Following the 2018 Golden Globes and its all-black dress code, and Oprah’s speech that had everyone talking, the #MeToo campaign has fully evolved into #TimesUp. It’s only if we keep the conversation going and stay candid can we become closer to putting an end to heinous acts that have been swept under the rug or covered up. Although it may help, one doesn’t have to have a large following or hold major influence to make a positive difference. This past fall, a digital protest in the form of a Google document outing men in the media industry who have committed sexual misconduct was made, and the writer bravely revealed herself to be Moira Donegan.
Though initially anonymous, Donegan claimed ownership of the document before anyone could out her first.
While we may be used to using Google docs for work or school projects, Donegan’s spreadsheet publicly acknowledges what we refuse to stay silent on and gives anyone a voice. The page went viral, and women everywhere could anonymously add names of those they believe committed wrongdoing. In The Cut, in a powerful essay, Donegan gives part of her motivation for creating the spreadsheet and keeping it anonymous, “Recent months have made clear that no amount of power or money can shield a woman from sexual misconduct. But like me, many of the women who used the spreadsheet are particularly vulnerable: We are young, new to the industry, and not yet influential in our fields.”
Donegan continued, “The spreadsheet did not ask how women responded to men’s inappropriate behavior; it did not ask what you were wearing or whether you’d had anything to drink. Instead, the spreadsheet made a presumption that is still seen as radical: That it is men, not women, who are responsible for men’s sexual misconduct.”
She acknowledges that she was naïve when she first made the document and despite her good intentions, the document ultimately had its flaws which became more apparent when it went viral. Regardless, Donegan gives her thanks to those who made the document what it was and found solace in the text, and the text between the lines.
While the document has since been taken down, the after-effects are still and will continue, to be felt. Donegan has stated that she’s lost friends and her job, while several men of influence have lost their jobs after their names appeared on the sheet.
Men and women alike took to Twitter to voice their support for Donegan.
I cannot praise you, your writing, your thoughtfulness, or your courage enough. You've taken ownership of this moment and that is beyond admirable.
— Charles Bryan, All-American Leftie. 🇺🇸🌹☮️ (@charleshbryan) January 11, 2018
You are a hero. I will never forget what you've done for women. My future kids will hear your name and your story. Here if you need anything at all. ❤️
— Chrissa 🌿 (@chrissahardy) January 11, 2018
I’m turning 60 this month. I wish there had been a spreadsheet when I was 30 starting out in my industry. Still haunts me. It’s everywhere and has been for decades. You are a brave women. ❤️
— DC Native (@dcnative2020) January 11, 2018
I deeply appreciate you starting this, for those of us who are in more ways marginalized, less well-connected (it was hard enough to find this list, the whisper network is beyond me) – it’s also absurd, that you’re being held responsible for something that belonged to us all
— shereen (@shereeny) January 11, 2018
Here’s to making many more spreadsheets if that’s what it takes.