Oh, Bill Clinton. Something about the 42nd President of the United States of America is just incredibly hard not to be fond of. I don't know if it's charisma or charm or some magical Southern "gentleman" aura, but from his infamous penchant for McDonald's to his uncontainable joy for balloons, good old Bubba has a smooth as glass way of keeping the people smiling...
And perhaps because he is just so gosh darn adorable, something about the man known as Slick Willie and Teflon Bill also keeps the people quiet... about the way he has skated by horrific allegations of rape, sexual assault, and harassment over the past FIVE DECADES.
Over the course of the past 48 years, Clinton has been repeatedly accused of serious criminal misconduct against women.
And yet, as news story after news story about the way powerful men like Harvey Weinstein have been behaving this way unchecked for longer than any of us want to admit flood Google and social media news feeds daily, barely a whisper is breathed within them about Clinton's highly problematic past. In fact, when Clinton's troubling past has been raised by Conservatives, even Liberals as profoundly outspoken on behalf of assault survivors as Teen Vogue's Lauren Duca are somehow able to disassociate their beloved Bill's behavior from that of men like Mark Halperin, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O'Reilly, Roy Price, Bill Cosby and Leon Wieseltier.
Only a man could earnestly reduce sexual harassment to definitional tit-for-tat partisanship pic.twitter.com/F6g1FtiI2T
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) April 21, 2017
As someone who vividly remembers the joyful sense of hope surrounding Clinton during both his first presidential campaign and both of his terms as President, I understand the impulse, to an extent. Bill Clinton's public persona is one that evokes strong feelings of optimism, youthful energy, and, not insignificantly, FUN.
The President plays the saxophone! Well!
The President tried pot! (Even if he didn't like it and didn't inhale... I mean, me neither.)
The President jogs! In dolphin shorts! And eats at McDonald's!
That's one of the most complicated things about the issue of sexual violence against women.
We spend so much time reminding men that anyone could be raped or abused — your daughter, your sister, your mother, your wife, your innocent first love — that we forget to remind them AND ourselves that on the flip side, anyone can be a predator — your son, your brother, your father, your best friend, your most trusted mentor... It could even be YOU.
And so we ignore the fact at least a dozen women have reportedly accused Clinton of violent and predatory behavior that parallels that of Harvey Weinstein. And we ignore the fact that, as has been confirmed by Snopes, "a page on Hillary Clinton's campaign website about campus sexual assault was edited to remove wording about a victim's 'right to be believed' in February 2016, following a Twitter debacle in which Hillary was called out by one of Bill's accusers, Juanita Broaddrick.
"To every survivor of sexual assault...You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed. We're with you." —Hillary
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 14, 2015
I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73....it never goes away.
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) January 6, 2016
I have no personal vendetta again the Clintons and no interest in bolstering Trump's supporters, but I also believe strongly that attempts to cover up the truth only ever lead to harm, and certainly never to anything good. If we want to see any kind of meaningful change in violence against women as a result of the recent outings of abusive men in power and the subsequent #Metoo movement, we can't choose to believe women only when they are accusing men we already don't like, or who we think "look like" bad guys.
Below is a list of twelve women who have accused President Bill Clinton of criminal, predatory sexual behavior of various types. This list does not include women such as Regina Hopper Blakely, Robyn Dickey, Gennifer Flowers, Dolly Kyle Browning or Monica Lewinsky with whom he is reported to have had consensual extramarital affairs because assault should not be conflated with anyone's moral opinions about what goes on within a particular marriage. Those relationships and their reflection on that marriage belong to Bill and Hillary alone.
This list also does not address that flight logs tie Clinton to financier, convicted pedophile, and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
- Bill Clinton flew on Epstein's private Boeing 727 — known as the "Lolita Express" — 26 times.
- On some of these flights, Clinton was accompanied by "a woman whom federal prosecutors suspect of procuring underage sex victims for Mr. Epstein."
- On at least five of these flights, Clinton declined to have Secret Service protection.
While it bears repeating that he has never been convicted, here is a complete listing of the 12 women reported to have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.
1. Eileen Wellstone (1969)
Allegation: Sexual assault
An article published on a site called Capitol Hill Blue in 1999 asserted that "Eileen Wellstone, 19-year-old English woman, said Clinton sexually assaulted her after she met him at a pub near the Oxford where the future President was a student in 1969. A retired State Department employee, who asked not to be identified, confirmed that he spoke with the family of the girl and filed a report with his superiors. Clinton admitted having sex with the girl, but claimed it was consensual. The victim’s family declined to pursue the case."
While these allegations have never been proven and no