“I’m all for free speech, but”

“I’m all for free speech, but”

No you’re not. You don’t believe in free speech. You have no love for honest conversations.

“But wait, you didn’t hear met out! All I wanted to say was”

See there’s that little word “but” in your statement. It immediately tells me you don’t believe in the concept you’re about to argue. What you’re more ┬áconcerned with is protecting the speech you like and suppressing the speech that makes you uncomfortable.

“It’s perfectly acceptable to suppress hate speech.”

Do you have a definition for hate speech? Words mean things, you know. Without a working definition for “hate speech” we can’t decide what needs suppression.

“Hate speech is…”

What? Milo Yiannopolous saying “birth control makes women unattractive and crazy?” Richard Spencer saying stupid white supremacy shit? Mike Cernovich saying the media is lying to you? Organizations like FIRE fighting the madness of campus kangaroo courts designed by fiat to handle sexual assault?

Here’s the problem with your argument. We don’t have a working legal definition of hate speech in America because courts haven’t taken up the issue. If and when they do, don’t expect your French Lit professor who doubles as an “unofficial rape counselor” to have a say in the opinion.

You see, America has a history of protecting all the speech you think is nasty, hurtful, or wrong. We do this because a bunch of those people you call white cis heteronormative shitlords a long time ago realized if you don’t allow some people to express their opinions then you’ll miss out on the best ideas society has to offer.

In order to get there, you have to let everyone speak. Even the people you mistakenly label “literally Hitler.”

“But allowing the speech of others silences or marginalizes the speech of women, specifically women of color and LGBTQIA women”

How? No one has yet to explain how allowing everyone to speak makes it harder for women you deem “silenced” or “marginalized” to express their viewpoints. And doesn’t your statement actually infantilize or demean strong people who by your own admission undergo adversity every single day?

“Maybe it’s time for us to adopt laws like Canada or the UK’s so we don’t have so many problems with harassment online.”

Okay. Now we’re getting somewhere. You want us to throw out existing law and precedent regarding free speech in the United States and replace it with something similar to another government’s. Changing laws isn’t an easy task, but it can be done.

There’s an issue with changing laws, especially laws that affect your rights. When you start getting rid of those laws and overturn precedent that protects one right, you’re putting up all the rest for consideration.

“Fuck you, you misogynistic bigot.”

Well. That means we’re out of ideas. The next time you want to have an honest conversation about free speech, I’ll be here. Have a nice day.

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