Abby Whelan, White House press secretary and former member of Olivia Pope & Associates, is without question my favourite character on the TV show Scandal. She’s strong, knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid to speak up. In the last episode, she went on a two minute tirade against her boyfriend, Leo Bergen, after he tried to tell her that his sex scandal wouldn’t affect her. It’s a tirade good enough to share.
What happens to you happens to me. I’m good at my job Leo. I am a lion up there. I own that room. I work for it. I give a strong briefing. And they write about that, they cover the news. And there are articles about how well I do at my job. But, they also write about me. If I wear lipstick, I’m dolled up. If I don’t, I’ve let myself go. They wonder if I’m trying to bring dresses back and they don’t like it that I repeat outfits even though I’m on a government salary. They discuss my hair colour. There are anonymous blogs that say I’m too skinny. They have a running joke that I’m on a hunger strike until I get liberated by the Democrats. They also write about you. Every article that comes out about me has your name somewhere in it. Because apparently there’s this rule: in order to mention my name, they also have to report to the world that there’s a man who wants me. My work, my accomplishments, my awards… *shrugs*. I stand at the most powerful podium in the world. But a story about me ain’t a story unless they can report on the fact that I am ‘the girlfriend’ of D.C. fixer Leo Bergen. Like it validates me, gives me an identity, a definition. They can’t fathom the concept that my life doesn’t revolve around you, my life doesn’t revolve anywhere near you. It’s horrifying. Property of Leo Bergen. Tell me, when they write articles about you Leo, how often do they mention me, do they talk about your clothes, write about your thighs? There is a difference, there is. So, what happens to you happens to me.