Some people are too sensitive, so they want to stop other people from saying things that offend them. But instead of dealing with it themselves, they appeal to some authority to fight the “problem” on their behalf. Because not only are they super-sensitive, but they’re also LAZY.
At a university, we certainly cannot condone physical violence. And patterns of sustained harrassment are also not acceptable. However, college is a place where people need to be CHALLENGED, socially, intellectually, and ideologically. You can no longer live in the little shell that your parents and no-cussing high school used to provide for you. If you REALLY need a break from all the noise, you can go to your doom room and put in some ear plugs.
Twitter is a different matter. They run a business, and that business requires people to actively engage in sharing of news and information. Trolling minorities can created a disproportionate amount of noise. If we tell the nice people to “go somewhere else,” they will, and that means they stop using twitter. After a while, Twitter devolves into a community of nothing but trolls trolling each other. The trolling continues to escalate to the point that it becomes undeniably illegal, and the whole system is crushed under its own weight. Twitter cannot allow that, along with those of us who find value in that as a communication medium. Sometimes there’s a fine line between “freedom of speech” and “abuse of speech.” We want to trust individuals to make that choice, but there are too damn many people who cannot be trusted with that responsibility that we end up being forced to insitute rules that sadly do restrict some valid messages. This is why we can’t have nice things. A few assholes ruin things for everyone else. And so forth.
So let’s consider a valid point that would get most people in trouble for saying:
- Gay men have a substantially increased risk of transmitting STI’s. This is a consequence of the way the body works. Unfortunately, condom use is not taken for granted within the gay community, and there’s a great deal of promiscuity. This puts more gay men at excessive risk of disease, along with many people in the rest of the population. The solution is for gay men to adopt condoms and monogamy as standards and to shame those who do not. And the best way the rest of us can facilitate monogamy among gay men is to strongly encourage gay marriage. This requires that everyone grow up and recognize homosexual relationships as being as valid as any other. Being in a gay relationship does not make you a sinful person, opening the door for “worse" behavior. Gay men need to have standards, and other people should stop getting in the way of them adopting standards. Sexual relationships are both a right and a responsibility.
Now, if I were to blog about this, I’d get a lot of shit for what I just said:
- The right would tell me that I’m terrible for encouraging sinful homosexual behavior.
- The left would tell me that I’m terrible for singling out gay men and discouraging them from certain irresponsible behaviors.
It seems like if you want to make a point based on math and science (the disease transmission rates among gay men are quite clear), everybody will hate you for saying something counter to their political agenda. What we have is one group handing down rules from ancient literature and another group saying that people should be allowed to act however they want without considering the consequences.