Monica Lewinsky ascended into infamy in 1998 as a result of her affair with President Bill Clinton. She was 22. He 52. During the many trials and hearings that followed, resulting in Bill Clinton's impeachment, Monica Lewinsky repeatedly refused to testify against the president who was accused of using his presidential power to bully this "innocent young woman" into submission. Many speculated that the Clintons paid Monica for her silence. Only a few argued that perhaps what drove Monica was an everyday commonplace infatuation (to stop short of using the "L" word — love). A romance with a thirty-year age difference is intriguing to us, at best, and scandalous at worse.
Even today, sixteen years later, the media is abuzz with the news of Monica's return from obscurity even before her actual interview with Vanity Fair is supposed to hit the stands on May 13th. So why is it so difficult for us to imagine a world where a 22 year old girl has genuine and intense amorous feelings toward her 52 year old boss? The reasons may be many.
Let's examine a few reasons a 22 year old would be attracted to her older boss:
1. Power is attractive— Henry Kissinger once said that power was the ultimate aphrodisiac. Powerful men are attractive because they are confident, they have the ability to make excellent decisions and they can get things done. Can you say SEXY?
2. Women are naturally attracted to leaders— For thousands of years, women chose men who are natural leaders to be able to protect and provide for their families. Bill Clinton led the leading country in the free world. Does one achieve a higher leadership position?
3. The 'Daddy Syndrome'— Many little girls relied on their fathers to make them feel safe and comfortable. As they grow up, many girls still look to older men, as father figures, to achieve the same level of familiarity and contentment.
4. Sexually experienced— Let’s face it. The best way to perfect any skill is through practice… lots of it. The older the man, the more practice he had. And he is usually more than happy to endow his 'expertise' onto a younger woman.
5. Maturity— Many girls do not want to date a man whose activities do not get past the third round of Call of Duty and whose income comes from Mom and Dad. Many young women like the idea of a man who can teach them about the world; they appreciate the art of conversation and the chance to learn form someone who’s had years of experience and wisdom.
So before we resume one of our favorite past-times of throwing rocks at Bill Clinton for "seducing a young woman," let's all hear Monica’s side of the story. We may learn a few lessons.