8 months ago
The creator of the “Sh-tty Media Men” list, which circulated back in October, has written a piece for The Cut, outing herself as the author and explaining why she created the list. The anonymous, crowdsourced document was an attempt at solving a problem that all industries are facing, including journalism: how women can protect themselves from sexual harassment and assault. Since many women are currently a part of the whisper network — or informal alliances that pass on open secrets and warn women about serial harassers and assaulters — Moira Donegan decided to create a document that would be private where women could share these stories without fear of retribution. The document spread much further and faster than Donegan anticipated, and the once-private document was made public by a Buzzfeed article by Doree Shafrir and then it was posted on Reddit. After it was made public, people called it “irresponsible, emphasizing that since it was anonymous, false accusations could be added without consequence.” But Donegan wanted to create a place for women to share their stories, a place where they wouldn’t be asked “What were you wearing?” or “How much did you have to drink?” There was no fear of getting fired, harassed, or publicly smeared for sharing your story.
Donegan said she took seriously the concern that the document was vulnerable to false accusations, and she added a disclaimer to the top. Donegan writes that in the end, the spreadsheet scared her. She realized she had created something that was bigger than she ever imagined. But it was also clearly cathartic and helpful for the many, many women posting in the spreadsheet. Then Donegan found out that journalist Katie Roiphe would be publishing her name in a forthcoming piece for Harper’s. Immediately, people became concerned for Donegan’s safety and well-being, and many were outraged Roiphe would publicly out her. Instead, Donegan wrote this piece, ending it by saying, “Among the most potent of these powers is the knowledge of our own experiences. The women who used the spreadsheet, and who spread it to others, used this power in a special way, and I’m thankful to all of them.”Read the full story at The Cut