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“Freedom doesn’t mean that there are no consequences for being a cock”

“Freedom doesn’t mean that there are no consequences for being a cock”

Jeff Sparrow has penned a wonderful article decrying the right wing and its fanciful portrayal of workplaces that inhibit freedom of speech. Writing for Overland, an Australian publication committed to progressive ideals, Sparrow asks us to “Think of the tearoom bigot who, once upon a time, could voice old-fashioned sexism or racism without challenge. These day he… moans about political correctness when, for the first time, a workmate answers back.” 

In this instance, the bigot is forced to think about the kind of language that others would prefer to hear, which is neither an attack upon freedom nor a bad thing in itself. Sparrow continues:

“In that scenario, he’s objecting to someone else exercising a privilege that previously he’d monopolised. He’s complaining, in other words, about freedom rather than censorship: upset that someone who’d once mutely endured bullying now feels able to say, ‘Actually, I don’t like it when you call me that name.’ While it might be uncomfortable to be thus challenged, it’s scarcely censorship. It’s still not censorship if the one-time bully thereafter feels constrained about voicing certain opinions because he realises other will think less of him if he does."

I love the author’s final comment:

“Freedom doesn’t mean that there are no consequences for being a cock. By definition, freedom means your audience has a right to tell you when you’re being cockish, even if by doing so they puncture your self-regard.” 

 

 

Where did all the white people go?

Where did all the white people go?

Magical Lessons with the iPad

Magical Lessons with the iPad