One day after writers across Twitter revealed that Harper’s was advised to release a characteristic by controversial writer Katie Roiphe possibly outing the creator of the “SHITTY MEDIA MEN” record, the list creator has outed herself at a personal essay in the Cut, garnering praise from other women in media and publishing.
On Wednesday night, the Cut published “I Found the Media Men List. My name is Moira Donegan” where author and former New Republic editor Donegan reveals herself to have created an anonymous “whisper network”-esque Google spreadsheet that women contributed names of men from which they had experienced, or had heard rumors of, inappropriate behavior.
The list of “SHITTY MEDIA MEN” circulated for only hours and only five days following the New York Times first reported to the sexual harassment and attack carried out by producer Harvey Weinstein at October. As a result, a number of those 70 named men on the record were investigated for sexual harassment in their perspective companies, with fewer men being fired or leaving their jobs.
Despite the record’s short-lived existence, it had spread considerably, becoming more viral once knowledge of the record had been made public by an untimely, seemingly chastising BuzzFeed News article, as well as attaining Reddit and ongoing in rescued iterations when it had been taken offline.
Seconds later, on Tuesday, when writers across Twitter shared that Harper’s was possibly going to outside Donegan, opening up her to the chance of doxxing along with other online harassment, Nicole Cliffe, author and co-founder of all now-defunct website the Toast, provided a 100 percent article kill fee to writers who’d pull their bits out of Harper’s in demonstration. Hours before Donegan’s piece dropped, tens of thousands of women posted “Spartacus”-style tweets requiring responsibility for the list in an effort to shield her identity.
In her bit coming forward as the list’s creator, Donegan wrote that she started the list as a digital whisper network for women in media to warn each other about the behavior of business men, and didn’t think, nor know, that it would have gone viral. She thought, instead, that the document wouldn’t be made public, and that the attention of its storyline would stay about the behavior of these men recorded in the document, instead of on the presence of the record itself.
Donegan wrote that in the weeks following the spreadsheet going public, she’s lost friends and her occupation. She wrote that her fear escalated once Roiphe emailed her to get comment on a bit she had been writing about the “feminist moment,” and later again once a Harper’s fact checker emailed her writing that Roiphe identified her among the list’s creators, also asked for confirmation. Roiphe, nevertheless, advised the New York Times hours before Donegan’s piece published that she didn’t know the name of the list’s creator, and subsequently wasn’t likely to disclose the writer’s identity. (The Times bit, curiously, has been overtly rewritten to add Donegan’s entrance without a disclaimer that it was previously published and updated.)
“The anxiety of being vulnerable, and also the harassment that will inevitably accompany, has dominated my life because,” Donegan said. “I’ve learned that protecting women is a position that comes with few protections. ”
In the very time that Donegan’s record had gone viral, reporters, sexual harassment and assault victims, and also the intersection of the two groups couldn’t have imagined the effect that her record would have experienced, nor the later organization of the #MeToo and Time’s upward movements against sexual harassment. The movements themselves had yet to attest, with women in entertainment and media still processing what exactly had been brewing.
The Weinstein tales were fresh. We had yet to hear about what Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. had done, or what Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose had done. The Washington Post and CNN had yet to publish their first articles respectively outing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and now former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken. Much like Donegan expressed in her bit about the area of this sexual harassment problem in media, we had just no idea how far–through how many men–this sexual harassment and attack reckoning could, and will continue, to go.
When the list originally flooded email inboxes and references struck Twitter threads and think bits, so much speculation has been put upon the intent and effect of the list. Donegan had labeled the list using a disclaimer to spend the selection of tales with a grain of salt, and even added another tag to names with over one accusation of sexual assault or rape. But a lot of the narrative discussed in numerous think bits and Twitter threads hung on what women were to believe or not believe. If women were to falsely accuse someone. If women could discern the seriousness between accusations of bizarre direct messages from inappropriate touching from groping from rape.
The bureau Donegan sought to find for different women by allowing them to share their tales, and also be made aware of the tales of female peers, was jeopardized by this idea that women could not think and decide for themselves, and also what’s more, could not be trusted.
But following Donegan’s story published in the next hours of Wednesday night, both men and women across media and publishing commended Donegan to producing the record, wishing her well for having taken control of her story and beating Harper’s to its outing.
“So many women in media are applauding you, Moira, and we’re rooting for you. Please take decent care of your self,” Evette Dionne, civilization editor for Bitch magazine, hinting Doengan.
“You are a hero. I will never forget what you’ve done for women. My future kids will hear your name along with your story. Here if you want anything in any way,” Chrissa Hardy, an editor for Wise Bread, responded to her story.
It’s with any luck that this business will continue to use and amplify women like Donegan who will speak truth to power.
Harper’s nor Roiphe instantly responded to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.