Go Back and Rewind the Tape”
Of the affair itself, she writes:
I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened. At the time — at least from my point of view — it was an authentic connection, with emotional intimacy, frequent visits, plans made, phone calls and gifts exchanged. In my early 20s, I was too young to understand the real-life consequences, and too young to see that I would be sacrificed for political expediency. I look back now, shake my head in disbelief, and wonder: what was I –what were we — thinking? I would give anything to go back and rewind the tape.
4. Monica Lewinsky Calls Out Beyoncé
— ELLE Magazine (US) (@ELLEmagazine) May 7, 2014
Lewinsky laments that her name is constantly popping up in news stories and in pop culture references, making it nearly impossible to escape reminders of the affair.
She takes special issue with the way Beyoncé uses her name as a verb:
“Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we’re verbing, I think you meant “Bill Clinton’d all on my gown, not Monica Lewinsky’d.”
5. Feminist Leaders Disappointed Her
Lewinsky describes a conversation among several renowned feminists, published in the New York Observer, in which women such as Susan Shellogg, Katie Roiphe, Erica Jong, Nancy Friday and Elizabeth Benedict call Lewinsky “not-brilliant,” talk disapprovingly about her looks and question why Clinton did not reciprocate after getting oral sex from Lewinsky.
Lewinsky writes of her reaction:
“I still have deep respect for feminism and am thankful for the great strides the movement has made in advancing women’s rights over the past few decades. But, given my experience of being passed around like gender-politics cocktail food, I don’t identify myself as a Feminist, capital F.”