I stumbled across this excellent piece of commentary on the nature of reading, writing, and having an opinion. I see both sides of the issue being discussed, but wholly agree that one shouldn’t be attacked for a draft of an idea. That’s why we revise.
The skinny of it is that writer Jon Ronson was called out on twitter for a line in a galley proof that one reviewer felt was demeaning to rape victims. Rather than confront the author directly (which is one of the points of the galley stage), this was handled over social media. I see both sides, of course: his comment did overlook the sense of personal and sexual violation that accompanies rape, but there is immense pressure for men to be the breadwinners, even today.
That doesn’t mean getting fired is like getting raped. The latter is significantly worse than the former.
Personally, I feel grievances like this should be calmly addressed with the writer before public attacks begin, if the comment isn’t in the public sphere. Most people are sane and level-headed. If you say, “Excuse me, but this line is offensive,” odds are, they’ll do their best to handle it. Most people mean well.
Of course, I acknowledge this isn’t always the case. Some writers do feel privileged to say whatever they want and damn those who don’t like it, but I can’t offer a solution to that–it should be handled case-by-case.
I’d love to hear thoughts on this below.