Friday, January 20, 2012

Author disgraces themselves over inappropriate use of the word rape

I visit a message board for writers. I came across a thread that had been locked yesterday. Locked threads always arouse my interest because it means that someone has lost their temper and embarrassed themselves about something. It always makes for interesting reading and as a reminder to myself to always be professional on the internet.

The thread had started off about book covers. The original poster use the word rape inappropriately to describe their dislike for characters that appear on book covers. "It rapes my imagination of the characters," they said.

One person complained and said they found their choice of words offensive. Soon more and more people chimed in and politely requested that the poster be more mindful of their words in the future because there were rape survivors on the board and it is very distasteful to make fun of the word rape.

The OP responded and completely lost their mind and whatever professionalism they might have had. They said it was just a word, they didn't mean it that way, and that people should not be so offended. They refused to apologize.

Well things just snow balled from there. People tried to get the OP to understand and reminded them that one of the rules of the board was to respect your fellow writer. A couple of members who were rape survivors joined the conversation and tried to explain how using the word rape had upset them.

This was when the OP went from distasteful to disgusting. The OP began attacking the rape survivors and telling them, all in caps, that they were not going to get an apology out of them, called them pathetic, and a failure at life.

Who does that? I mean, really? Who talks like that to a rape survivor? As anyone who has read my blog knows, I dislike people who are up tight about swearing. I've been in situations where people have politely asked me not to swear after I've dropped the f-bomb without thinking about it. While their attitude does irritate me, I always nod and try not to do it again, because that is showing respect.

How is this author going to react if they find a publisher and their editor dares to criticize their work? Are they going to demand their rights to use whatever word they want then? And damn all who might be offended? Censorship is bad, I agree. But there is a difference between censorship in a book and censorship when talking to someone.

If someone does not like a book they can choose to put it down. When you socialize with a group of people, either online or in person, you must always be respectful of other people and their opinions. Otherwise you'll come across as rude, insensitive and unprofessional, like this person has done.

Another thing to remember when posting on the internet is you never know how many people are going to read your words and once it is out there its like engraving it in stone. That web board is one of the biggest for writing and publishing on the internet. It has around 30,000 members across the world I think. A lot of those are published authors and editors and agents and publishers.

Who can all now read this author's horrible, insensitive remarks about rape.

Another career down the toilet.

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