Today a fellow Pantsuit Nation member, and I talked on Twitter. She told me she was still on the page. I left late last night in disgust. I decided to go back and represent another angry member of the group who continued to speak out against the betrayal of trust that I believe the book deal represents. I asked her to add me back to the group .
I went back and completely read Libby Chamberlain’s statement that had been posted to the “secret” group today. I then responded this way: I am not feeling subdued by this post. I get the feeling that was your goal. I want real, honest, direct answers. I don’t want fluff, and that’s what this feels like, empty air-filled fluff. I address this directly to you, Libby Chamberlain. I want an apology, not just for me but for everyone who trusted you when you labeled this group secret and made it seem private and safe. You answered some questions but you didn’t really answer all of the questions, and I think the group deserves more than that. I feel used. Many people said they felt used, and it’s not okay. I don’t trust what you created here or made the opportunity available for the members to create here anymore because you made a book deal behind everyone else’s back. This is not acceptable. It feels like betrayal because it is. I understand that all stories will be shared only with permission. This is important but it doesn’t take care of the sense of betrayal of a group that was said to be private and at some point, apparently pretty early in the process became a way for you to become a published author. This is disgusting to me. It makes a mockery of this group and everyone in it. It’s embarrassing to me. You should be ashamed. I get the feeling that you aren’t from you ongoing statements and that you really don’t get the concept of confidentiality and trust and violating that trust. That’s what you did. You helped to create a safe place and really the people on the site did most of the work, let’s be honest, but you made a promise by saying this was a secret page and then YOU VIOLATED THAT PROMISE by making a secret book deal. I’m not okay with that. Many people aren’t. And I and others should be able to express our dismay, disgust, and anger even if other members of the group are all happy with your fluffy answers. And seriously why no advocacy? Why no use of all of this wonderful numbers, energy, and power for good? And you say you plan to, but what’s the plan? You ruined something that had become really special. Vulnerable people talked here and shared secrets. You really should be ashamed.
So far that comment has twenty likes. One woman told me not to be negative and to be kind. I responded that people who have been used are not required to be kind. Be kind? Seriously? Another told me not to be negative. Really? I’m not allowed to say I’m angry because I feel betrayed? Well, I disagree.
I hope the publisher will change their mind. This book should not be published. The group was founded and promoted as a private, safe place for people to talk and support each other, and Libby turned it into a book without consulting the group first. That wasn’t okay. It’s not acceptable. It shouldn’t be done.