This article was originally published by Harper's Bazaar.
Can a 22-year-old authentically consent to a sexual and romantic relationship with a boss who wields power over her career and is decades her senior? Monica Lewinsky used to think so, but now she isn't sure. I'm not either.
In a recent essay, Monica Lewinsky reassesses what she had previously maintained was a consensual relationship with Bill Clinton. Due to their vast power differential, she writes "I'm beginning to entertain the notion that in such a circumstance the idea of consent might well be rendered moot."
In this #MeToo moment, society has dedicated tremendous focus to unwanted sexual advances. But we've spent less time addressing the complexity of consent—who has the power to give it, and what we should do about it.