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Posts Tagged ‘Mac McClelland’

Human Rights Reporter and PTSD Essayist Accused of Violating Victim’s Privacy

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.

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BACKLASH: Politically Correct Female Journos Gang Up on PTSD Essayist

San Francisco-based journalist Mac McClelland recently wrote a devastatingly honest essay for Good about the rape-related post-traumatic stress disorder she suffered after working in Haiti. The story was not about Haiti, it was about how the author dealt with the psychological trauma of sexual violence. But that didn’t stop a group of 36 female journalists and researchers attacking McClelland in an open letter.

Here’s how they use PC bullshit to criticize a woman for speaking about her personal experience with sexual harassment and violence:

In writing about a country filled with guns, “ugly chaos” and “gang-raping monsters who prowl the flimsy encampments,” she paints Haiti as a heart-of-darkness dystopia, which serves only to highlight her own personal bravery for having gone there in the first place. She makes use of stereotypes about Haiti that would be better left in an earlier century: the savage men consumed by their own lust, the omnipresent violence and chaos, the danger encoded in a black republic’s DNA.

Um, no. McClelland gave an honest account of her personal experience. She never once suggested sexual violence was a problem limited to Haiti, or perpetrated primarily by black men. Did these people even read the essay? Can you say “projection”?

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The Psychological Toll on Female Journos in the Hot Zone

Over at Good, Mac McClelland has an amazing confessional piece about the psychological toll faced by female journalists reporting from dangerous areas–stemming from the ever-present threat of rape. While covering the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Haiti, McClelland was cornered by her driver in an abandoned building–a situation she managed to talk herself out of. She was also stalked and propositioned on a near daily basis by various other men. Prior to that, while covering the Gulf spill in New Orleans, “a white oil-spill worker threatened to lynch any black oil-spill worker who hit on me.”

When CBS correspondent Lara Logan went public that she was raped in Egypt five months after I returned from Haiti, most people reacted with the appropriate amount of horror. Some, though, blamed the reporter for putting herself in a risky situation, and for being reckless enough to enter one when she’s so hot. No wonder it’s a rarity for correspondents to discuss their pain, and practically unheard of when it regards sexual harassment or assault. The handbook of the Committee to Protect Journalists didn’t even mention it—until 20 days ago, when the organization published an “addendum on sexual aggression.”

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