I was a member of Pantsuit Nation, the “secret” group starting a few days before the election. At that time it was a secret group on Facebook that provided support from amazing men and women who understood the stress I was feeling during the campaign of a man named Donald Trump. Although he wasn’t the main form of discussion, hope was. Hope for a future with the first female president, a president who would understand the struggles of women from the perspective of someone who had faced them through out her lifetime. The page was a place where I went before and after the election. It gave me a place to vent, a place to read stories that inspired me, and showed me that I was not alone in the feelings of fear and frustration that I had felt in the last year of the campaign or in the days after the election.
I shared stories and talked with people on that page in ways that I hadn’t with people on other pages. I felt safe there, understood, and supported. I felt like I could support and help others there simply by listening and talking to them.
Today I read a story and an announcement on that page, on Pantsuit Nation from Libby Chamberlain that as an introvert I needed a few moments to process until I got to my true feelings of outrage and disgust. Libby was excited to announce she had a book deal to publish the stories of the people from the Pantsuit Nation Page. What? The Secret private page? THAT Page? Well, I vented, as I often do, blurting out my reply on the page that I had shared private information that I did not give my permission to be shared. Another person told me to read the article. I did and yes, it did say that stories would only be shared with permission. Well, I thought about that, and I still didn’t care. That was not the purpose of the page at least not in my point of view, and as others commented, not in many others point of view either.
Many asked where the profits from the book would go. There was no clear answer, although she did state she had applied for Pantsuit Nation to become a nonprofit.
I commented several times as I tend to think of things in pieces. The totality of my thoughts follow. Was this Libby’s plan all along? I don’t know. It seemed like she started with a simple idea. Have everyone dress up in Pantsuits and post pictures of themselves dressed this way when they went to vote. Okay, I’m okay with that. I didn’t do it, but totally okay with those who did. This united people, and I give her credit for that.
Then people starting telling their stories. And it went from there. But to take those stories that people thought they were telling in a private place in a community that seemed to grow so naturally and where there was so much trust and get a book deal? I find that disgusting, and it feels like betrayal. Why not discuss the idea of writing a book along the way? Why not ask people if they liked the idea?
I wrote in a comment addressed directly to her that, we wrote about our deepest fears, joys, and feelings on this page because it was a safe and private place ,and it wasn’t meant to be a book. That isn’t right. And I’m not sure that you care because you got your book deal. You’ve lost millions of men and women who wanted to come together and DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR THE WORLD. So I hope you’re happy with your fucking book deal.
Pantsuit Nation is or at least was composed of millions of men and women and instead of using it as a political force for good, she’s writing a FUCKING BOOK! A. Fucking. Book.
Pantsuit Nation has millions of men and women, and it can or could have been a political force for good. Now many of us just feel betrayed. I hope many of us can form another group and actually DO SOMETHING GOOD. But damn it, Libby, what were you thinking?
And Libby Chamberlain, and any lawyer I may choose to retain in the future, once again, just for the record, NOTHING I said on the FUCKING PANTSUIT NATION page is to be used in your fucking book in any form, no post, no comments, nothing. I do not give my permission. Ever. What the HELL?