I’ve made myself “unpopular” a couple of times with my agenda of (self-)restraint when it comes to free speech – it’s a freedom we all have all the time, but nevertheless best used where there is some prospect of positive outcome.
Sure, sometimes martyrdom (figurative and/or literal) is necessary, if the point needs to be made to publicly assert the right and take the flak (literally and/or figuratively) when the right is under physical denial. Let the deniers damn themselves from their own mouths (and/or gun barrels). But hopefully, there’s more to life than that.
Great piece here from Cruella (Kate Smurthwaite) in The Teacher magazine, on the relative priority of creating conditions in society where exercising the right of free speech is a positive experience, rather than encouraging 13 year old girls to set themselves up for abuse.
In all honesty, if I’d known when I was 13 what I know now,
I would have spoken up less. Now who wants me to come
into school and tell girls that?
Kate, of course, has had that on-line abuse experience in spades. I’ve been much more fortunate.
[Post Note : YouTube “News at Kate” version of the story.]