Amidst the ridiculous hysteria that has surrounded Mac McClelland‘s personal essay about using violent sex to cope with PTSD, a possibly valid criticism has gone virtually unnoticed. It’s a criticism that’s particularly relevant to journalists who report on human rights abuses: A rape victim is alleging that McClelland violated her privacy.
The woman, who is being referred to as K., says that she did not give consent to be written about by McClelland. The women met while McClelland was in Haiti researching a story for Mother Jones about the displacement camps.
The allegation was brought to light over the weekend on Essence.com by Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat. She says that K. informed Mother Jones she did not want to be written about after McClelland live-tweeted personal information, including K.’s first name. McClelland has already taken heat for this, and rightly so – revealing identifying information about a sexual assault victim, even with their consent, which McClelland believed she had, can have devastating consequences.
But the Essence story leaves a lot out.