Monica Lewinsky Condemned Online Harassment, Brought the House Down at TED Yesterday
Like a boss.
— TED Talks (@TEDTalks) March 19, 2015
If online harassment is an epidemic, then by Monica Lewinsky’s own admittance, she’s “patient zero.”
During her TED Talk “The Price of Shame” yesterday, Lewinsky condemned misogynist cyberbullying, saying “It’s time to stop tip-toeing around my past… and time to take back my narrative […] As far as our culture of humiliation goes, we need a revolution. Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop.”
In front of an audience of 1,400, Lewinsky referenced last year’s nude photo hacks (“someone is making money off the back of someone else’s suffering”) and encouraged the crowd to support the anti-bullying foundation set up in the name of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers student who committed suicide in 2010 after video of him kissing another man was posted online by his roommate.
Lewinsky also talked about how her own harassment, which branded her “a tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo, and, of course, That Woman” 17 years ago (before social media was around to escalate online shaming), signaled the emergence of “a new marketplace” with humiliation as commodity:
Like me, at 22, a few of you may also have taken wrong turns by falling in love with the wrong person, maybe even your boss.
Unlike me, though, your boss probably wasn’t the President of the United States of America.
[…] There is a very personal price to public humiliation. And the growth of the Internet has jacked up that price.
Although Lewinsky’s speech was inevitably met with typical sexist, double-standard criticism from the corners of the Internet that most need to hear her message, the live audience was blown away:
Doooooodz, @MonicaLewinsky just killed her TED talk on online harassment so hard she got a standing ovation IN THE LOBBY.
— Lindy West (@thelindywest) March 19, 2015
— Amanda Palmer (@amandapalmer) March 19, 2015
— rachelsklar (@rachelsklar) March 19, 2015
Just saw a remarkable talk about compassion and online bullying and shaming, given by Monica Lewinski. Hope it goes up soon. #TED2015
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) March 19, 2015
According to TED Talks, a full video of Lewinsky’s speech will be released soon.