Focusing on freedom of speech

Focusing on freedom of speech

Danielle Zukowski

Recently, I was browsing the comment section of a pro-rape article. Someone supporting the article said everyone should just respect the author’s right of free speech. However, I take issue with this.

People often like to bring up the First Amendment when controversial issues are being discussed. We have the freedom of speech as Americans. We can say whatever we want. That argument is like an angry little child throwing a tantrum, screaming to their mom, “You can’t stop me!”

Yes, we have this freedom and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s amazing that we have the right to think for ourselves and create our own opinions because not all people in the world have that.

In the U.S., you can express whatever beliefs you have, even when they are discriminatory. However, that does not mean you can do so without consequence. This consequence may not be imprisonment or any other sort of legal punishment, but you will cause a reaction from people who are offended.

You can say whatever you want, but people who disagree with you can also say whatever they want. This often seems to be forgotten by the people who are pushing ignorant and biased ideals. You can’t just put this kind of speech out there and expect nothing to happen. People will speak up against you and as you just illustrated with your provocative speech, they have the freedom to do that.

Speech is not a one-way thing. When you express your ideas, whether in a conversation, an online blog, or whatever other variety, you will receive something in return. You have your opinions and other people have theirs. Both of which have equal right to be expressed.

If you desire to release hateful speech, so be it, because you unfortunately have those opinions and there are little legal ramifications. But, be ready for disagreement. You have the freedom of speech, but not the freedom from the backlash that you deserve for expelling hatred and violence.

The article I read, called “How to Stop Rape,” Daryush Valizadeh, argued that rape should be legalized on private property. There have been many claims that this article was satire, however, even if that is the case, his website does not appear to be. If it all is satire, it was very poorly written to fulfill that purpose.

Yes, Valizadeh does have the freedom to write this horrendous material, but there are consequences. Even if he does not actually believe what his written, given that it is not evidently satire, it is a huge problem.

Even if this was all created to point out the ignorance of people who think in this manner, it must be remembered that there are people out there that are actually pro-rape. There are people that read this and are encouraged by it. Be mindful of what you’re putting out into the world and expect consequences of a different nature.