The creator of a much-talked-about list of men in media accused of sexual misconduct revealed herself Wednesday after Harper's Magazine was rumored to have had an article in the works naming her, reports the New York Times. In The Cut, Moira Donegan comes clean that she started the "S---ty Media Men" spreadsheet, complete with a disclaimer that the allegations were just allegations, to help women in media avoid men named as predators. She says she was shocked the list went viral (she'd only intended for it to stay within its intended audience) and that her "life changed dramatically," losing friends and her job. Then she found out about the rumored article set to appear in Harper's March issue, written by firebrand Katie Roiphe. Even though others were afraid Donegan would be "threatened, stalked, raped, or killed" if she was named, she decided to out herself before others did.
Before that, though, others started advocating online against revealing Donegan's identity. It kicked off with a tweet by n+1 editor Dayna Tortorici, imploring a "legacy print magazine" not to out Donegan. Nicole Cliffe, former co-editor of The Toast, tweeted she found out it was Harper's and even offered to pay other writers to pull their pieces from the March issue (the Times says Cliffe committed to paying $19,000 to journalists who did just that). Before Donegan's essay appeared, Roiphe said she didn't know the name of the person who'd created the list and would never have outed her without Donegan's OK. But Donegan says a Harper's fact-checker sent her an email that said Roiphe "identifies you" in the article. Donegan's takeaway: "The experience of making the spreadsheet has shown me that it is still explosive, radical, and productively dangerous for women to say what we mean."