Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Free Speech" doesn't make your words not oppressive.

A day in the life of Neurodivergent K: someone is throwing around the word "retarded" as an insult. I say, "hey, that's ableist. Leave disabled folks out of it". They say OHMYGOD FREESPEECH YOUAREN'TTHEBOSSOFME!!!!!

Uh. No shit? Yes, you can say whatever you wish. Your rights do include saying whatever hateful, bigoted things  your hateful, bigoted heart desires. The government cannot prevent you from doing this..

As another individual agent, however, I can criticise the fuck out of you. Cuz, see, I too have free speech. And "freedom of speech" does not mean freedom from criticism or judgement. So exercise your free speech in this way in my earshot, and I will exercise mine right back.

It runs both ways, cupcake. Clear?


A Part or Apart? said...

Well, there are limits to free speech. The old shouting fire in a crowded theater. Or fighting words. And arguably, hate speech is both. Just my 2 cents.

Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace said...

Cupcake. Hehe.

Brenda Rothman (Mama Be Good) said...

Free speech, yeah, that's one thing. People respond to it when they thing it's a matter of semantics. Which is a dismissive way of saying "you don't count," "I'm not hurting anybody," and "I have no accountability."

Social opprobrium works to limit those who don't understand that their speech incites harm to others. And there is plenty of harm aimed at people with disabilites. That bias affects employment opportunities, housing, and, yes, violence against disabled persons. Social opprobrium like speaking up when someone uses a harmful word.

Those people want to wait until free speech is defined as inciting harm against others? Oh, wait. It already IS defined at that.

Chickenpig said...

Our rights for free speech do not override someone else's rights for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", in my humble opinion. Slander and libel are crimes not protected by Free Speech, and so is Hate Speech.

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!

I get so tired of this bullshit from people who think that their rights to free speech means they can say anything they want to anyone, without regard for the consequences!