Feminism, Maureen Dowd once explained, died in 1998. That was when the leading lights of the feminist movement decided to give Bill Clinton a pass because they liked his politics:
“Feminism Died in 1998 when Hillary allowed henchlings and Democrats to demonize Monica as an unbalanced stalker, and when Gloria Steinem defended Mr. Clinton against Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones by saying he had merely made clumsy passes, then accepted rejection, so there was no sexual harassment involved. As to his dallying with an emotionally immature 21-year-old, Ms. Steinem noted, ”Welcome sexual behavior is about as relevant to sexual harassment as borrowing a car is to stealing one.”
Journalist Nina Burleigh even offered to perform oral sex on President Clinton as a thank-you for his stance on abortion. After that, the anti-sexual-harassment movement, choking on this hypocrisy, ran out of steam, and feminism itself, in Dowd’s words, died.