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Monica Lewinsky bravely shares her evolving views on consent in the workplace.

In some ways, Monica Lewinsky will always be defined by her moment in history as the White House intern who had an affair with the president that nearly cost him his job.

However, Lewinksy has made bold strides in breaking out of that singular narrative in recent years, speaking out against bullying and, in certain circles, gaining notoriety as a beloved feminist icon.

Yet she's always defended the power dynamic in her relationship with Bill Clinton. "Sure my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: It was a consensual relationship," she said as recently as 2014.


But it appears Lewinsky's stance has evolved.

"I'm beginning to entertain the notion that in such a circumstance the idea of consent might well be rendered moot," she wrote in Vanity Fair's March 2018 edition.

​Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images.​

She's now speaking out about how unequal workplace dynamic affected her relationship with Clinton.

When Lewinsky's affair with Clinton was a national scandal, she was often portrayed as the villain in the story. Now, it's less about heroes and villains and more about the nature of how power and roles in the workplace affect romantic relationships — even ones that are seemingly consensual.

"Now, at 44, I'm beginning (just beginning) to consider the implications of the power differentials that were so vast between a president and a White House intern," she wrote.

[rebelmouse-image 19345835 dam="1" original_size="1024x799" caption="The Clinton family in 1998 during the height of the Lewinsky scandal. Photo via White House Photograph Office/U.S. National Archives/Wikimedia Commons." expand=1]The Clinton family in 1998 during the height of the Lewinsky scandal. Photo via White House Photograph Office/U.S. National Archives/Wikimedia Commons.

Lewinksy isn't changing her story. The lens through which that story is viewed is changing.

She stands by her story, but it's the way the story played in the broader culture that's now being scrutinized. And Lewinsky is very clear that this change in thinking may never have come about were it not for the women telling their own stories as the #MeToo movement gained momentum:

"I — we — owe a huge debt of gratitude to the #MeToo and Time’s Up heroines. They are speaking volumes against the pernicious conspiracies of silence that have long protected powerful men when it comes to sexual assault, sexual harassment, and abuse of power."

By speaking out, Lewinsky is showing how we're all growing thanks to this movement.

Lewinsky isn't trying to rewrite history. In fact, she's very open that in some ways her thinking on a moment that has largely defined her has only just begun. Instead, she's transforming a moment once rooted in shame into a learning moment for men and women everywhere.

The mechanics of consent may sound simple enough, but the line between office flirtation and harassment can be murky. It's not only about the obvious cases of people treating others badly; it's also how the power of our culture and workplaces shape those relationships in the first place.

Like Lewinsky says about herself, we are as a culture really only beginning to think about the potential nuances of these power dynamics. And the willingness to reconsider and even challenge the way we once viewed past transgressions can only help us map that path forward.

Grandma shows granddaughter shorthand

Grandparents can be a wealth of history and knowledge. But one TikTok user, Reagan Jones, was blown away by her grandmother's ability to write in shorthand, so she did what a lot of people do in this century—uploaded it to TikTok. Not surprisingly, most people who viewed the video had no idea what shorthand was and some thought the whole thing was made up. The reaction to it certainly makes you question if it's more than a lost art, but a forgotten part of history.

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Science

Watch a rescued beaver meticulously build an indoor 'dam' out of random household items

Sawyer's ongoing struggle with SpongeBob SquarePants' legs is a must-see.

Sawyer checks her work once in a while as she builds her hallway dam.

The fact that beavers build dams is one of nature's coolest features. Gathering and stacking tree branches, rocks, grass and mud across a river so they can build their homes underwater is a unique instinct among the animals—and a strong one.

Apparently, it's so strong that beavers will build dams anywhere, including inside a human's house using whatever items they can find.

A video shared by Dr. Holley Muraco, director of research at the Mississippi Aquarium, shows a female beaver named Sawyer busily gathering stuffed animals, blankets, Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and more to build a dam in a hallway, and it's seriously the most delightful thing ever.

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A family fights over a baby name.

When it comes to parenting, the second most important decision—after whether to have a child or not—is choosing a name for the kid. Even though we live in times where parents are getting more and more creative about picking a name for their children, those with a more common name have a greater chance of being socially accepted than those without.

According to Psychology Today, grade-school kids with highly unusual names or names with negative associations tend to be “less popular” than those with more “desirable” names. Later in life, people with “unpopular or unattractive” names have more difficulty finding romantic partners.

A 23-year-old mother-to-be wanted to name her son Gaylord and had her family's full, passionate support, but her husband, 24, and his side of the family were firmly against the idea. The woman was looking for validation and posted about the dilemma on Reddit's AITA forum.

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TikTok user Absolutely Lauren catches an online scammer.

There was a massive jump in credit card fraud in America in 2021 due to the pandemic. According to CNET, fraud involving credit cards jumped 69% from 2020 to 2021, affecting 13 million Americans and costing $9 billion.

In a world where online transactions are part of everyday life, it’s hard to completely protect your information. But, by staying vigilant and monitoring your accounts you can report fraud before it gets out of hand.

A TikTok user by the name of Lauren (@absolutelylauren) from San Diego, California, got a notification that there was a $135 charge on her card at Olaplex’s online store that she hadn’t made. Olaplex sells products that repair excessively damaged hair. Before reporting the charge to her credit card company she asked her family members if they used her card by mistake.

“I don’t wanna shut my card down if it’s just my mom ordering some shampoo,” Lauren said in the video. “Definitely not my two younger brothers, they’ve got good hair but they don’t color it.”

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MRI image of an opera singer, singing.

A great opera voice is a learned art, not a natural-born gift like other styles of singing. It takes discipline, physical training, and to truly wow the audience, the performer must be a great actor and athlete as well.

"Singing opera is to ordinary vocal activity what distance running, triple-jumping and pole-vaulting are to ordinary exercise," said Sir Antonio Pappano, music director of the Royal Opera House wrote for the BBC. "Which means that singers and, almost as important, those who teach them are locked in the same kinds of relationship that obtain between elite athletes and charismatic coaches."

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Family

What to do when you're the child of an alcoholic

My dad was an addict, and growing up with him taught me a lot.

Photo with permission from writer Ashley Tieperman.

Ashley Tieperman and her father.


There was never just one moment in my family when we “found out" that my dad was an addict.

I think I always knew, but I never saw him actually drinking. Usually, he downed a fifth of vodka before he came home from work or hid tiny bottles in the garage and bathroom cabinets.

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