Jon Ronson Is Getting Publicly Shamed Over A Line Cut From His Book

Ronson, author of the new book So You've Been Publicly Shamed, was criticized Monday when a line in a galley of his book comparing women's fear of rape to men's fear of getting fired circulated online.

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Bestselling journalist and author Jon Ronson recently published the book So You've Been Publicly Shamed, a screed on the public's tendency to revert to mob mentality with no regard to how it might affect (often fairly innocuous) offenders.

Through shamees who became accidental case-studies like Justine Sacco and Jonah Lehrer, Ronson digs into what the cycle of experiencing massive shame looks like, and, moreover, how it can transform normal people into shells of themselves.

On Monday, Ronson himself began to be shamed for a poorly phrased line in a galley of his book that was cut from the final copy.

The line made a small splash online after being tweeted by freelancer Meredith Haggerty and led to Ronson fervently defending himself, eventually telling someone the attention has made him feel like he's "been struck by lightning."

@manymanywords that is not in the book - it was in a galley that wasn't for quotation. So, thanks for that.

People on Twitter struggled to understand Ronson's comparison or intention.

*scrolls through 10,000 tweets of Jon Ronson saying "I edited it out of the book". Tweets @ him "why did you write that in your book?"*

@manymanywords ALSO BECAUSE GETTING FIRED DOESN'T HAPPEN TO OR BOTHER WOMEN AT ALL AMIRITE i don't even know what to do with this what the

Jon Ronson sure is mad about people reading things he fully intended to publish until someone told him he sounded like an asshole

Still others came to his defense, as the line had been edited out of the final copy.

We all edit our reflexive thoughts, @jonronson, whether in conversation or a galley. You wrote it, you reconsidered it. Seems human, to me.

Nice to see people publicly shaming Jon Ronson for an out-of-context quote that was actually cut from his book. Good job, Twitter moralists.

Here's what makes the whole thing complicated: Galleys, also called "uncorrected proofs," are slightly less edited versions of books released early to reviewers to prepare a piece on the scope and takeaway of the book, but cannot be quoted from.

That's the trade-off; writers get to read before the public and prepare a piece to publish, and in turn the author will hopefully get a quote to use for the book jacket before it's released.

So there can often be final, crucial edits — such as cutting a questionable line comparing the fear of rape to the fear of getting fired — made before the book hits shelves.

In Ronson's case, the line has already been out in the open for a couple weeks, thanks to an interview he did with The Frisky on his thought process behind it and why it was cut.

If you are currently seeing me as the new Giraffe Killer Lady please read this http://t.co/us5gIlwhQ1

"Somebody wrote me a very long e-mail that said, 'Does he not realize that there's a line in this book that would get him publicly shamed?'" he said. "And people I really respect said I was wrong to have that line in there, so I have to assume that they're right."

The Frisky published the line with Ronson's permission, provided they put his intent into context:

Any one person is going to fear, and be insecure about, the worst plausible thing they can imagine happening to them. And maybe fears of being raped or fears of getting fired are the domain of the very most anxious of us human beings: Those of us women who have been hurt by men repeatedly; those of us men who have been economically unstable.

By the end of the night, Ronson seemed to have moved on from the whole imbroglio, and was feeling "empowered" by a Beyoncé song.

Had a great time speaking in St Paul tonight. Thank you if you came. Beyoncé is playing in this elevator which makes me feel empowered.

Ronson did not immediately reply to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.