Speed Reads

Sexual misconduct revolution

The creator of a list of sexually abusive 'Media Men' identifies herself before her rumored outing in Harper's

On Tuesday, rumors started spreading on Twitter that in the March issue of Harper's, the writer Katie Roiphe was going to publish the name of the woman who created the "Sh--ty Media Men" spreadsheet, a list of more than 70 men in the news media alongside anonymous allegations of sexual harassment or assault they were said to have committed. With anger and concern growing about the rumored outing, a writer named Moira Donegan identified herself as the creator of the spreadsheet Wednesday night.

Donegan wrote in The Cut that she started the private Google spreadsheet as a way to expand the informal "whisper networks" female journalists use to warn each other about male journalists known to be sexually abusive in one way or another. "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," she wrote. She took it offline after about 12 hours when she was warned BuzzFeed would make its existence public. It had already gone viral.

As the spreadsheet's cells filled with stories of everything from crass comments to rape, the "solidarity was thrilling, but the stories were devastating," Donegan wrote. "I realized that the behavior of a few men I had wanted women to be warned about was far more common that I had ever imagined."

Before Donegan went public, Roiphe told The New York Times that she did not know who created the Media Men list and "would never put in the creator of the list if they didn't want to be named." Donegan and the Times both say a Harper's fact-checker said in an email that Roiphe had identified Donegan "as a woman widely believed to be one of the creators" of the list, but Harper's spokeswoman Giulia Melucci said that doesn't mean the name would appear in the final article. "Fact-checking is part of reporting," she told the Times. Read Donegan's entire essay at The Cut.