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Pop Culture Advent Calendar, Day 20: Anatomy of a Scandal


Inspired by NPR, every day (gulp) from December 1st to 24th, I will be highlighting

a pop culture moment from this year that I loved. Today I wrote about the most timely thriller of the year.

Watching Christine Blasey Ford's testimony on Judge Kavanaugh in September was stomach churning. I had and still have so much admiration for her and keep thinking about the fact that calls to sexual assault lines rose exponentially during her testimony, the ripple effect of someone shakily and bravely speaking their truth, prompting thousands to speak theirs. I cannot believe she had to do it, I cannot believe he still got the nomination, I cannot believe the moral abhorrence of politicians who claim to be Christians. But what a woman Dr Ford is.

I read Anatomy of a Scandal right at the beginning of the year, and I think of it often. It's about a woman who accuses a up and coming politician of rape, and it is told from the perspective of the prosecutor, the politician and his wife. It is an incredible look at Westminster clusters of power, and how they extend far back, to bonds formed at elite universities and public schools.

But it's also great at showing both the political and the personal, and how hard it is to separate the two, if they can be separated at all. Anatomy of a Scandal is a deeply personal story, always with a razor eye on an individual's origin, and how they shape the adult. Through flashbacks to 1992, we see the characters came to be, and how they (and all of us) are so easily duped into deference by these handsome, charming and confident men. It's a great story with a twist I didn't see coming.

I think of it often - when I see how party and politician's ambitions are put before the needs of the country, when I see stories of another powerful man who thinks #MeToo has gone too far, or when a woman tells her story to the world, or just someone she trusts. It's an unfortunately, very, very timely book. Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Day 18 Day 19

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