Monica Lewinsky on Cyber Bullying

Quarkle shared this thought provoking video. 
I remember quite definitely blaming Hillary Clinton for not walking out of her marriage when it became clear that her husband did cheat on her. This was the most strong reaction. It seemed (at the time) that she was using his humiliation to prove how worthy a wife she was.
Many seemed to agree that Bill Clinton deserved to be divorced so that (somehow) that becomes a norm.
More vague was a little concern (pity?) and some bafflement – why did Monica Lewinsky do this? And then she was almost forgotten. What did she go through?
In this thought provoking TED talk, Monica Lewinsky talks about online slut shaming, harassment and cyberbullying, and how it affected her life after the scandal with Bill Clinton.
She was 22 at the time. Twenty two.
Do watch.

Because we can still be honest WITHOUT saying, “Gosh woman what is wrong with you?”

Sharing an email. 

Because we can still be honest WITHOUT saying, “Gosh woman what is wrong with you?”

Dear IHM,

I read a couple of blogs on your site recently and found this case of the pregnant woman wanting her MIL to cook for her.

Although I agree with the advice given by almost all the people in the comments and I have myself commented in more or less the same vein, I find many of the comments highly disrespectful and hurtful towards the LW.

This happened even with one MIL who had posted her problem about her DIL wanting to separate finances. This happened in my case as well and also for many others who had posted their problems with you previously.

It is not the advice per se which is hurtful. It is the tone and attitude in which it is said. I am guilty of this myself in many cases (not from this blog).

I know I am myself going to attract a whole bunch of brickbats for saying this, but ‘tough love’ on the internet just needs to STOP. It does not help the asker. It does not help the reader. It does no one any good, except for letting the commenter vent out their own anger and frustration about the situation.

On the contrary, this behavior deters people from ever sharing their problems, and therefore, finding solutions to real time issues.

Feminism is a great philosophy. It is great to be empowered. But why are we looking down upon women who are not as liberated as we are?

I understand that we cannot take responsibility for how others feel. But what we can indeed do is try to speak and behave in such a way that is accepted in society as common courtesy – you’d not exactly SPEAK the same way to a stranger who shares her problem with you. Why do we let down common etiquette and courtesy online?

Is it because you are honest by being rudely candid? Because we can still be honest WITHOUT saying, “Gosh woman what is wrong with you, get a maid!” if we instead say, “Please get a maid.”

Not very different from MTV Roadies, sorry.

The very act of actually posting questions online shows that people are willing to accept opinion and change to some effect; they wouldn’t do it otherwise. This should be treated as an opportunity. By coating an otherwise good advice with a patronizing and hurtful attitude, we aren’t doing anyone a favor but ourselves. People say – “Oh we took the time to help find them solutions and now you complain that we aren’t sweet enough.” Sorry – this attitude does more harm than the good done by the advice.

Being nice, or even neutral, isn’t an add-on, it is a necessity.

Feminism is all about equality – even within women. No one gets to act superior and speak patronizingly just because their husband cooks for them, or they work in an office, or they don’t become ‘fussy’ during pregnancy or whatever. Let’s embrace this philosophy with grace instead of using it as an excuse to vent anger.

The world needs solutions, not counter-rants. Nobody has time for rants.


Related Posts:

“Let me give you the reason I asked for advise here instead of talking with my family.”

Why do we never talk about sisterhood, about women defending one another and supporting each other?

Is this blog becoming an Agony Aunt Column?

“I think most problems in life are when we look for approval and validation outside of ourselves.”

If she doesn’t seem to see your logic, will you support her the way she can be supported?


Off to Pune for ‘Lavasa Women’s Drive’.

I won’t be able to moderate, read or respond to comments till Monday evening now.

Till then take a look at the most gorgeous cat in this world… more special, now, than ever before. My daughter brought him home, stinking, dirty and dehydrated, from a garbage dump in Aug 2004.

We had convinced her to let us leave him in SPCA, Lower Parel, but the cat was brought back home that same evening. She saved his life more than once (and many other animals’ too).

His name is Puppy (because he thinks he is our Mutt’s baby, he has never purred and always rushes to see who is at the door when the bell rings.) He is also called Sher Khan.

He finds birds fascinating…

He may not know he is a cat, but the birds do.

He is chattered out of the balcony when these birds spot him.

Strangely he is more fascinated with bird shadows than with the real birds. Here is staring at the wall because he saw some movement of a bird shadow…

Let sleeping dogs lie.

On a parked car in Greater Kailash.


Outside a pet shop in Khan Market.


Another one in Khan Market… (Most dogs in Khan Market, wore jackets )


This one is old but not uncomfortable.


These aren’t the only homeless dogs who have someone who cares for them. Read about one in Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi here, another one in 55 words here and take a look at how wrong it is for children to separate puppies and kittens from their mothers here.

And do they reciprocate? Find out here 😆