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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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Monica and Barbara and Primal Concerns

Monica and Barbara and Primal Concerns

(p.343) Monica and Barbara and Primal Concerns
The Essential Ellen Willis

Nona Willis Aronowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter stresses the misogyny and sex-negativity inherent in the media’s—as well as the president’s—reaction to the scandal involving Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. It notes how, despite being relentlessly characterized by the right as a pot-smoking, countercultural radical, Clinton showed his true colors when backed into a corner built by a blowjob and a stained blue dress. According to the text, it was Clinton who cheapened their relationship with his angry denial, his harsh and hurtful reference to Lewinsky as “that woman,” his maligning her as a stalker, and his eventual portrayal of their sexual contact as entirely one-sided. Meanwhile, the “eat-your-vegetables school of journalism” failed to see how the scandal had uncovered “primal human concerns”. In her interview with Barbara Walters, Lewinsky’s exuberant lustiness and sexually aggressive nature were on display.

Keywords:   misogyny, sex, media, scandal, Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Barbara Walters

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