Zinzi Clemmons who wrote the coming of age novel “What We Lose” had tweeted that when she was a 26-year- old graduate student, she had invited him to come and speak in a workshop directed towards various issues of literature. Diaz saw this as an opportunity as he cornered her and forcible kissed her.
Multiple women have come out and accused Pulitzer Prize-winning Dominican-American writer author Junot Diaz of sexual misconduct and misogyny. Theauthor recently published his own story of sexual abuse in the New Yorker. Many of these accusations and instances of his misconduct were tweeed about.
Zinzi Clemmons who wrote the coming of age novel “What We Lose” had tweeted that when she was a 26-year- old graduate student, she had invited him to come and speak in a workshop directed towards various issues of literature. Diaz saw this as an opportunity as he cornered her and forcible kissed her. Clemmons
strongly believed that she was not alone in this demise and Diaz would have for sure misbehaved with other women especially writers. She wrote to the AP “Junot Diaz has made his behavior the burden of young women — particularly women of color — for far too long, enabled by his team and the institutions that employ him” and “it is time for the burden of his bad behavior to be laid squarely at his feet, and for him to deal with the consequences of his actions.”
Another shocking incident took place in early 2017 when Diaz was called upon to have a Q&A at the University of Michigan. Rebecca Fortes a student of the Master’s of Fine Arts and she had volunteered to moderate the Q&A session. Upon arrival Diaz refused to sit or relax. Diaz started to criticize Fortes by saying her introduction was too long and wouldn’t let her read it. Fortes said, “he was kind of being aggressive” by saying, “What’s your first question?” She even asked him about world building something he teaches at MIT and had directed her question to Donald Trump’s election and to this he laughed. “He was just very dismissive, and I remember being really embarrassed and really hurt”, said Fortes. Just a few months after Diaz had published his essay about rejection and fear in the New Yorker that was an outcome of Trumps victory and Fortes commented about how when she had asked about the same she was made to feel small.
The shocking thing was in the Q&A round Diaz had refused to answer both the moderator’s questions and if any woman especially of colour asked something all he did was laughed at them. Fortes has commented that even if this is not sexual violence but is “misogynistic behavior”.
Author Monica Byrne took to Facebook where she explained her encounter with Diaz over a dinner in 2014. At the dinner Diaz commented to Monica “I haven’t been raped, so rape must not exist”, his tone had then gone up to shouting. Byrne was “speechless and felt sick” while Diaz shouted, “rape in her face”. She has gone on to explain that even if it is not physical sexual abuse it is for sure a form of verbal sexual abuse.
Another author who complained about Diaz’s misconduct is Carmen Maria Machado where she had asked Diaz about his “his protagonist’s unhealthy, pathological relationship with women” and in return she got “a blast of
misogynist rage and public humiliation”.
After all these allegations, Diaz has published his own experience of being raped at age eight. He spoke about how he has lived a major part of his life in fear and pain. He in his fiction has often built unhealthy romantic relationships with abuse and infidelity.