Monica Lewinsky On Cyberbullying: ‘I Want To Put My Suffering To Good Use’

Monica Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky wants to stop cyberbullying, according to the speech she delivered on Monday in Philadelphia.

While speaking to the audience of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Summit, Monica Lewinsky emphasized the need to end cyberbullying as well as the reason why she has come forward to help achieve that goal.

“Having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive, too. I want to put my suffering to good use and give purpose to my past.”

Monica Lewinsky also opened up during her speech about her own exposure to cyberbullying, which occurred long before social media platforms were even created.

“There was no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram back then. But there were gossip, news and entertainment websites replete with comment sections and emails which could be forwarded… A viral phenomenon that, you could argue, was the first moment of truly ‘social media.'”

Monica Lewinsky worked as a White House intern whose affair with President Bill Clinton in 1995 became publicly exposed in 1998. According to Forbes, Lewinsky credited herself as being “Patient Zero” for online harassment – especially when it came to dealing with the aftermath of that scandal.

“Staring at the computer screen, I spent the day shouting: ‘oh my god!’ and ‘I can’t believe they put that in’ or ‘That’s so out of context.’ And those were the only thoughts that interrupted a relentless mantra in my head: ‘I want to die.'”

Monica Lewinsky worked hard for many years to stay away from the public eye, especially after the many years of public exposure that resulted from that scandal.

According to her interview with Vanity Fair, it was actually the cyberbullying case of Tyler Clementi in 2010 that inspired her to get back into the public eye. Clementi was a freshman at Rutgers who committed suicide shortly after his roommate streamed his sexual encounter online by using a webcam.

Lewinsky reacted to that case by realizing that she needed to come forward with her own story in order to effectively help other victims.

“My own suffering took on a different meaning. Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?”

During her speech, Monica Lewinsky mentioned that her new goal is “start speaking on this topic in public forums,” which is probably one of the main reasons why Monica Lewinsky recently opened a Twitter account as well.

What do you think about Monica Lewinsky? Will her plan work or is it an inevitable failure?

[Image Credit: Forbes]