Thursday, March 24, 2011

Speak No Evil

The blogosphere is an amazing place, isn't it? Anybody can start a blog about anything, and say whatever they want. Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing. It's something that's easily exercised, and it seems everybody wants to have their say. 

Where it's allowed, it's taken for granted. Stories like the thirty-two Chinese women being detained for writing gay sex stories make me thank whatever deity pushed our forefathers to have the forethought to protect it.

Having the right to say whatever pops into your mind, no matter how arrogant, ignorant, or intolerant it  makes you sound is one of the cornerstones of our society. You can stand on a soapbox and yell whatever you want at the top of your lungs. And you can wrap your ideas up in the "Freedom of Speech" banner. 

Just remember: freedom of speech also means I have the right to have my say, too. Are you prepared to have me vehemently disagree with what you say? Are you prepared to accept that no matter what I say, no matter how much I disgust you with my beliefs and thoughts, I still have the right to say it? Are you ready for me to call you out on what you say? Do you have the facts to back up what you claim?

Because "Freedom of Speech" doesn't mean you get to cram your ideas down my throat. It means I have to accept you have the right to say it. And it means you have to accept I have the right to respond. Can you handle that?