Is the so-called "right of freedom of expression" dead as a concept?

23082308 ✭✭✭
"The Bank of England’s Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent has apologised for “offence caused” by his description of the UK economy as “menopausal” and past its peak."

"Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti slammed Livingstone for likening Jews escaping Nazis with Nazis themselves."

On Wednesday, John Bercow was heard by some MPs calling Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House, a “stupid woman”.

"A group of students who reportedly made jokes about rape and used racial slurs have been suspended by the University of Warwick after private Facebook messages came to light. Eleven male students have been suspended after screenshots of alleged racist, antisemitic and misogynistic messages in a Facebook group chat were shared with the prestigious university."


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And so on and so on, every day. That's anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-semetic, you can't say this, you can't say that, yadda yadda.

Personally I'm tired of this stuff. People can't say anything about anything anymore without someone jumping on their backs trying to mute them and make them feel bad about themselves.

If we aren't allowed to say anything any more, because the people who want to take offence will always rush in to take offence at everything because they can, please tell us and we will simply shut up for ever.
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Comments

  • Are you for real ?

    If you can't stop spouting sexist or racist comments then it's you that's the problem.

    If you can't say anything nice then keep your mouth shut. 

    Simple .
  • JT141JT141 ✭✭✭
    When did people get it into their head that argument, refutation, criticism or even some form of penalty is an infringement of their freedom of speech? You can say what you like (more or less) but for better or worse you don't have the right to be insulated from the consequences.
  • Richard  2Richard 2 ✭✭✭
    All of those four examples are unacceptable

    There is a trend of people claiming their freedom of speech is being violated when they actually mean they want to be allowed to be predjudiced.
  • Mr WorryMr Worry ✭✭✭
    Richard 2 said:
    All of those four examples are unacceptable
    Surely calling Andrea Leadsom a "stupid woman" is a totally valid point and is perfectly acceptable?
  • Richard  2Richard 2 ✭✭✭
    Calling her stupid would be valid.

    To call her a stupid woman implies there is a stupidness which all women share and she is exhibiting that quality.


  • Really ? I'd never have thought of that.  

    I'm absolutely fine with anyone calling Rees-Mogg a stupid man. I'm not taking that as a slur on the male gender at all. 
  • Richard  2Richard 2 ✭✭✭
    yes but man has never been a term used to oppress so its false equivalence, anyway I'm stepping away from this thread as I suspect original poster is a bot anyway
  • skottyskotty ✭✭✭
    So simply saying "woman" is a slur? 
  • Mr WorryMr Worry ✭✭✭
    Richard 2 said:
    Calling her stupid would be valid.

    To call her a stupid woman implies there is a stupidness which all women share and she is exhibiting that quality.



    Mrs Worry is a wonderful woman:

    To call her a wonderful woman implies there is a wonderfulness which all women share and she is exhibiting that quality????
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    As a woman, I don't have an issue with the comment about Andrea Leadsome.  She is stupid, she is a woman, both are just facts.

    As a woman nearing the age where menopause is imminent, I may have more of a problem with the comment about the economy, but not enough to call someone out about it.  More a "tsk" and raising of the eyebrows reaction.  Says more about him than about women, but probably right that he was pulled up for it in his position.


    The rest are unacceptable.
  • 23082308 ✭✭✭

    Article in The Times last Thursday (14 June 2018), at page 12:-


    Students stay silent in seminars over fear they will cause offence.

    "Silent seminars", where university students refuse to express an opinion in case it offends anyone, are a greater threat to freedom of speech on campus than no-platforming or safe spaces, according to a leading academic.

    Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at Kent University, said youngsters were so concerned about appearing aggressive, insensitive or worse that they chose to stay quiet, undermining their own education.

    "From an early age, this generation of young people has been told that to offend someone, hurt their feelings, is a cultural crime," he said. "They fail to distinguish between opinion and personality, so they think critiquing an argument is criticising a person."

    Students worry especially that views on topics such as the British Empire or the Middle East conflict will be misconstrued as racism or "micro-aggression", so say nothing.

    "This has led to the phenomenon of the silent seminar, where intelligent and confident students are practising self-censorship. It is far more insidious than no-platforming," he said.

    [...]

    One international relations undergraduate said he "ties himself in knots" trying to make sure that he says nothing offensive in seminars. "On so many occasions I have been thinking of making a point and I stop and ask myself could this be seen as offensive? How can I make this point without being accused of neo-colonialism or racism? In the end I think it's just not worth it and keep my mouth shut."


  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭

    Everyone has a right to express themselves and everyone has a right to be offended. The problem is that people now are very easily offended, and the "rules" don't make much sense, e.g.- it's ok for one black person (if that's not offensive) to use the "N-word" to describe another, but not for a white person. It's ok to have "music of black origin". We must have certain ratios of women or minority groups in charge of companies, regardless of merit. Women-only golf clubs are ok, but men-only aren't (I play at one, and we gets lots of abuse over this). It will soon be hard to avoid causing offence that the sensible thing to do is to stop trying so hard.

  • 23082308 ✭✭✭

    The sensible thing is to say nothing. If you keep your mouth shut, no one can tear strips off you for daring to have an opinion.


    As Pink Floyd say, "button your lip!"


  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Isn't that sad?
  • 23082308 ✭✭✭

    It's peculiar.


    -------


    Here's a female who's clearly overweight, but apparently it's wrong to mention it. You're somehow not allowed to. And if you do, you have to apologise. She's on the stage, everyone has to look at this large lady, but you're not allowed to allude to her size? Despite her choosing to put herself in the public gaze for scrutiny?

    https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/the-prime-of-miss-jean-brodie-nicola-coughlan-overweight-review-critic-philip-fisher-a8401936.html


    Even though it's perfectly legal to call someone who's overweight "overweight", apparently there's something wrong with mentioning it. Quite how we reached the point where you aren't entitled to make comments which are lawful, I'm not sure, but we have. It's all very confused and odd. You're seemingly supposed to self-censor and remove the parts of what you want to say which might offend the sensitivities of anyone, and just do the benign bits and leave out the rest. (Do a "Cougie" and only say nice things or say nothing at all.)


    ------


    I had a similar thing shortly before Christmas. I got into a fifteen second dispute with a hugely fat female over a message printed on her sweatshirt. At the end of our dispute episode I remarked to her: "And you need to lose some weight." A policeman told me off for saying it.

  • skottyskotty ✭✭✭
    2308 said:

    I had a similar thing shortly before Christmas. I got into a fifteen second dispute with a hugely fat female over a message printed on her sweatshirt. At the end of our dispute episode I remarked to her: "And you need to lose some weight." A policeman told me off for saying it.

    what did it say on her sweatshirt? 
  • 23082308 ✭✭✭


    It wasn't quite this design - it had a Christmas pud at the top - but it said "go fuck yourself", or words to the same effect (I can't remember the exact wording.)

    It was about the 19th of December last year. She crossed the road in front of me wearing it. I remarked to her that I found it abusive and insulting. She wouldn't be told, so I got a passing policeman to go and tell her she couldn't wear it in a public place, which she conceded. But then when he came back to me, the policeman told me off for having ended our conversation: "And you need to lose some weight." Even though it's a perfectly lawful remark and she did. (And probably still does, I would imagine.)

  • JT141JT141 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2018
    I can't work out if I'm supposed to be taking this thread seriously or not.
  • skottyskotty ✭✭✭
    So you are arguing the case for freedom of expression while objecting to someone's freedom of expression on their sweatshirt? 
  • 23082308 ✭✭✭

    The sweatshirt crossed a red line into illegally abusive. (section 5(1)(b) of the Public Order Act 1986)

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64/section/5



  • skottyskotty ✭✭✭
    In what way is it threatening or abusive? 

    And not more offensive or illegal than the antisemitic, racist, misogynist behaviour you are defending.   
  • 23082308 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2018

    You don't consider "go fuck yourself" abusive?


    You think it's okay on a T-shirt or sweatshirt do you?


    What if everybody goes round wearing one?



    https://tinyurl.com/ycvw75gc


  • YnnecYnnec ✭✭✭
    2308 said:

    You don't consider "go fuck yourself" abusive?


    You think it's okay on a sweatshirt do you?


    I don't.

    I do.

    Where's the torelance you preached in your opening post?
  • 23082308 ✭✭✭

    I didn't preach torelance in my opening post. I've given up. I don't care any more. I live in this odd dystopia that used to be a good country, and part of the dystopia is that the right of freedom of expression no longer exists. It's become merely a right to say stuff that other people won't have any problem with, otherwise you can't say it.  


  • YnnecYnnec ✭✭✭
    edited June 2018
    Are you Alf Garnett?


  • 23082308 ✭✭✭
    He is a fictional character. Played by someone who is dead. So obviously not.
  • YnnecYnnec ✭✭✭
    edited June 2018
    I think my comparison went over your head, much like a jumper.
  • 23082308 ✭✭✭

    It wasn't a jumper, it was a sweatshirt. And it didn't go over my head, so that doesn't really work. But a reasonable attempt at wit. You score 7

  • YnnecYnnec ✭✭✭
    Is that a straight "7" or one that's adjusted by oppressive subjection?
  • JT141JT141 ✭✭✭
    2308 said:

    I live in this odd dystopia.

    Apparently so.
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