Today it’s conventional wisdom that all feminists hypocritically turned their backs on Monica Lewinsky. In fact, the scandal provoked an intense debate within the feminist movement about sex, power, and consent. For some, it was obvious that Clinton had victimized Lewinsky and needed to be thrown overboard. For others, it was just as obvious that the scandal was part of a political war in which Clinton was the good guy.
In the seventh episode of our series on Clinton’s impeachment, Leon Neyfakh excavates the arguments and ideas that divided liberals—and feminists in particular—at the height of the scandal.
Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. This week’s extra features Madeline Kaplan’s interview with Dillon Teachout, who describes her experience working what might be one of the oddest summer jobs of all time: an internship in the independent counsel’s office in the summer of 1998. Leon and Slate senior producer Mary Wilson also discuss the making of Episode 7.
If you are logged in to your Slate Plus account, you can find this week’s bonus episode in the player below or in your members-only podcast feed. Not yet a member? Click here to join.
Notes on Episode 7
In researching this episode, we made use of the following sources.
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Gormley, Ken. The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, Crown/Archetype, 2010.
Hirshman, Linda. Reckoning: The 50-Year Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.
Riley, Russell. Inside the Clinton White House: An Oral History, Oxford University Press, 2016.
Roth, Philip. The Human Stain, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000.
“The Starr Report,” Washington Post, 1998.
Toobin, Jeffrey. A Vast Conspiracy, Random House, 1999.
Film, TV, and Radio
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Goodman, Barak and Durrance, Chris. American Experience: Clinton, PBS, 2012.
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Williams, Marjorie. “Clinton and Women,” Vanity Fair, May 1998.