Liars gonna lie.Posted: March 3, 2015
I’m in this month’s edition of Cosmopolitan, on page 140, in an excellent article about sexual harassment in work and professional situations. The journalist Michelle Ruiz interviewed me extensively via chat—while I was in the remote Philippines, sitting on my friend’s porch to get better reception—about my experiences of sexual harassment in freelancing, theatre, and science journalism, the last of which is long public, and resulted in the offender Bora Zivkovic’s resignations from the board of Science Online, as well as his position as blogs editor at Scientific American.
Ms. Ruiz came under fire from some commenters on Twitter because Bora is also quoted in the article, basically denying that any of the situations in question were professional or work-related. I’d go on, but I don’t want to spend the energy. I mean, what’s there to say? There are screencaps all over the Internet of Bora admitting his own wrongdoing, though many of the original sources have since been deleted. Like here. And here it’s pasted below, in case the archive goes down.
So it seems to me that his public and private performances of contrition did not net him the desired result, which was…retaining his positions? his respect in the field? I don’t know—so now, his performance instead consists of blanket denial, as we see in the Cosmo article.
My conclusion being: Liars gonna lie. Manipulators gonna manipulate. Shrug and move on.
But as for those going after Ms. Ruiz because she “gave him a platform,”—honestly? She had to do so, as a journalistic duty. That it gives the impression of a “he said, she said situation”? Actually, it’s a “he said, he said” situation. Disproving his claims is as easy as batting a whiffle ball. And I have nothing to lose by doing so.
At least, nothing I’d consider worth keeping.