Twitter flooded after alleged creator of the ‘Shitty Media Men’ list steps forwardOn January 11, 2018 by Kenna
Writer Moira Donegan came forward as the author of the shared document, launched in October, in an article for New York Magazine. In the piece, she explained that “the anonymous, crowdsourced document was a first attempt at solving what has seemed like an intractable problem: how women can protect ourselves from sexual harassment and assault.”
Originally meant as a private “whisper network” document, but picked up by BuzzFeed and Reddit, the spreadsheet caused some media companies to investigate some mentioned employees, who, as Donegan writes, “left their jobs or were fired.”
Donegan wrote of the backlash in her NY Mag piece:
Many called the document irresponsible, emphasizing that since it was anonymous, false accusations could be added without consequence. Others said that it ignored established channels in favor of what they thought was vigilantism and that they felt uncomfortable that it contained allegations both of violent assaults and inappropriate messages. Still other people just saw it as catty and mean, something like the “Burn Book” from Mean Girls.
After a Harper‘s article by essayist Katie Roiphe apparently could have outed Donegan as the list’s creator, Twitter became quite the platform for protecting her identity. Multiple women, including Lexi Alexander, Jenn Hoffman, Mandy Stadtmiller, Ana Breton, Marisa Kabas, Jenny Jaffe and Kate Pasola among others pulled an IRL “I am Spartacus,” tweeting that they were the author.
On Wednesday, Donegan tweeted her own claim to the authorship, sharing her article written for The Cut.
Following the article’s publication, many in the media industry took to the social media platform with an immense amount of support for Donegan, praising her efforts to create a space for women to report sexual harassment and abuse. Many had apparently been personally affected by the names on the list, or had added to it.
I will tell you all one thing: when i saw a name highlighted in red on Moira donegan’s list belonged to a man who took away all my agency, it was the first time in years i felt like i wasnt screaming into an abyss. I will defend her to any degree, ever: https://t.co/Kd0jQTHYrx
— Sam H. Escobar 👻 (@myhairisblue) January 11, 2018
This doc was created in the days following my outing a violent male writer. I wanted to start the conversation so badly I shared humiliating photos of myself beaten & bruised. The list made myself & many others feel less alone in the days that followed. Thank u @MoiraDonegan ❤️ https://t.co/nEknUHenTp
— helena (@helenadonahue) January 11, 2018
Moira Donegan lost her job over creating the shitty men list and is risking a whole lot more by outing herself now.
— Madison Malone Kircher (@4evrmalone) January 11, 2018
Some targeted Harper’s and Roiphe, criticising them for moving to out Donegan, though, in an interview with The New York Times, Roiphe said her article did not name the author, and said “I would never put in the creator of the list if they didn’t want to be named.” Donegan had been approached by a Harper’s fact checker, however.
Hats off to you @MoiraDonegan for your good intentions to protect and help other women. @Harpers should face all our wrath, and Kate Roiphe, who is consistently anti-women. I am sorry for how this all played out – you have my and many others’ support. https://t.co/j5p2AaUSNy
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) January 11, 2018
Journalists owe their subjects as much, if not more, than their readers. They owe them safety and security, and I’m increasingly seeing examples of journalists forgetting that.
The Harper’s piece would have been damaging and dangerous – a spotlight to call cruelty.
— Kate Gray 🇨🇦 (@hownottodraw) January 11, 2018
Others simply lent their support from afar:
Protect Moira Donegan and get her a new job while we’re at it.
— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) January 11, 2018
This is a brave act and a beautiful piece of writing. Cheers.
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) January 11, 2018
Whatever happens next, you have to hand it to Donegan — outing herself was a pretty damn brave thing to do.
Additional reporting by Johnny Lieu.