Here Is a Thing That Is Still Happening

Yesterday, I shared an exchange I had on Twitter with Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten. Today, that exchange has continued, after Weingarten publicly accused me, in a thread on which I was tagged, of being unethical.

Weingarten: In retrospect, I am very glad I did not ask her the question, and actually grateful to her for shutting me down, b/c I have no doubt our correspondence would have wound up in her Twitter feed with me as an evil part of the patriarchy.

McEwan: .@geneweingarten just publicly said there is "no doubt" that I would have made private communications public in order to demonize him as part of a feminist agenda. That is an incredible and unsubstantiable attack on my character. And why? Because I had the unmitigated temerity to ask him why he wanted to speak to me privately.

* * *

It's pretty interesting to me that a guy who asserted his reputation should be enough to convince me to speak to him privately, thus indicating the value he puts on reputation, decided to go after my reputation.

Which, by the way, is personal, since, unlike Weingarten, I don't have the benefit of trading on the reputation of an employer, specifically a major institution like the Washington Post. My reputation is based entirely on my actual ethics as an individual.

Anyway. Weingarten wasn't letting it go.

Weingarten: Ma'am, I had a respectful question to ask her about one of her tweets. Nothing that would have bothered her at all. Nothing suggesting misogyny. This would be funny without the ugly undercurrent which I fear we both contributed to.

McEwan: Hey, Gene. Why don't you take your ire and direct it at the men who have warranted my eminently reasonable caution instead of directing it at me?

Weingarten: And BTW, if I had sent you an objectionable DM I think you'd have every right to publish it. The SENDER of a DM has no right to expect privacy if he does something bad.

McEwan: Whether you think I would have had "the right" to do that is not relevant to the fact that you PUBLICLY STATED that there was "no doubt" I would have published it in furtherance of a feminist agenda. That is an accusation that I am unethical. On no basis but your hurt feelings.

Weingarten: Melissa, this has mushroomed over nothing. I feel bad about it. FWIW, I could not publicly tell you the subject of my question for reasons you would have completely understood, and nothing I was going to ask you was insulting in any way.

McEwan: It has not "mushroomed over nothing." You used my polite request to know why you wanted to speak to me privately to publicly accused me of implying you're abusive; publicly said I insulted you; and now have publicly accused me of being unethical. That is not "nothing" to me.

Weingarten: Okay. Well, this was disturbing. I'm sort of glad we corresponded, though. FWIW, I never intended to stalk, harass, appall or hurt you in any way. I clearly got you angry, and apologize for that. Signing off now.

McEwan: "I clearly got you angry." I'm not angry, Gene. I'm contemptuous.

Given that he'd seeingly flounced, I thought that was it. But naturally, he wasn't done.

Weingarten: Noted! Well, I am not. But I AM shellshocked!

McEwan: Is that your excuse for your unaccountable decision to publicly assert that I would have, with "no doubt," publicly shared our private communications and twisted them to accuse you of misogyny?

To that, I have received no reply.

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