Free Speech vs Hate Speech
The world as we live it has been in the social media circle for some time now. We each have our own thoughts, opinions and aspirations in life. Well, at least most of us do. Does this surge in connectivity afford us the true opportunity to argue free speech anytime we feel like it? Does it absolve us of at least carrying ourselves with common decency?
I find it interesting that, as a result of harassment, a celebrity tech writer is banned from a popular bird chirp service upon which “free speech” proponents make their presence known to combat their perception of “wrong doing.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for free speech. I believe we all should be afforded to speak our minds and say as we feel but where should one draw the line? Common human decency, however, also requires us to hold ourselves accountable for our words and actions. Free speech while maintaining a level of integrity and respect for your fellow human being is one thing. Free speech when it threatens, endangers, bullies or otherwise harasses another human being is another. Many of these hatemongers are men. If all you can do is spew hatred, you are no man. You are vile scum I wouldn’t even want to scrape from the bottom of my shoes. If you are that insecure in who you are, you don’t deserve the title of “man.” You are an immature, bratty boy so take your toys and go home. Spare those of us who have some level of respect and integrity from having to wade threw your toxic ectoplasm.
Yes, again, I bring up Leslie Jones’ name here, twice in one week. Now, I preface this to say, I don’t know Leslie, personally. In fact, I know very little about her. She doesn’t know me from Adam’s damn house cat. But I began following her on Twitter as a result of the new Ghostbusters movie. I’ve said it before, I loved it. She is smart, funny and the right balance for the film. It’s a nice reprieve to see women, whom by the majority of viewer’s standards are average in so many ways (aside from raw comedic talent). Ms. Jones made a point, early in the week, to repost hateful, racist and bullying comments to her feed. My Twitter feed, in which I follow about 100 people, blew up, so to speak. It was filled with hate speech retweeted by Ms. Jones as a result of the fan boys whom took it upon themselves to create such hate speech.
Did Milo whatever-his-name is (I have no idea who this guy is) deserve to be banned from Twitter? Yes with about a bajillion other hatemongers in the world; those who call for violence against police officers, military personnel, ISIS supporters, how about you GTFO. We don’t need your contribution to the already growing problem of hatred, racism and bigotry in this country and the world.
If you have to resort to hate speech and racism, you are what’s wrong in America. Does that bother you? Apparently not.
As a female filmmaker, watching all this unfold is terrifying. I already have an uphill battle ahead of me. I will have to fight hard, struggle through my own pool of sexist filth if I continue to follow my filmmaking dreams.
Casting four incredibly talented comediennes in a reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise is a triumph in both film and in the world. It should be celebrated as an inspiration to young girls and women everywhere but instead, men, apparently threatened by even the concept, are attempting to utilize it as a platform for hatred; to tear down and label women as inferior. Men, it’s not that we don’t need you nor does it mean we don’t want you around, we do. It’s simply that we women can be badass, too. We are talented, educated, smart, funny, sexy people in our own unique ways who have a place in this world outside of the kitchen. How about, instead of looking at us as a threat, you treat us as an ally? You’d be surprised at what some of us can bring to the table.
If you truly are that threatened by powerful women, that says far more about you than it does about the women you attack.