Silence isn’t always golden



There have been a number of times when I have read an article which speaks to authors, activists, and lecturers who hold unpopular points of view regarding trans* people, especially Trans women. Most often the theme is to debunk their talking points or most recently, if such people should be allowed to speak publicly on any subject at all.

Today I read another such piece regarding a prominent feminist who is well known to hold some disagreeable opinions. Opinions which offended some people so much they requested she be uninvited to deliver a lecture. 

I understand the reasoning which drives such reasoning, allowing someone who makes what many see as hateful remarks a platform only encourages them to continue with their disagreeable actions, even if the event in fact has nothing to do with those opinions. Personally I feel torn by such arguments, though I find such people vulgar and their statements nauseating, I also feel that everyone is entitled to their opinions and no one should should seek to gag them. Imagine if this issue was from the other direction; people were seeking to silence pro trans speakers because they didn’t agree? The same is true of pro choice, racial and social equality. As much as it would please us, we have no more right to silence them than they have to silence us. 

This is the two edges sword of a free society, people are allowed to disagree with us as much as we with them.

If you find such people and their opinions so disagreeable then don’t support them. Don’t read articles about them, buy their books, or attend their lectures. If anyone asks you, tell them what you are doing and why. I know there are those who think giving someone a platform of any kind is condoning their actions through association and this may lead them to gain additional support. I will tell you this, anyone who voices support for for such individuals and their hateful rhetoric after reading or hearing something already held such thoughts and opinions from the beginning.

Birds of a feather stick together even when some of them do little more than hide in the background silently cheering on those who say what they haven’t the courage to say for themselves.

4 thoughts on “Silence isn’t always golden

  1. What’s the old saying. . . I hate what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it. Or something like that. Free speech cuts both ways, and we have to allow views we find distasteful to be voiced. Unless someone’s words lead directly to injury or danger, then even the most noxious words should be allowed to be spoken.

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