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1/ What follows is the story of why I will not be attending #MPSA2020. Here, I discuss the aftermath of my #MeTooPoliSci disclosure, which I discussed last year: The #thread is long, so please bear with me. #MPSAfail
2/ When I first saw the editorial statement on the @AJPS_Editor website in April 2018, I was devastated. In that statement, my harasser told the #polisci community that what I said about him harassing me was untrue.
3/ He also indicated that his cooperation with the ongoing investigations with the @MPSAnet, @michiganstateu, and @UMich was an attempt to clear his name.
4/ The implication was that the then-completed MPSA investigation, along with the other two investigations that were still ongoing, would clear him. But these investigations did not clear him.
5/ Of course, at the time the editorial statement was posted, MPSA leadership already knew the outcome of the investigation conducted by a lawyer retained by the MPSA. Subsequent investigations by @UMich and @michiganstateu have confirmed this: I was not lying.
6/ In her letter to the membership the next day, the then MPSA President said my harasser's message “was NOT authorized by the MPSA.” She seemed surprised by his statement on the AJPS website. I took her at her word.….
7/ As part of the ongoing process at @michiganstateu in early 2019, I received a copy of an email exchange between the then-MPSA President and my harasser. It showed that the then-President had read and approved my harasser's message to the ed board of the AJPS.
8/ She also okayed the AJPS website post “based on the one [she’d] already seen.” She said “That all sounds good. I certainly don’t need to preview the message but I’m happy to take a look if that would be helpful." She finished that email to him with "I’m glad you are doing OK.”
9/ When I saw these e-mails, it was immediately clear that MPSA leadership knowingly allowed my harasser to use his position as editor to deny my claims. And this is bad enough. Worse, though, is the fact that at the time of this email exchange MPSA leadership already knew: …
10/ …(1) the MPSA investigation was NOT going to clear him, since they'd already heard the evidence, (2) people reading this message would assume that, if nobody heard of any consequences coming to my harasser, the investigation had vindicated him, ...
11/ and (3) that nobody would ever hear about any consequences, since they knew at the time that the #TitleIX findings would not be released and they had determined not to release findings from the MPSA investigation. They knew that this would make me look like a liar.
12/ In my view, the most charitable interpretation is that MPSA leadership was attempting to protect the MPSA by avoiding a public announcement of findings or sanctions against my harasser. I can understand this.
13/ However, they must also have understood that by allowing him to use his position as editor to “save face” in a statement that they knew to be gravely misleading, they were allowing him to call me and the other victims liars in a forum where we would not be able to respond.
14/ They must have understood that their own decisions about how to handle the investigation would ensure that the truth did not come out, and therefore the statement sent to the editorial board and posted on the website would lead my peers to believe that I was lying.
15/ But the truth did eventually come out. Every investigation into our allegations has supported the veracity of our accounts. The findings from the two university investigations of multiple cases were eventually made public via media reporters.
16/ Well before that, though, the MPSA leadership was presented with the evidence of the truthfulness of my disclosure before approving these messages. Nonetheless, the leadership essentially threw me and my fellow victims under the bus.
17/ When confronted with these facts, current MPSA leadership asked the victims and our allies to hold tight while they did an investigation, which they said would highlight the “context” to the emails that we had been missing. And so we waited.
18/ The "external investigation" was conducted by a firm that was retained by MPSA to investigate and defend against potential lawsuits in this matter. The Task Force created by MPSA to develop recommendations was to rely solely upon this firm's fact finding investigation.
19/ In other words, this investigation was not an independent one; it was carried out by the lawyers who would be defending the @MPSAnet against any lawsuits the victims might file. #MPSAfail…
20/ Given this context, I was not surprised that the investigation yielded few answers. There was no "context" in the Task Force report. Only excuses.
21/ The only context in either report is that, “[d]uring that weekend [after approving the message to the AJPS ed board] and into the following week, [then President] was heading to Italy for a family vacation and [ED] was dealing with a medical emergency involving his son.”
22/ The report glosses over the fact that the then-President read and okayed the email to the ed board. Of course, the board is made up of political scientists, all of whom are well-known and influential in my field.
23/ MPSA and their investigators seem fine with the fact that she allowed him to send an email about me that she knew to be grossly misleading to the editorial board of @AJPS_Editor, one of the discipline’s top journals.
24/ Further, that she knew the content of the original email and then declined to see the edited version before it was posted for the world to see is just mind boggling. No context here helps to mitigate this.
25/ The fact that she was preparing for a vacation does not absolve her of her responsibility to execute her duties with integrity. But perhaps this was just a mistake. And that’s fine, as far as it goes...
26/ But never, through the course of this whole saga, has a single person associated with MPSA leadership apologized to the victims for how this was handled. (The exception to this is the attorney investigators, who both apologized for what I'd been through.)
27/ There has not even been a non-committal recognition of how terrible this has been for me and my fellow victims. NOBODY FROM MPSA ASKED ME IF I WAS OK.
28/ MPSA still refuses to acknowledge that I am not the enemy here. I am someone who had been attending MPSA annual meetings regularly since I was a graduate student. I am someone who was harassed by a person in power in their organization.
29/ I am someone who came forward with my #metoo experience to try to help make the discipline a better place for future generations. I am a person who DID NOTHING WRONG.
30/ As a result of the MPSA’s handling of this, I was subjected to online harassment, slander, damage to my reputation, and the stress that comes along with those things. It was awful. It still is, honestly.
31/ Again, even after they KNEW that I was telling the truth, @MPSAnet leadership repeatedly prioritized the reputation of my harasser over my reputation. They could have stood up for me. But they chose the side of my harasser. #MPSAfail
32/ Thank you for sticking with me on this long thread. A quick thanks to the #metoopolisci collaborative, @WomensCaucus_PS, @mwcps_tweets, @SPSAwomen, and countless others doing important #GenderEquity work in #PoliSci and beyond. #AcademicTwitter #PhDchat #MPSAfail
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