Friday, February 10, 2012

JFK and the Intern

Some of you may have seen this woman who has now written a book about her experience with JFK when she was a college intern in the White House under JFK. She is very explicit about what went on -- a relationship of 18 months where some fairly despicable things went on.

Today she was on The View and I have to say I sort of changed my position from neutral -- seeing both sides of it --- from "it's her story to tell" versus "oh shut up with all these tell all books" to being on this woman's side.

Barbara Walters was so mean to her -- took her to task because the book could hurt Caroline Kennedy. The woman calmly replied that it's her story and her truth and she has the right to tell it. But Barbara's attitude was more "hey, little person, you could hurt someone important." The woman persisted in a very dignified way, saying how this had impacted her entire life and she felt at last she had to tell her story.

Oh, and Barbara also took her to task for not coming out in support of Monica Lewinsky. The woman replied that at the time she was just afraid that the focus on Monica would make people dig deeper and discover her secret. Barbara ended it by condescendingly saying that she'd seen this woman on various shows and telling her that she has conducted herself well. Hey, thanks Barbara.


Melissa said...

I didn't see the view, but I did see on several other shows. I also went from being skeptical to believing in the relief she seemed to be feeling.

Pat said...

Glad you saw in her what I did because it sort of surprises me, and have to say lessened my opinion of JFK. I knew he was a womanizer and believed it, but in this book, he just seems predatory.

Barbara said...

I haven't seen her but did read a long review of the book. What struck me, was that when it happened, the cultural attitude towards predatory men was benign - "boys will be boys" - heh heh heh. JFK got away with a lot but so did his peers. I think the feminist movement of the late 60s-early 70s was the beginning of really raising consciousness, so a young intern now would be less likely to be herded into a bedroom by the president. The sad thing is that I hear so many of these young women disdainfully say they are not feminists - they have no idea of the benefits they enjoy because of feminism.

Pat said...

We see this in aviatiion where young women will be disdainful of feminism and have no idea how many women fought so hard and so long and had so many doors slammed in their faces to secure all the choices they take for granted. I've heard women corporate pilots brag, "I'm not a women's libber" and want to say "But be glad another woman was or you wouldn't be flying that airplane." This is a hot button topic for me.

Mary Mc said...

I haven't seen her so I still have more of the "oh no, another tell all book" and I doubt I would read it. I do think it's very understandable that she wouldn't come forward when Monica Lewinsky was in the news. Much as I didn't like Monica, she was treated terribly by everyone from politics to media to comedians. Who would want to bring on that kind of examination? On the other hand, she is going public now and has to know she will be grilled.

Pat said...

I am defending her more than I feel for her probably, but I think you would be surprised if you saw and heard her. She's way more like the minister's wife or professor of English literature than an ageing Jennifer Flowers. Very unflashy, un-blingy, very softspoken.

Barbara Walters said a few times derisively, "Well, you're going to make a lot of money with this book" but when you see her it's hard to believe that was her motivation.