What Was the Biggest Scandal of All Time?

Esquire Magazine

March 2019

Melissa Herrington, artist
In 1917, Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain forever altered and scandalized the established art world, challenging the very definition of art. But what if the founding father of conceptual art was actually a woman? Recent speculation is that Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, the forgotten pioneering feminist, may be responsible for the most significant work of art of the 20th century.

Cynthia Herrup, history and law professor, USC
For duration, extent of damage, and betrayal of trust, no scandal matches the Catholic Church’s exploitation of authority over sexuality.

Jenna Glass, author, The Women’s War
Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of more than 300 young gymnasts is a crime, not a scandal. But the massive cover-up; the length of time it went on; and the number of adults who made excuses, ignored complaints, and chose to protect institutions instead of the gymnasts? That’s the biggest sports scandal ever.

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