She wrote about her decision in a powerful essay for the Cut.
Someone has come out as the creator of the “Shitty Media Men” list, a Google spreadsheet in which women anonymously named dozens of men who were allegedly involved in sexual misconduct, including lewd comments, harassment, and assault.
Moira Donegan came forward as the creator of the list in an essay for the Cut published Wednesday. She said that the list, which was passed around by journalists and other media figures when it was created in October, was intended to address a gap in how these kinds of reports work today. The spreadsheet included a note that the information should be taken “with a grain of salt.”
“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,” Donegan wrote.
“One long-standing partial remedy that women have developed is the whisper network, informal alliances that pass on open secrets and warn women away from serial assaulters,” she added. “Many of these networks have been invaluable in protecting their members. Still, whisper networks are social alliances, and as such, they’re unreliable. They can be elitist, or just insular.”
But once the list became public, Donegan said it took on a different life than she intended:
In the beginning, I only wanted to create a place for women to share their stories of harassment and assault without being needlessly discredited or judged. The hope was to create an alternate avenue to report this kind of behavior and warn others without fear of retaliation. Too often, for someone looking to report an incident or to make habitual behavior stop, all the available options are bad ones. … It was intended specifically not to inflict consequences, not to be a Read More Here