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Five Podcast Episodes on: Power
The theme of power covers a multitude of things, but the aspect that most interests me here is power dynamics: the blurring of the lines around power, and its abuse. It’s a fascinating topic and luckily there’s no shortage of podcasts for you to explore, from the presidential power dynamics of Slow Burn to the patriarchal power of the Royal Academy in Revisionist History.
1. Slow Burn – Season 2 Episode 4 “Alone Together”
While Leon Neyfach’s much lauded podcast should be listened to in its entirety, episode 4 which details exactly what happened between Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton is a must-listen. With the #MeToo movement fresh in our minds, the power dynamic between the two is put into a new and uncomfortable light for the former President. The episode examines his abuse of power when it came to Lewinsky and how, of course, she suffered much more than him.
2. Stranglers – Episode 6 “Measuring Man”
Another series which should be listened to fully, Stranglers shines a light on the investigation into the Boston Strangler in the 1960s. Episode 6 focuses on the methods the Strangler used to gain entry to women’s apartments. The power dynamic aspect is much more subtle but speaks towards the attitude that men had to women in the 1960s by just assuming they’d be allowed entry to a woman’s house unless another man was present.
3. Revisionist History – Season 1 Episode 1 “The Lady Vanishes”
This episode focuses on English artist Elizabeth Thompson and her painting ‘Roll Call’, created in 1874. Her incredible painting meant she nearly became the first woman to be permitted entry to the Royal Academy, something which made those in charge of the Academy assume they were very progressive. The first woman was finally admitted in 1922, when the gatekeepers deemed female artists “good enough” to enter. As Kanye West says: ‘No one man should have all that power’.
4. Casefile: Case 89 “Ella Tundra”
Stalking and online harassment are crimes we’ve only started taking seriously as a society in recent years. In the case of Ella Tundra, she was stalked by a man she could not avoid for the simple reason that she smiled at him once while working behind a bar. The lack of power and control she had over her situation is downright frightening and takes an even darker twist when her stalker began to write fan fiction about her and posting it online.
5. The Gateway Part 4 “Influence”/ “Tribe”
The Gateway was one of our recommended podcasts in August and it’s easy to see why. YouTube blogger and self-proclaimed “self help guru” Teal Swan’s power over her followers is downright terrifying when you hear that she once described suicide as “a reset button”. She has also told her followers, many of whom are suicidal, that they must “commit to life”, but suggesting that not committing to life means you should take your own life. Episode 4 focuses on the good influence some people believe she’s had despite the damage others feel she’s caused.