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Toria Sheffield
January 11, 2018 1:09 pm

Yesterday, January 10th, a woman named Lexi Alexander came forward on Twitter claiming that she was behind the “Sh*tty Media Men” list — an anonymous document created for women, by women, to help keep track of sexual predators within the media industry (essentially, a “whisper network” that could be continually updated in a quietly-shared Google spreadsheet). Harper’s magazine was allegedly going to “out” the creator of the document in an upcoming exposé, but Alexander allegedly decided to come forward first.

However, it was soon revealed that Alexander was not, in fact, the woman behind the document, and that she came forward in an attempt to protect the true creator, a journalist named Moira Donegan. In a January 10th essay published in New York Magazine’s “The Cut”, Donegan explains her reasoning for initially creating the list, as well as how it has affected both her career and personal life.

"I only wanted to create a place for women to share their stories of harassment and assault without being needlessly discredited or judged," she writes, noting that she perhaps "naively" did not expect the document to go public, and also "cynically" did not expect it to have actual repercussions for the men on the list.

The document expanded to include over 70 names within a mere hours, with allegations ranging from unsolicited, drunken come-ons to rape. The list soon went viral, and several male executives were suspended from their positions pending internal investigations at their organizations.

"[The list] was intended specifically not to inflict consequences, not to be a weapon — and yet, once it became public, many people immediately saw it as exactly that," Donegan continued.

She went on to note that she has lost friends over the list — some of whom think she went too far, and others who think she didn’t go far enough with the doc. The former New Republic editor also says she lost her job over the list (though TNR denies that claim).

"The fear of being exposed, and of the harassment that will inevitably follow, has dominated my life since. I've learned that protecting women is a position that comes with few protections itself."

The fact that Donegan has been shamed, harassed, and potentially lost her livelihood for simply attempting to protect women from sexual harassment and assault is unacceptable and proves exactly why a list like this was needed in the first place.

We stand with Donegan and thank her for her efforts to improve our lives and the live of so many other women.

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