Harper’s Magazine Is Reportedly Planning to Doxx the Woman Who Made That List of Sh*tty Media Men


For as long as women have existed in male-dominated spaces and professions (read: for literally ever), there have been whisper networks among them, warning each other of specific men and even entire companies to avoid. But a few months ago, in the fall of 2017 (which coincided with the fall of Harvey Weinstein and many other prominent men), an actual list started making the rounds among women working in media–a link-protected spreadsheet of men with reputations for being predators in their industry.

It didn’t take long for the list to be weaponized, with ultra-right-wing conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who could provide him with a copy and subsequently publishing the names of two men listed who just happened to be Cernovich’s known personal enemies. The list was quickly taken down but still made its way to Reddit and Twitter.

There’s now a rumor going around the internet, substantiated by several reportedly reliable sources, that Harper’s Magazine plans to run a story about the list in their next issue, in which they will out the name of the woman who created it. Word is, it will be their cover story.

When the list was first compiled, there was much discussion, and much condemnation, regarding its validity and its potential problems. It’s not that there’s nothing to criticize regarding such a list of allegations being made semi-public. But whether you feel the woman or women behind the list deserve to be criticized or showered with praise, it’s irresponsible and totally dangerous for a publication to “out” her.

Nicole Cliffe, co-founder of the forever-missed The Toast, named the publication as Harper’s, along with a plea for the article to be pulled.

There’s some discussion now as to whether a “social media outcry” will only push Harper’s to continue with their piece, to avoid appearing to kowtow to censorship. But since that was already their intention, I’m not sure seeing people publicly voice their disappointment can really be a negative.

On top of that, there are other ways to show dissent for those who find the magazine’s plan distasteful and dangerous. Cancelling subscriptions is always a useful tool, of course. (Assuming you have an existing subscription.) Even without a subscription, you can still force the magazine to listen to you.

Cliffe also made an offer to reimburse writers for pitches they might have out to Harper’s, allowing them to take a stand against the story, whether it be personal or public.

Others, including Brianna Wu, have offered to split that cost with Cliffe, but Cliffe says “it will be less messy to keep this single-source-single-payer” and instead suggests making donations to RAINN “or the advocacy group of your choice we can help writers AND people who don’t have that venue.”

In addition to offering to pay writers for pulling pieces, other sites have offered to buy those articles as well. Because women’s careers and their increased exposure shouldn’t have to take a hit because of the awful decisions of others.

Harper’s has yet to comment on the article, other than to confirm that Katie Roiphe–who once wrote about the exaggeration and manufacturing of the date rape crisis–does have a piece in their March issue. If they comment further, I’ll update here.

(image: Shutterstock)

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