Should all speech be free?

Looking into the past, we see our ancestors, especially women, fight for their basic rights. These include freedom of speech, the right to say anything you want. But this hard-earned treasure of society is in danger of diminishing.

Governments and special groups, especially at universities and colleges, try to ban all hurtful or harmful words. This suppression of speech is being called “political correctness”. At said universities there are even special “free speech zones”. These are the only locations where students are allowed to talk about what is on their mind and say what they want. On the rest of the campus there are limits of speech. Students should not say the banned words to avoid “difficult topics” or micro aggressions like racist, sexist or controversial comments. In my opinion all of this is also to give some people intellectual comfort.

Inclusive language campaigns are not going to change anything. Most of the words on the “list of unacceptable words” are absolutely ridiculous. In the future each and every word on this planet can somehow be seen as something offensive. The sense of this list is to avoid people hitting sensitive spots when talking to another person but the cannot be prevented by just banning words. Terms like “black people” are being changed to ” African-American” by the government to avoid racial discrimination, but what if a black person, born and raised in America does not identify with this? Maybe he or she will be offended by the term “African-American”. Same goes for religious backgrounds.

My overall point of view is that every speech should be free. But should for example personal things like religion, or funny things, that are not to be taken seriously, get a waver? Yes and no. Religion is a very delicate topic to talk about. Some people take it very seriously whilst others do not care about it. Whereas with comedy you already know that whatever the person/comedian is going to say, has almost never an intend to hurt you or your religion, just to entertain.

All in all I think my opinion is quite clear: all or nothing. Free speech does not exclude anything. You say what you think and have to live with the consequences. Thinking before speaking is here the key. Criticism is nothing bad as long as you are polite.

 

Addendum:

In my opinion Austria is a very accepting country. Freedom of speech is nothing new and is well accomplished. There are of course different censorships for television or the general media. Also we have the “Verfassungsschutz und Terrrorismusbekämpfung” which is a special organization.

My three favorite texts

In this post I want to link my three favourite texts so far:

  1. Final Essay  because I put the most effort in it. I sat at least 2 hours at editing, perfecting and applying fitting vocabulary until I was completely content with the result.
  2. The Worst Case Scenario because creative writing can sometimes be a real problem for me and writing this whole own story made me proud of myself. I usually stick to essays and having to face this challenge showed me that I am also able to tell a story and make it somehow thrilling on my own, not having to wonder how all these authors make their books so exciting, but doing myself.
  3. My Path and The Poem because I just love the feelings the both evoke in a person and I put my heart in trying to no sound like a typical teenage girl, but rather adult and mature (didn’t work that well but I am still pleased with the results)

My Bucket List

When I was younger I used to write down a bucket list every year. Although I only achieved some of the goals, it always helped me to remind myself which things I really wanted to do, be it only reaching a good mark or a big thing like winning an Austrian Badminton Tournament. Now I am putting down my want-to-reach goals, however big or small, for the next three years (until I finish school):

1)…finally paint my room

2)…finally know what I want to become and study after school

3)…travel to a foreign country with my best friends (without my parents)

4)…throw the biggest birthday party one can imagine