Hey, Hey, Hey: It's a Marilyn Monroe Quote Mashup with Monica Lewinsky and Bill Cosby!

This Marilyn Monroe meme showed up in my Facebook feed:
It got me to thinking:
Marilyn Monroe got it on with John F. Kennedy, a President of the United States, and she is adored the world over.

Monica Lewinsky also got it on with a President of the United States, Bill Clinton, and she is not adored the same as Marilyn Monroe.

So, why is it that Marilyn Monroe is adored and Monica Lewinsky is hated, even though they both were 'the other woman' to married men, and Presidents at that?
(Answer: Double standards.)

And, if quotes attributed to Marilyn Monroe are viewed as inspirational, would they be equally inspirational when paired with Monica Lewinsky photos?
(Answer: The awesomeness is uncanny!)
I mean no offense with my Monica/Marilyn mashups.
My intent is to get people to look at something in a different perspective and maybe, possibly, peek outside the box that blocks the light. A girl can dream, right?

Real or not, I find these quotes to be inspiring paired with Monica Lewinsky, more than with Marilyn Monroe, mainly because of what she has lived through.

I do not and cannot pretend to imagine what Monica Lewinsky personally went through during the entire Blue Dress incident that ended up becoming what it became.

How would you handle it if it were you:
The attention, the threats, the interviews;
the immense disgust/hatred/etc. that absolute strangers have for you when they judge you without knowing you?

Would you live through it?
I suspect not everyone would.
That is why I admire Monica Lewinsky for surviving it.

It is so easy to say:
I would not have done what she did and she brought it on herself.

I used to say that too.
But that is bullshit.

Everyone makes mistakes.

The difference is that not everyone recovers from their mistakes.
More power to those who recover and to Monica Lewinsky.

So, then it got me to thinking more:
Would inspirational quotes attributed to Marilyn Monroe work when paired with anyone else who has become condemned in the Court of Public Opinion?

(Answer: Hey, hey, hey, they do!)
Again, no offense intended.
Only an intent to offer a different perspective and an enlightening laugh.

When it comes to Bill Cosby's innocence or guilt in regards to the rape charges, I offer three words of wisdom from Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive:
I don't care.

My personal bias is on Team Cosby no matter the outcome;
I have been entertained and educated by him for so long and from such a very young age (remember Picture Page on Pinwheel, anyone?) that I will not desert him as a fan.

Bill Cosby has never harmed me personally, so why should I condemn him? The legal battle is the accusers' battle, not mine, and I refuse to be swayed by them or the Court of Public Opinion.

It is eye-opening to see people instantly side with accusers that they do not know, nor have been entertained by, nor educated by, nor have they been a part of people's lives if only by making them laugh and think. I know who I do not want sitting on my jury, should I ever need one.

Please, don't forget:
Chuck Berry videotaped women in bathrooms and had IRS problems, yet people still rock out to his music today.

This, too, shall pass.

But should any of these people be role models:
Marilyn Monroe, Monica Lewinsky, Bill Cosby?

People are free to admire, and be inspired by, who they want and for whatever reason they want.

Admiration (and inspiration) is in the eye of the beholder.

Where one person will see good, another person will see evil.
Where one person will find humor, another person will find offense.
Where one person will say 'Spam', another person will say 'I don't like Spam!'

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  1. +JMJ+

    This is indeed thought-provoking! When stories like these break, there is a lot of pressure to have the "correct" opinion and to side publicly with one party, to the point of turning the other into a scapegoat. But as you've pointed out, we usually end up siding with a party that we have no real connection to, in some kind of pseudo-tribal ritual.

    And you're right that we're not consistent about it. If we were, we wouldn't watch anything out of Hollywood. Everything is just too tainted. Now, there is actually a woman I can think of whose books I became unable to read after I learned something about her past. When I tried "to get over it," by reading another of her novels, I just made myself completely nauseated. So I don't read her any longer. But I hope that I never think my opinion is enough of a moral law for me to publicly call her out and encourage others to boycott her books until she releases a statement to distance herself from certain people who have done awful things. And not just because they are her family members. I can't imagine the pressure on people who genuinely care for Bill Cosby to disown him or to be seen as complicit in evil.

    By the way, a few years ago, I expressed some opinions in a certain forum that led to someone saying I was just on "Team Woman" and shouldn't be listened to. It baffled me because, despite what some might think about herd mentality, I really don't think in terms of what will benefit my "team." (Do I even have one???) It took me a long time even to understand what he meant about the world being divided into teams! But I see it working again, in your description of people who have rushed to demonise Cosby and Monica Lewinsky. I think everyone in his right mind is against drugging women to take advantage of them and sleeping with a married man, but in these cases, we were asked to prove it. As if we were the ones who were the bad guys. And certainly as if we were guilty and had to prove our innocence--which is totally backwards. And the way that they demand we do it is by joining the "team" that has declared itself innocent. Unfortunately, their definition of "innocent" is "as far as possible from the guilty party."

  2. +JMJ+

    Since you're the only one I know who is discussing this issue, I came back to add that we can see it from another angle in a newer news story. Apparently, a certain lion has been shot by a dentist whose hobby is big game hunting. And now the dentist is persona non grata although none of the people who are publicly ganging up on him had any connection to that lion before the story broke. Yes, some had heard of the lion before--but I would bet a very, very small percentage of the mob. But it is easier to prove your commitment to saving endangered species by lynching the reputation of someone else than by actually doing something that would benefit animals.

    Cheers, Eve!

  3. +JMJ+

    I know you're currently taking a break from blogging, Eve, but I wanted to say that I had reason to think of this post AGAIN, during a discussion with someone who couldn't believe I didn't think the scandalous stories about Donald Trump and women were disqualifying. Trump himself aside, she wondered why "women's bodily security" wasn't a high priority for me.

    It was a good question, so I gave it a lot of thought. And what I've concluded is that the bodily security of university-educated women in First World countries just isn't the couch I want to faint on. And yes, I do believe that is a separate issue from the bodily security of women in other situations. All the women who have come forward weren't destroyed by their encounters with Trump--and they weren't destroyed because First World Western societies are set up so that a woman who has that kind of encounter can treat it like a bird pooping on her. That is, as something worth a shower and a change of clothes, but not something that will damage her career, her chances of marriage, her family and social life, her reputation, or anything else that matters to her. The women in those stories weren't victims, but for some reason, they bought into a narrative that said they were. Now, THAT I do have a problem with.

    All in all, Trump has been to me what Cosby has been to you: someone who provided hours of entertainment and never harmed me personally. (And well, as of today, most of those hours of entertainment came during his campaign!) I really think that in the end, it all boils down to whom you like and whom you don't like. Everything else is a line I remember from 90s drama Felicity, whose title character went to a completely different university at the last minute so she could follow a boy who spoke to her for the first time on the day of their high school graduation: "Ben wasn't the reason; he was the excuse."

  4. +JMJ+

    It's a little embarrassing to keep leaving wordy comments under this post, but I really do remember it every time there's a new celebrity scandal! This time, the scandal is that one of Hollywood's most powerful producers harrassed and even assaulted multiple women over several decades. And this time, there's a twist! Because instead of simply being disgusted by him (as even I am), people are also condemning many of the women he took advantage of because the women chose to stay silent. Apparently, it's still okay to blame the victim for some things.

    Am I the only one who remembers when the pop psychology term "enabler" first became really popular? If I recall correctly, we started using it as part of the jargon of addiction and rehabilitation. And while I agree it has a place in describing dysfunctional relationships that addicts have with some people, I don't think that everyone who doesn't stop someone else from doing a misdeed is automatically an enabler. Besides, when does it stop? As soon as a story surfaced of one actor who actually confronted the producer after the latter harassed the former's girlfriend, people started complaining that the actor didn't do enough. So he was still an "enabler." Clearly, when you want to blame someone for your not knowing that the producer of some of the most beautiful movies you have ever seen was a pervert, you'll find the label you need. And that's what I really think is going on here. If people had known about the producer in advance, they would have boycotted his movies and never come to love any of them. But they were denied the chance at that self-righteous display and may have even praised the producer's work. Ooops. So now both he and his "enablers" have to pay.

    But it was reasonable to wonder, "Why didn't the women report it?" The ready answer is that the women were cowed into silence by a system that protects abusers. And I'm sure this was a huge part of it. But what I also see, now that people are posting clips of celebrities speaking in code at awards shows or openly satirising the producer in movies or TV, was that the women did report it. They reported it all over Hollywood until, as the angriest non-Hollywood voices put it, "everyone knew." They just didn't report it to those we think they should have reported it to. And that makes us mad, doesn't it? Who do they think they are not to follow the rules???

    Well, most of them are now huge A-list stars with millions of dollars and major acting awards. And while it's true that they achieved this status by protecting predators (and Lord knows what else), many of them made this decision as fully-informed adults. They sold their souls; we're just mad that we didn't know in advance.

    Or did we? I believe the dark connotations of the "casting couch" were well known even before I was born. Many famous women in Hollywood, including Marilyn Monroe, were terribly victimised by the system. We know all those sad histories. Did we really think things were any different now? In any case, we must have wanted to believe it. And now, as stories of harassment and victimisation pop up left and right, we find that we no longer can.


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