VIGILANTE OUTED

Moira Donegan’s angelic countenance gives no hint she’s a feminist who might find it fun to wreck men’s lives.

Moira Donegan

In October 2017, Donegan produced an online, user-editable spreadsheet – Shitty Men in Media – that not only named allegedly predatory men, it also cited their places of work. SMM was online only briefly, Donegan taking it down soon after BuzzFeed publicised its existence.

SMM apparently bears both a disclaimer and a caution:

DISCLAIMER: This document is only a collection of misconduct allegations and rumors. Take everything with a grain of salt. If you see a man you’re friends with, don’t freak out.

**You can edit anonymously by logging out of your gmail.** Please never name an accuser, and please never share this document with a man. Please don’t remove highlights or names. 

SMM also notes:

Men accused of physical sexual violence by multiple women are highlighted in red.

Jill Filipovic, writing for The Guardian, picks up the story:

Months after a short-lived, crowd-sourced list of “Shitty Media Men” made headlines and sowed controversy, the creator, Moira Donegan, has outed herself. In a powerful essay for New York magazine, Donegan explained the impetus behind the list, how it expanded and spread far beyond what she anticipated – and just how nervous that made her.

For those of us who have seen the list and found it simultaneously exhilaratingly radical and terrifyingly unaccountable, Donegan’s accounting is cathartic. It captures our own appetite for a public reckoning about abusive men, tempered by our discomfort with the medium, its diffuseness and anonymity, and the nature of a small minority of the accusations.

But even this moment is a fraught one. I’m glad Donegan wrote her piece. I applaud her bravery and honesty and her willingness to grapple with the many complications of the list she created. But the circumstances under which she came forward are shameful. And even in a media universe increasingly responsive to #MeToo claims, I worry she’s going to have a hard time working in this industry again.

Filipovic applauds Donegan for bravely exposing the alleged mistreatment of hapless, vulnerable females:

How do we balance what’s at stake when we weigh the words of women versus those of men? It’s women’s safety and our potential for career success (so often stymied when we are harassed or humiliated) versus men’s reputations and their immediate right to maintain the jobs they hold.

In the court of public opinion – or an HR office – what’s the evidentiary standard for holding an accused person accountable? What bad acts are bad enough to merit which punishments? And where is the sweet spot between believing women – so that we may have equal access to safe and professional workplaces – and protecting the rights of the accused?

These are all valuable inquiries. But the toughest and most pressing one is the same question that gnawed at Donegan before she created the list in the first place: what else are women supposed to do?

Many of the incidents detailed on the list are serious physical assaults. But their nature – in private, between people who know each other – make them unlikely to be pursued by law enforcement.

Examples of the egregious male conduct with which delicate females cannot cope:

Workplace harassment

Inappropriate communication (in person and digital), Workplace harrassment

Inappropriate communication, harassment

Sleeping with students, inappropriate communication, harassment

Weird lunch “dates”

Abuse

Multiple employee affairs, inappropriate conversation, in general a huge disgusting sleazeball

Harrassment, verbal abuse, emotional manipulation. shit is going ON wih this guy

Uses networking as dates – led to very inappropriate advances on his part, and coercion to keep the evening going

Sexual harassment, inappropriate conversation, verbal abuse in/out of workplace, emotional abuse, groping on business trips, intimidation, multiple affairs w employees

Flirting, sexual harassment

Not sexual but intimidation of fellows, tokenization, violent language, bullying of employees, threatening to ruin careers of younger and less powerful employees especially women of color

Ostracized a coworker he met on dating app a year prior because she rejected him, roped other people into ostracizing her, takes credit for ideas of women of color, dumps managerial/editorial responsibilities on women who are his direct reports, throws violent temper tantrums in the office

Extra-judicial remedies are warranted because victimised females have no recourse:

Our current institutions are not working, and neither are more anti-feminist magazine articles that are heavy on finger-wagging critique and light on fresh ideas to combat a real problem.

Back during the 1960s and 70s females were equal participants in the “sexual revolution” but today females are seen, as in Victorian times, as powerless victims who must be protected.

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