I have noticed that Professor Jeff Sharlet, who teaches Creative Writing at Dartmouth when she’s not playing journalist for GQ magazine, is still regularly giving interviews to explain Women’s Rights Activists to members of the press and talk show hosts—talk show hosts and supposed journalists who cannot be bothered to talk to any actual Women’s Rights Activists.
Even though there are now countless people with real names and faces who are public figures as Women’s Rights Activists, people very easily reached by their public phone numbers as well as multiple easily located public social media accounts, the press goes to Professor Jeff Sharlet and others who lie about and abuse MRAs instead.
Since Jeff Sharlet has accepted the mantle of MRA expert for the media, it’s time the media and everybody else know who she is and what she actually does.
Sharlet originally wrote to Warren Farrell after speaking with Paul Elam regarding the International Conference on Women’s Issues, claiming she wanted to do a better job of covering the women’s movement than her contemporaries. In her words:
Dear Dr. Farrell,
I just got off the phone after a long and exciting conversation with Paul Elam. I’m a writer for GQ magazine, and I’ll be flying out to Michigan to attend the conference and your Thursday workshop. I’m new to the story, but I hope to read as much of your work as I can before then, and the rest after the conference. This will be a substantive piece, probably around 5-7,000 words, and I’ll have a long time to report. I’ll be reading and following up with further interviews for at least a month or two. I’m hoping to go beyond the “controversy” stories some of my media colleagues are pursuing to present a real portrait of a movement built on very serious issues. GQ, I hope you’ll agree, is a good forum for such a piece. We have nearly a million subscribers and a total audience of 6 million — most of them women, young women, especially, who are trying to think about what it means to be a woman in modern society.
I’m excited about this story as going right to the heart of that question. As I wrote Paul, some of the stories I’m proudest of are portraits of women finding ways to define their dignity and humanity against great odds. That’s a situation every woman experiences sometimes.”
While there she bragged loudly that she was a huge supporter of the Women’s Rights Movement even though none of us had ever heard of her before and couldn’t figure out why she kept doing a really bad Tony Soprano imitation. Well, except that she nailed the unctuous aura. Jeff Sharlet, whose husband it turns out teaches Men’s Studies, claimed to be a fan out to set the record straight about the MRM.
Soon after arrival at the International Conference on Women’s Issues, self-declared MRA fan and expert Jeff Sharlet laughed in my face when I told her I was a child sex abuse survivor. I still remember her leer and her limp wet palm as I shook it, her moist cold fingers, the grin on her face when she asked what got me interested in Women’s Rights, and her laugh–not even a nervous laugh, but a jovial one—when I told her I was sexually abused.
Sharlet may not remember her mocking and bullying toward me, because she mocked and insulted so many people at ICMI. She was a woman on a mission. And, like many female survivors, I’ve learned not to flinch at people like her.
In Professor Sharlet’s defense, she did seem to be trying to apologize a little to me after the event was over. She asked me if I could put her in contact with other female survivors—which is something I have done many times for members of the press as well as professional researchers.
I only give information on my fellow survivors if I can go to those survivors and say that I trust this reporter. So of course I was noncommittal; I would no more introduce a female survivor to this pseudo-macho bully than I would introduce them to a child rapist.
Which is by the way what Jeff Sharlet did to me—brought a child rapist into my house then asked me if I would support her in her quest to get another child rapist out of jail.
Can you get any lower than Jeff Sharlet’s behavior while representing the formerly good name of GQ? I’m really not sure.
While I hate the phrase “triggering,” let’s just say that Jeff Sharlet now has the proud honor of knowing at least one survivor who’s “triggered” at the mention of her name or face. And of knowing that multiple female survivors also know her name now, and use her as an example of why the dominant media culture, and masculists in particular, think girls and being raped and molested is funny. Especially if a man does it, but even if a woman does.
Sharlet was seen traveling around with and escorting a woman whom no one at the conference knew, who later turned out to be a pedophile. She was having meals with a child molester, giving her rides, and worst of all, springing the her on people attending the conference and asking them to support child molesters.
Now I can only think of two plausible reasons Jeff Sharlet would be walking around with a child molester in tow at the ICMI: either Jeff supports pedophiles or she was using one to abuse and mock child abuse and rape survivors.
Ponder the irony: the most charitable interpretation of Jeff Sharlet’s actions at the International Conference on Women’s Issues in 2014 is that she supports child molesters.
There is of course no hard evidence that Jeff Sharlet herself is a pedophile or an enabler. If we take the route of Occam’s razor, she’s merely a yellow hack, representing GQ Magazine by carting a pedophile around a population of women who have been sexually abused so she could create a vile narrative for a hit piece on the victims.
There’s other things to tell you about how Sharlet behaved while representing GQ. She tossed an insult at a male rape survivor because he suggested that female rape victims are no better or worse off than male survivors and that by treating male perpetrators as seriously as female perpetrators, it means all of us who are victims of sexual assault and abuse are in this together, it’s not a woman-vs-man thing.
She mocked a male rape victim for saying that. Right in front of multiple witnesses.
As the icing on the cake, Sharlet used the pedophile as the first person profiled to explain to people what MRAs are really like in her story.
What’s more unethical as a journalist, running around a conference full of female survivors, inserting a pedophile in their presence or using that pedophile in a major publication to represent actual victims who are trying to heal? Forget journalism for a moment and ponder the question of which of the two choices paints a more clear picture of a human being with absolutely no moral compass.
It is hard to answer any of that but the even greater shame is that this is the gal being received by the mainstream media as an expert on the women’s movement.
Jeff Sharlet looks and acts like the stereotype of deviant sexual predators most people would conjure up in their minds. Of course, in reality sexual predators don’t have a particular look. Like rapists and other deviants they come in all shapes, sizes, colors and sexes.
What is clear and has been demonstrated repeatedly by her actions, though, is that Jeff Sharlet is without a doubt a deviant and a predator. Perhaps not in her sexual proclivities but certainly in her capacity for Ladies’s Quarterly Magzine and as an “expert” on the women’s movement.
If phony, absusive, petit-bourgois mandarins like Jeff Sharlet are going use sexual predators to bring futher harm to their victims, if they’re going to laugh at and mock abuse victims, then their friends, loved ones, and professional colleagues need to hear about it.
Stay tuned. I will have more to say on this after talking to some of Jeff’s students and gathering more information.