BethAnn McLaughlin is a middle-aged, white, woman and leftist #MeToo Warrior who spent years on Twitter posing as a bi-sexual, American Indian woman.
McLaughlin, a former assistant professor of neurology at Vanderbilt University, became a heroine in #MeToo circles in 2018 after co-founding a group called MeTooSTEM, a now-defunct website dedicated to women claiming to have been sexually harassed in their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professions. According to various news reports, most of the claims were posted anonymously.
But after the initial adulation and the winning of one-third of $250,000 “Disobedience Award” from MIT, McLaughlin’s celebrity fell apart. She left Vanderbilt by “mutual agreement” after she failed to earn tenure (she blamed it on her willingness to speak out against sexual harassment) and seven of her colleagues resigned from MeTooSTEM claiming McLaughlin was abusive, secretive, and had set up an $79,000 GoFundMe account without their knowledge. They say they still don’t know where the money went.
In 2016, however, McLaughlin had already created the Twitter account @Sciencing_Bi. For years, McLaughlin fooled everyone into believing @Sciencing_Bi was a bisexual Hopi Indian who had fled oppression in Alabama and earned a position in the science department at Arizona State University.
According to the far-left New York Times, the non-existent @Sciencing_Bi “was an active participant in the corner of Science Twitter that frequently discusses issues of sexual misconduct in the sciences [and claimed] to have “fled the south because of their oppression of queer folk.”
“Since 2016, [@Sciencing_Bi] has posted often about issues around social justice in the sciences, with a focus on activism and research about sexual harassment.”
But that’s the least of it…
The non-existent @Sciencing_Bi, who enjoyed all the moral credibility that comes with identity these days (especially the trifecta of bisexual, American Indian, and female), also championed McLaughlin’s character and career. McLaughlin used the fake account to promote a petition demanding McLaughlin receive her tenure at Vanderbilt.
McLaughlin also used the fake account, used her fabricated bisexual, American Indian, and female friend to blunt the storm of criticism around her. Per the New York Times:
The first time Mr. Eisen heard from the account was in defense of Ms. McLaughlin. “The fact that @Sci-Bi was saying all these things about BethAnn, saying that BethAnn had helped her, it didn’t make me trust BethAnn — but it made me less willing to publicly criticize her because I thought that public criticism would be felt by the people she was helping,” he said. “Who turned out to be fake.”
Then came the coronavirus lies.
In April the @Sciencing_Bi account not only claimed to have contracted the coronavirus, she claimed she caught it after ASU forced her to come to work in April. To pile her status as a victim even higher, she claimed the university cut her salary after remote teaching began. Unfortunately for McLaughlin, these were verifiable lies. ASU was already teaching remotely in March and no one’s salary was ever cut.
By this time so many people in the Science Twitter world believed in and sympathized with @Sciencing_Bi, they were communicating with the fake account via direct message to offer her encouragement and support.
Then @Sciencing_Bi died of the coronavirus.
It was McLaughlin who used her own Twitter account to announce @Sciencing_Bi’s passing, and the result was a number of online tributes written by people who had been fooled, as well as a Zoom memorial.
Yes, you read that correctly; McLaughlin went so far as to hold a Zoom memorial for her fake Twitter account.
Naturally, it was McLaughlin who mourned the loudest and received all kinds of sympathy over the terrible loss of her friend.
Twitter has now removed both the @Sciencing_Bi account and McLaughlin’s account, but screenshots show McLaughlin milked the “loss” for all it was worth.
- I don’t know what her students or my students who loved her will do. She made million first nations indigenous contacts for metoostem. I don’t have the lifetime of good will or knowledge of everyone she helped.
- Looking at her side of the bed and crying. Just a lot of crying. I literally can do nothing. No [funeral] services. I can’t get her stuff out of quarantine [sic]. Just crying and reading texts.
- No one has ever had my back like that. I don’t know what I’m going to do.
- Selfishly I knew she’d get better. She had to be here in a month to help me with being deposed in my harasshole case. I didn’t bother to think if I had reserves because she did. She did for the students and stuff. She’d happily bare knuckly fight a grabby field assistant.
- Please read her timeline. She was forced by her university to teach in person until April. Campus closed and she was in the hospital a week later. Be mad but be more mad that BIPOC community is most vulnerable and underrepresented on campus. We are killing them.
- We are going to pour one out for her on Zoom tonight.
- Seem like she was just on this couch I’m on … It’s so fucked up to not have funerals anymore … this isn’t right.
Two factors appear to have led to McLaughlin’s scam unraveling. The first was that no one could find any proof @Sciencing_Bi was real and what facts she did reveal proved untrue. The second was how much energy @Sciencing_Bi put into defending and championing McLaughlin.
And now McLaughlin has confessed: “I take full responsibility for my involvement in creating the @sciencing_bi Twitter account,” she told the Times through an attorney. “My actions are inexcusable. I apologize without reservation to all the people I hurt.”
If America is so racist, sexist, and homophobic, why would a white woman create a bisexual, female, Hopi Indian to be her online champion instead of an old, white, protestant man?
Kind of makes you think.