Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Monica Lewinsky Writes About ‘The New Frontiers Of Male Vulnerability’ For Vanity Fair

If you’ve been noticing a trend towards vulnerability among male celebrities lately, you’re not alone. Monica Lewinsky, a Vanity Fair contributor and anti-bullying activist, penned a thoughtful essay acknowledging the changing definition of what it means to “be a man.”

Lewinsky uses three celebrity examples — that of Prince Harry, Brad Pitt, and Jay-Z — to make a point that the tides are turning and men are, more and more, allowed to publicly admit to having feelings.

“To ‘man up’ and to be a ‘real man,’ among young males of courage and conviction, now go hand-in-hand with expressing raw emotion, acknowledging flaws, opening up, facing consequences,” writes Lewinsky of Brad Pitt’s recent vulnerable disclosure of his post-divorce pain and how he’s working through it.

Lewinsky also emphasizes the importance of this vulnerability amidst a political landscape that pushes a stereotypical masculinity that can be harmful.

“It is a refreshing and bracing antidote to see male icons convey vulnerability in an age when Washington’s new power elite and our coarsening culture are busy projecting an outmoded caricature of manhood, 24/7,” Lewinsky writes. “As we wrestle with gender roles and relationships between the sexes—and see issues of sexism running rampant from the tech world to politics—it’s heartening to see a crack in the implicit contract among men, their emotions, and society at large.”

And it’s heartening to see Lewinsky, a once-victim of the toxic misogyny that ruled both the media and the White House in the 1990s (and still, to some extent, does), express hope for the future of man.

You can read the entire essay here. And we recommend you do.

Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter, @arr_scott

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.