Is this a good idea?

For me, it’s odious to see such a sentiment in any context, but it’s especially distasteful to see it in a community of writers, and particularly when the OP asks a question about writing non-fiction/a memoir and the response infers a personal slur.

The forum rules list one rule: be polite.

How can it possibly be polite to call anyone lowlife scum because of how they talk or write, let alone infer that the OP falls into that category?

Personally, I think such a comment is a form of prejudice, which isn’t acceptable whether said in jest or earnest. The language that is used really matters, and today, for example, we look back at some of the discriminatory language used in earlier decades and rightfully feel revolted.

And the thing is that discriminatory language is often a precursor to discriminatory actions. Casual racism has led to millennia of racist violence. Casual sexism has led to millennia of sexual discrimination and inequality, playing a part in the subsequent actions of men like Harvey Weinstein. Deeds follow words, which is why discriminatory and demeaning words need to be challenged.

I’m glad we have political correcteness. Glad that people are outraged by Trump’s “shithole countries” comment. Glad that the #metoo movement exists, but wish it didn’t have to.

Would it be okay if Floss had written a different generalisation/denigration, such as:

“unless that character is the sort of lowlife scum who…
…is black.
…is a woman.
…is a Chink.
…is poor.
…is French.
…is European.
…is American.
…is disabled.
…is gay.
…would have dreadlocks.
…would have an Indian accent.
…would worship god.
…would be a Muslim.”

In my opinion, all of the above are discriminatory, bigoted, and impolite. They all break the one rule that members of the forum are asked to abide by.

My aunt says lol. She isn’t lowlife scum, unless lowlife scum is now a synonym for woman / human being / mother/ wife / charity worker / etc.

I reported the post, but it appears that my concerns are not shared, which I have to accept. I think it is disappointing that PrinceCorwin and the wider community haven’t been protected by the moderators. It’s not my place to apologise to PrinceCorwin, but I certainly feel sorry for him/her and want to distance myself from any taint of implicit collusion.

I’ll continue to use Scrivener, and I will contact tech support if the need arises, but I don’t want to contribute to a forum where writers / people are called lowlife scum just for being different to a member of the forum. For not conforming to one person’s particular point of view.

PrinceCorwin, write however you want to write: find your own voice and be proud of it.

Thanks and goodbye.