Defend My Right to Say It.

Do you write what you like without hesitation? I don’t mean criminal stuff like saying so-and-so is a thief, or should be killed: I mean what you think. Do you feel free to express your opinion, even if it’s through the mouthpiece of a character in a book, without jeapordising your chances of publication? I don’t. I feel as if I’m living in the Eastern Bloc before the Berlin Wall came down.

For example, what conclusions do you draw about me when I say I hate arranged marriages? I honestly think they should be illegal. Without them there’d be no honour killings but apart from that I hate the idea of such obediance to the will of another.

It’s like freedom of speech. Why should we say only what someone else allows us to? Isn’t our opinion, even if idiotic, as permissable as theirs?

Not long ago there was the laughable instance of a health visitor being disciplined for offering to pray for a patient. How can you stop someone praying? You don’t know they’re doing it, do you? But all Inquisitions think they know everything.

I can say I hate the Queen. But what happens if I say I hate queens? I don’t, but you see my point?

Why did I add that last craven sentence? Do you, no matter what you think, defend my right to say it?

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Defend My Right to Say It.

  1. Wow Lynn, pushing the envelope in that Cotswold air…

    I agree completely and I will defend your right to say what ever you wish even if I don’t agree…

    there’s an old song that says it all here => http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/xtc/booksareburning.html

  2. Guy, what a great song. Yes, it says it all, much better thwn I could ever do. Thanks for your response. Lynn

  3. Great post, Lynn, and great song lyric too. I’ve always thought of myself as a defender of free speech, and of people’s right to write what they like. But complete freedom has its perils too, because one person’s complete freedom, or one group’s, can be used to stir up hatred and violence against other people or groups, and so they may have a notional right to speak freely but they can’t exercise it because it’s dangerous. The Nazis in the 1930s for instance…and there are plenty of more recent examples. Interesting food for thought.

    • The thing I’ve noticed, Jane, is that in countries where they’ll tolerate any view the countries themselves are tolerant in practice. I’m not strong on history but I bet Germany between the world wars was a heavily-censored place, easy for whichever group gained power to take advantage. I believe all sorts of weird views used to be expressed at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park and were mostly laughed at. I think that’s much more effective than trying to stop them.

  4. Hi there, so glad you liked our post on The Modern Word. If you liked that check out our comprehensive Reading Page here:

    http://cabraseniorlibrary.wordpress.com/reading-writing/

    In the words of Voltaire, “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ”

    Cheers

    STB

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