MONICA Lewinsky is a woman I have come to love. Like the vast majority of ill-informed men who grew up thousands of miles from the Washington beltway, she originally came into my life as little more than a cheap joke about blow jobs and semen stained navy blue dresses. Oh how things have changed, now I see her as an ambassador to an independent Scotland.

Year on year and with remarkable personal fortitude, Monica Lewinsky has fought back, reclaimed her dignity and ­redefined what she represents in the cruel world of political satire. I often think of her when politics and religious bigotry become heated and boil over on to the intemperate cooker of Twitter. She is the pioneer of ­online resilience, being the very first ­women to be bullied and publicly ­humiliated ­online. She has much to teach Scotland and Janey Godley.

This week the Lewinsky story has dominated American media on the back of a star-studded miniseries entitled ­Impeachment: American Crime Story. The show is the final part of an FX ­anthology series focused on ­sensationalised true crimes that have defined the modern American experience. The first two ­series focused on the OJ Simpson trial and spree killer Andrew Cunanan’s murder of ­Gianni Versace.

Although the Lewinsky series has had mixed reviews there is near universal ­acknowledgement that it has moved American celebrity drama beyond the “me-too” moment. In a considered review in Politico by critic Joanna Weiss, much is made of the notion of consent.

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“Lewinsky never fit perfectly into the #MeToo template,” Weiss writes. “ Unlike the Clinton accusers who complained about unwanted advances – such as Paula Jones, whose sexual harassment lawsuit was the path to Lewinsky’s downfall – she always contended that their relationship was consensual. She wasn’t a pure, defenceless victim. She was a person with agency, capable of her own bad choices.”

This is one of the many things I like about Monica Lewinsky. There is no doubt that she was the victim of a ­hugely powerful man but she has refused to ­portray herself purely as a victim, and more precisely has refused to allow a few sexual encounters when she was a 22-year-old student intern to define or control her life.

According to dispatches from ­Hollywood, the scripts of the new ­mini-series don’t spare Lewinsky from critique or paint her as a heroine. “She’s naïve, privileged, flighty and pathetically self-delusional,” Weiss writes, “But she’s human.”

Flawed humanity seems to be the main message of Lewinsky’s reincarnation, as an antibullying advocate, as a voice for people discarded by modern culture and as a victim of the passing cruelty of social media.

One of her favoured phrases is “The good thing about resiliency is that it’s a muscle, so you can build it”, and that is precisely what she has done, engaging with divisive debates like abortion in America but also by taking time out from the fray to have a laugh, and retweet charming nonsense.

Lewinsky’s rehabilitation has come in stages. Rather than recoil from the ­internet that demonised her, she has an open, active and often very funny ­Twitter account. She has a self-mocking sense of humour and makes barbed ­comments about berets, the fashion headwear she wore at the height of her notoriety. Among her many areas of interests are women’s rights, suicide prevention, voter registration and anti-bullying campaigns.

By her own admission Monica Lewinsky has stayed and fought writing ­columns, delivering Ted Talks and fronting ­campaigns. “If I have learned anything since then,” she once wrote in Vanity Fair, “it is that you cannot run away from who you are or from how you’ve been shaped by your experiences. Instead, you must ­integrate your past and present.”

This was the tough lesson that comedian Janey Godley learnt this week when she became the subject of retaliatory scraping. Ancient tweets from her account cast in scabrous and racist language were exposed by the American-based website The Daily Beast.

Godley has since published a series of personal apologies but, saying sorry so often and so melodramatically may have armed rather than helped her case. Some feel she has over-indulged herself and rushed to Twitter as a panacea.

Scottish twitter is currently awash with the sewage of old scraped tweets whether it’s about unionism versus independence, Celtic versus Rangers, trans rights and women’s rights its if often a poisoned well best avoided.

We are living through our own secular Salem, in which women are regularly witch-tried online. It has happened to Janey Godley, it has happened to Angela Haggerty and other women at the forefront of the campaign to call out anti-Irish racism in Scotland, and most blatantly of all it happens the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

WHAT is consistent is that the ugliest critics are almost universally male, enraged by change and by a perceived loss of status. But there are differences too.

Janey Godley’s experience of online bullying is different from what Monica Lewinsky has experienced, in two key respects. Firstly, for all their organised petitioning Scotland’s twitter renegades are not the US Media and do not exert anything close to the weight of public scrutiny that Lewinsky has come under.

Few have had the weight of the ­American political system descend on them quite like Monica Lewinsky. She was one of the key subjects of 445-page Starr Report, Kenneth Starr’s four-year ­investigation into the affairs of the ­Clinton White House, which included chapter and verse about her most intimate sexual activities and carried transcripts of ­audiotapes chronicling private ­conversations. At times the focus on Lewinsky read as if Starr himself was over fixated on the titillation.

It is different in another key respect, Godley has pursued the risky strategy of trolling her bullying critics, ­retweeting them, ridiculing them and drawing ­attention to their own misdemeanours. At times her responses were hilarious and her unshrinking Twitter presence has ­unquestionably raised her professional profile. But her brazenness has also backfired and left her having to backtrack on the morality of language and its uses.

Monica Lewinsky has also chosen not to run with the hounds. Like the First Minister she allows criticism and ugly remarks to fade into the dark forest of the web rather than give them the oxygen of further publicity.

Despite the years of humiliation and political point-scoring she was subjected to, Monica Lewinsky is gifted at balancing warring issues. She is supporter of trans rights and irredeemably feminist in her outlook.

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I have often thought she would be a great ambassador to Scotland, someone that could bring compassion and sensitivity to the wars that are currently driving a wedge through our progressive politics, and in particular the horrible stand-off that has cast socialist feminists and trans activists as intractable enemies.

Last week has reminded me that we are all trying to balance contradictions and we are all wrong some of the time and to pursue self-righteousness so aggressively is a fatally flawed approach to winning any argument. It has been around quite a lot of late and covers no one in glory.

Being wrong is human and it is not always a cause for hair shirts and social media mea culpas. When Vanity Fair asked Monica Lewinsky is she had ever lied, she simply replied: “See 1998.”

Brevity is the soul of wit.