Trivializing Rape is Literally Rape, You Patriarchal Oppressors

Over the years, I have unfortunately come to be highly acquainted with Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) – far-left extremists who populate sites like Tumblr and Twitter and whose batshit insane ideology has unfortunately permeated the mainstream left increasingly in recent times.  SJWs are a perfect example of horseshoe theory, as they bear a striking resemblance to the far-right nutjobs whom they claim to hate. One could easily take an average SJW post railing against males/whites/heterosexuals/“cis scum”, replace any mention of those groups with mentions of Jews/blacks/gays/immigrants, and they’d have a typical neo-Nazi post (the main difference, of course, being that neo-Nazis tend to look positively civil and rational when compared to SJWs).

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Unfortunately, in recent years, rabid Tumblr SJW-ism has become synonymous with feminism in general.  Modern third-wave feminism takes its cues not from the suffragettes or from any other group of women who fought actual injustice, but from the likes of Andrea Dworkin and Valerie Solanas – nasty, vile, hate-filled women who made names for themselves by spewing venom and flinging bile to an extent that would make even Stormfront cringe.  One hallmark of modern feminism is its glaring hypocrisy and there is no better example of this than in its treatment of the extremely delicate subject of rape.

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Modern-day Tumblr feminists will continually blather on about “rape culture” (a term that was originally used to describe the culture of rape in prisons, where such a thing actually exists) and constantly make claims about how western culture promotes, justifies, and trivializes rape.  Since rapists are universally seen as the scum of the earth in western society, this claim is highly dubious at best.  But it becomes downright absurd when one considers that feminists are the ones who trivialize rape more than anyone else.

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Feminists seek to continually expand the definition of “rape” so that it encompasses everything from nasty comments on the Internet to having consensual sex and later regretting it.  One minute, they are relentlessly chiding people for using terms like “ear rape” and telling rape jokes.  The next minute, they are labeling things “visual rape” and raving about how “discounting feelings” and withholding sex are forms of sexual violence.

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It’s hard to imagine how one could possibly trivialize rape more than by seeking to expand the scope of what can be considered “rape” so that it includes all manner of minor infractions and meaningless nonsense.  Likewise, I’d imagine that such a thing would be far more hurtful to actual rape victims than some talentless shock-humor comedian like Daniel Tosh making a lame rape joke.

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But modern feminists are not concerned with actual rape victims, just as they are not concerned with actual rape.  They know very well that western society absolutely abhors rape, regardless of what they say.  Feminists spend far more time discussing frivolous silliness like “rape culture” than they do discussing actual rape because they are fully aware that practically everyone in the west already shares their view that actual rape is abhorrent, whereas most people assuredly do not share their absurd view of what constitutes “rape”.

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For people who devote so much of their energy to calling out anyone and anything whom they perceive as trivializing rape, feminists sure do a great job at doing exactly that.  In fact, I’d be willing to once again say flat-out that nobody in our society trivializes rape more than feminists do.  The comedians who tell rape jokes do so for shock value; the fact that society views rape as being extremely detestable is what makes it shocking to so many people in the first place.  These comedians obviously do not actually endorse rape.  But feminists are entirely serious in their crusades to expand the definition of “rape” so much that it becomes utterly meaningless.  And nothing could possibly trivialize rape more than to turn rape into something with absolutely no meaning whatsoever.

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So, you might ask: what, exactly, constitutes “rape” according to modern-day feminism?  Well, unfortunately, I do not have the room to list everything that these self-proclaimed crusaders of justice and equality consider to be “rape”.  Whereas anyone who isn’t a completely brainwashed lunatic considers rape to be sex without consent, the modern-day feminist considers any perceived slight against them to be a form of rape.  Two drunk people have sex?  The man is a rapist.  Porn?  That’s rape since women apparently have no agency in modern-day feminism. Husky dog logos for sports teams? Yep, you better believe that’s promoting rape.

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Modern-day feminism ironically sees women as nothing more than fragile, delicate, helpless, and pathetic little children in need of protection from everything at all times, as one can see from their continuing demands for “trigger warnings” which trivialize PTSD in much the same way that feminists love to trivialize rape.  In addition, the modern feminist makes no distinction between words and action; Toni Morrison perfectly demonstrated this when she said: “Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence.”  “Virtual rape” and so forth sounds absurd to an average person, but perfectly legitimate to someone who considers speech and physical action to be one and the same.

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And, if you think that these sorts of people are limited solely to fringe corners of the Internet, then you would be sadly mistaken.  Feminists have increasingly influenced actual legislation. “Facebook rape” can get you 10 years in jail in Ireland. New Zealand plans to change their rape law to reverse the burden of proof from the accuser to the accused so that, if accused of rape, one will have to prove innocence or be automatically found guilty, effectively making any sexual encounter a rape unless the defendant can absolutely prove that it was consensual (which can be outright impossible to do). California’s new rape law “requires affirmative consent to be ‘ongoing throughout the sexual activity,’ meaning that sexual partners must agree to each step of a sexual encounter as it progresses and consent can be revoked at any time.”  And what do today’s feminists call this?  Why, progress, of course.

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But this is not progress.  This is regression, and it’s a slap in the face to anyone who has ever had to experience the genuine horrors of actual rape.  This is trivializing rape in the extreme and it does infinitely more damage than any juvenile frat boy comedian joking about rape could ever dream of doing.  This is precisely the sort of thing which has made “feminism” into a bad word.  And, do you know what?  It deserves to be a bad word because this is sadly what feminism has become and it will remain a bad word for as long as this is how feminists choose to represent themselves.  If you want feminists to be respected in modern society, then you have to be respectable first.  One way to do this would be to stop your despicable trivialization of rape and to start focusing on helping actual rape victims.  Until then, you modern third-wave feminists will continue to be seen as a fringe movement with very little to offer to people who actually care about women’s rights.

“Human Rights” is a Sham

In the modern political lexicon, there is hardly any term that is as perfect an example of Orwellian newspeak as the much-repeated buzzword “human rights”.  “Human rights” is a meaningless platitude that has, since its popularization after the end of WWII, been consistently used to justify the expansion of government powers along with all manner of warmongering and imperialism.

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In sharp contrast to natural rights, the term “human rights” refers to a socialist understanding of rights.  Whereas natural rights are rights which one has merely by virtue of being born human, “human rights” are rights that the government grants to its citizens simply because it is socially and politically expedient to do so at the time.  Take, for example, the right to freedom of speech.  From the perspective of natural rights, freedom of speech is absolute and can only be limited when it directly causes actual physical harm.  From a socialist perspective, however, freedom of speech applies only to speech that the government personally approves of.  This is demonstrated perfectly by the United Nations, which is currently pressuring Japan to outlaw “hate speech” in response to a few small and widely-condemned rallies and public demonstrations by fringe far-right goons which have, if anything, only united people against racism (and, unfortunately, Japan appears to be listening to the UN’s demands, despite having their own equivalent of America’s First Amendment).  Free speech is a “gift given to us by the [Universal] Declaration of Human Rights”, according to Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson during a press conference on October 2nd at the UN’s headquarters in New York City. It is “a privilege”, Eliasson stated, “that we have, which in my view involves also the need for respect, the need to avoid provocations.”  According to the UN, not even Germany is strict enough in its government regulation of speech. Likewise, the European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy is on record as having told journalists that freedom of expression does not include “the freedom to insult or offend”.

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Yes, that’s right: freedom of speech – and all other rights – are not granted to one from birth, but are granted to one from the power of the government.  And the government can choose to limit or take away those rights whenever it feels the need to.  In a world of natural rights, “hate speech” does not infringe on anyone’s rights.  In a world of “human rights”, however, “hate speech” infringes on the sacred human right to not be offended – which is inevitably expanded into the government’s sacred human right to not be criticized, as Thailand has recently demonstrated by labeling criticism of its government as “hate speech”.  Had the First Amendment been written today – during the era of “human rights” rather than during the Enlightenment era of natural rights – there can be absolutely no doubt that it would include a laundry list of qualifications, reservations, and exemptions that would render it effectively worthless.

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Nearly every single attempt to limit freedom of speech in modern times has been championed under the guise of “human rights”.  “Human rights activists” are the ones currently pressuring Japan to outlaw “hate speech”, with many claiming that Japan is behind the rest of the world in “human rights” because it has yet to do so (in addition, thousands of people participated in an ironically-named “March on Tokyo for Freedom” calling on the Japanese government to abide by the UN’s “international law” and ban all “hateful” speech). “Human rights activists” backed Australia’s proposed “Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill” – which would have made it illegal to “offend” or “insult” someone for their political opinions along with outlawing any expression of religious belief if someone were “offended” by it – and voiced the most outrage when Australia’s government recently proposed making the country’s federal “hate speech” laws slightly less strict, as I wrote about previously.  And yes, “human rights” activists have even proposed state surveillance and “tolerance camps” for people found guilty of thought crimes.  The authoritarianism of the “human rights” lobby is made even more disturbing when one considers that “human rights” activists consistently invent new “rights”, which include everything from the “right” to free Internet access to the very dangerous “right to be forgotten”.

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This conflicts with the fundamentals of natural rights. Whereas natural rights stood for freedom from government interference in people’s lives, “human rights” stands for government control of every single aspect of people’s lives.  Not only that, however, but “human rights” activists have also been some of the loudest champions for war in our time.  “Human rights activists” were among the most outspoken proponents of waging war on Muammar Gaddafi in Libya – a war which has had devastating effects not only for Libya, but also for Mali.

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Barack Obama’s “human rights” team has pressed for escalating military intervention in Syria and Afghanistan, while other prominent “human rights activists” have recently played the role of cheerleaders for war in – among other assorted places – Uganda, Nigeria, South Sudan, and the Ivory Coast.  On top of that, “human rights” activists are the driving force behind “international law” and other forms of imperialism which aim to erode the national sovereignty of countries and subject them to the “civilizing” influence of Western “human rights” activists (“human rights” can very much be seen as the new “white man’s burden”).  “Human rights” activists are far more dangerous than traditional authoritarians and warmongers because they wrap themselves up in a cloak of benevolence and do-goodery.  After all, who is going to come out against “human rights”?  Anyone who did so would be instantly labeled as an evil fascist dictator (despite the self-proclaimed “human rights activists” actually being far closer to such a thing).

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This is exactly the sort of thing that George Orwell eerily predicted in his discomfortingly prescient 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.  “Human rights” is an example of contemporary “newspeak”, with government “human rights tribunals” giving themselves a pleasant-sounding name in much the same way as the “Ministry of Love”, “Ministry of Truth”, “Ministry of Peace”, and “Ministry of Plenty”.  “Human rights” activists are not only tasked with functioning as the “Thought Police” and prosecuting “thought crimes” (or “hate crimes” and “hate speech”), but also with pushing for war and brainwashing the populace just like the “Ministries” in Orwell’s prophetic novel.  “Human rights activists” are also masters of “doublethink”, as they claim to be for peace while supporting war, claim to be for freedom of speech while supporting censorship, and – most fundamental of all – claim to be for “human rights” while aiming to strangle the very natural rights which our nation was founded upon.  The “Orwell was right” cliche is indeed very much played out, but that does not make it any less true in many cases – particularly in the case of newspeak becoming a sad reality.

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Do not be fooled by the insidious trickery of the “human rights” lobby.  These people do not want to defend your rights, but to take them away and turn them into commodities to be given out by a “gracious” Big Brother government whenever convenient.  They are not only tyrants, but the most dangerous form of tyrants: tyrants who sincerely believe that they should rule over others for the good of the people that they’re ruling over.  Like the disgusting and wretched parasites who run the bloodsucking UN, “human rights activists” are little more than dictators imbued with an extreme sense of egoism and self-righteousness.  These people are a menace to freedom and civil liberties and should be treated as exactly what they are: ruthless autocrats dressed up as kindly humanitarians.  “Human rights” is the new totalitarianism.

Censorship is Perfectly Unnatural

If there’s one thing that I’ll never understand, it’s the desire to suppress speech instead of allowing it to be aired and judged for itself in the great American marketplace of ideas.  One recent case that should be familiar to Thought Catalog readers is that of Gavin McInnes, who is currently on an indefinite leave of absence after tolerance lynch mobs relentlessly attacked him for his Thought Catalog article “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural“, which has now been taken down due to its “abusive” content.  Now, I’m not defending Gavin’s article (I won’t comment on it one way or the other), but what, exactly, is accomplished by this censorship?  Censors typically censor speech because they fear what is being said – in this case, one can presume that the PC brigade fears that the article will turn its readers into “transphobes”.  But, if the article is truly as disgusting and hateful and outrageous as its critics have claimed, then wouldn’t it actually have the opposite effect on readers?  Wouldn’t it actually turn them against “transphobia”, thus making it in their best interests not to censor it, but to instead ensure that it’s seen by a large audience?

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Another recent case that demonstrates this point quite well is the case of a Times of Israel blog posting titled “When Genocide is Permissible” by Yochanan Gordon, which was immediately pulled after it was posted and sparked a huge outrage, particularly on Twitter, where it briefly trended.  Palestinian activists are known to frequently accuse Israel of committing genocide, yet, when an Israeli writer comes out and flat-out advocates for genocide in Gaza, they’re eager to censor him and shut him up.  Why?  If anything, they should consider it a blessing – it’s hard to imagine anything helping their side more than an Israeli writer vindicating their point so well by writing a pro-genocide editorial.  With his column, Gordon effectively turned people against Israel far better than any black propaganda ever could.  If pro-Palestinian activists were using any sort of common sense and/or logic here, they would be loudly encouraging pro-Israeli activists to advocate genocide blatantly and frequently.

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I am well aware of the fact that the First Amendment only protects against government censorship and not against private censorship, but this does not change the fact that private censorship tends to be utterly senseless and counter-intuitive in and of itself (the Australian imbecile in the screenshot above ironically demonstrates the failure of censorship in the first section of his pro-censorship tirade).  If a writer whom I despised wrote an article foaming at the mouth about how all Jews should be exterminated, the last thing that I’d want to do would be to censor that writer.  To the contrary, in fact – I would spread the article far and wide and encourage the writer to put out more articles just like it (perhaps even more offensive ones).  Nothing else would do more damage to the writer – and to anti-Semitism in general – than to have their outrageous views heard by a large audience.  Alex Linder certainly hasn’t done any favors to the neo-Nazi movement with his frequent, explicit calls for violence and genocide, and there’s a reason why FBI informants like Hal Turner often use such over-the-top rhetoric when posing as white supremacists: it discredits the racist movement, makes racists look bad, and even drives away people who would otherwise be perfectly comfortable with open racism.

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People are not braindead, glassy-eyed automatons who mindlessly accept absolutely everything that they read or hear without even thinking about it.  People respond positively to well-thought-out, persuasive, and reasonable arguments – not to crude, obnoxious, and offensive vitriol.  Why encourage people that you hate to express views that you loathe in a civil and reasonable way rather than in a crass and despicable way?  On top of that, attempting to silence speech does not get rid of the viewpoint being expressed – if anything, it has the exact opposite effect, as both Gavin McInnes and Yochanan Gordon have gotten infinitely more exposure than they ever would have had if not for the outraged online mobs hounding them.  In addition, McInnes has now been transformed into something of a martyr figure, thus strengthening the “transphobic” views of those who may be drawn to sympathize with him.  If you want to defeat someone’s speech, defeat it with speech of your own.  Attempting to forcibly silence it only demonstrates to the public that you can’t defeat it and are thus trying to prevent people from hearing it lest they be convinced by it.  Censorship always helps the censored, and it’s about time for people to learn that.  Censorship is perfectly unnatural.

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Freedom of Speech: America and Australia

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In America, we enjoy unparalleled levels of free speech.  Whether it’s holding up offensive signs at funerals, calling on people to “slaughter Muslims in the streets”, or neo-Nazis marching through a town filled with Holocaust survivors, no other nation on Earth allows people to express their thoughts to the same extent that the United States does.  Even vague or indirect threats and the advocacy of violence are protected speech under the First Amendment.  However, for those who don’t know, people outside of the US believe that there are two kinds of speech: “free speech” (which is state-approved speech; it’s very common to hear Europeans say that “freedom of speech only means that you can criticize the government”) and “hate speech” (which is offensive and/or incendiary speech). Even the staunchest “libertarians” and “free speech activists” outside of the US firmly believe that “hate speech is not free speech”. While there are a few people there who believe that “hate speech” laws should be made slightly less strict (and these people are widely condemned as Nazis, racists, fascists, bigots, etc.), one would be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of the US who supports full US-style freedom of speech.  The mere concept is simply unfathomable to them.

One place where this phenomenon is highly evident is the Oceanian nation of Australia.  There was a huge public outrage in Australia recently when it was proposed that the country’s federal “hate speech” laws be made slightly less strict (each Australian state also has its own “hate speech” laws, with the state of Victoria declaring that even “wholly true and completely balanced” statements can be “hate speech”).  This particular controversy started when popular columnist Andrew Bolt was sued for writing columns which questioned the motives of white people who claim aboriginal ancestry in order to obtain benefits meant for aboriginals, effectively stealing the aboriginal identity for selfish personal gain.  One example of the people called out by Bolt is former drug addict Bindi Cole, a blue-eyed white woman who is so obviously not aboriginal that, deep down, not even the most devoted social justice fanatic could actually believe her claim that she is.

These so-called “fair-skinned aborigines” (an oxymoron if ever there was one) could have very well sued Bolt for defamation and have been compensated for the harm they claim to have suffered, but they chose to sue him for “hate speech” instead, firmly establishing that they had not suffered any actual harm and were merely seeking to make a cheap political point.  Nonetheless, the court found Bolt guilty and, since Bolt is a friend of Australia’s current Coalition government, they pledged to address the issue of Section 18C of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, which Bolt was successfully sued under and which makes it “unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.”

Instead of repealing the section of the Act that Bolt was sued under, Attorney-General George Brandis proposed slightly altering it so that the words “offend”, “insult”, and “humiliate” are replaced with “vilify”, with “vilify” being defined as to “incite hatred” and “intimidate” being defined as to “cause fear of physical harm”.  To an American ear, this doesn’t go nearly far enough.  To an Australian ear, however, it was an outrageous assault on the sacred human right to not be offended.

The idea of slightly changing federal “hate speech” laws was considered to be completely outrageous by almost everyone in the country, with numerous politicians, journalists, pundits, online commentators, artists, authors, columnists, and others speaking out about the need for strict “hate speech” law enforcement.  Many feared that the proposed  changes would “allow Holocaust denial” (despite Brandis repeatedly insisting that they wouldn’t) – something which hardly anyone in America actually believes should be illegal (Glenn Greenwald reflected on this in an excellent column here).

 
 
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poll indicated that 88% of Australians believed that all racist speech should be illegal and people even marched against the proposed changes.  Is it ironic for people to protest against freedom of speech?  Of course, but not as ironic as journalists loudly supporting state suppression of speech.  Many – including Australia’s taxpayer-funded Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane – even argued that making the country’s federal “hate speech” laws slightly less strict would cause race riots, ethnic cleansing, and outright genocide.  “Strict government regulation of speech is the only thing stopping another Holocaust” is actually a very common argument in Europe and the Commonwealth, but it’s a highly ironic one when one considers that Weimar Germany did, in fact, have “hate speech” laws (and convictions), that the Nazis were banned in the 1920s, that Adolf Hitler had been arrested (which, of course, only made him stronger), and that there was absolutely no freedom of speech whatsoever in Nazi Germany.  In fact, if there had been freedom of speech in Nazi Germany, it would have been much easier for people to have stopped the Holocaust from happening (or, at the very least, from continuing).  In addition, once a society reaches the point where genocide is possible, no amount of speech laws is going to stop it.  One need look no further than the Central African Republic, where the government has all but collapsed and a new Rwandan Genocide is brewing.

 
 
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Such a thing is to be fully expected in Australia, however.  Australia is, without a doubt, one of the most extreme nanny states in existence – a country where everything from laser pointers to neodymium magnets to leaving one’s car window slightly down is against the law.  In the eyes of the average Australian, the role of the government is to serve as a parent to citizens.  Australians generally cannot even fathom the idea that one can disapprove of something without seeking to make it illegal.  This can be seen in the Australian media’s bewildered reaction to David Leyonhjelm, a politician who, despite saying that he personally disapproves of the gay “lifestyle”, wants to legalize gay marriage.  The Australian public simply cannot wrap their head around the idea that a politician would be able to separate their personal opinions from their duty as a statesman.  On top of that, the Australian solution to absolutely everything is government bans.

People are racist? Ban racism. If you disagree, you’re racist.

People are getting stabbed? Ban knives. If you disagree, you’re a knife criminal.

Children are drowning in pools? Ban pools. If you disagree, you want children to drown.

People are being mean? Ban people from being mean. If you disagree, you’re a bully who wants people to commit suicide.

What it essentially all boils down to is an extreme level of political immaturity.  George Brandis was hugely mocked and widely condemned when he stated that people “do have a right to be bigots”.  In America, it’s simply common sense that people have a right to hold any opinion they want – no matter how disgusting or offensive that opinion may be.  To an average Australian, however, supporting someone’s right to say something means that one automatically approves of what that person is saying.  Ergo, supporting someone’s “right to be a bigot” means that one must also be a bigot themselves.  A similar occurrence happened when Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson stated that, while he highly disapproved of the sexist slogans being used by camper car company Wicked Campers, he didn’t believe that the government should force them to change their slogans; this also met with widespread outrage from Australians, who automatically saw him as supporting the company’s slogans since he didn’t want the government to ban them, which most Australians did (indeed, the Australian senate unanimously passed a motion condemning the camper car company and their deliberately vulgar slogans).

 
 
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There is not a single public figure in Australia who supports full US-style freedom of speech – a concept which is completely unimaginable in Australia, where most people do not make any distinction between speech and action.  In Australia, openly supporting freedom of speech is more than enough to get one fired from their job, if not outright lynched.  George Brandis and the Coalition government merely wanted to slightly amend the laws in order to allow “legitimate” (read: state-approved) speech because, as previously mentioned, friend of the government Andrew Bolt was sued under them.  As the Coalition government abandoned its plans to amend the law following massive backlash, self-styled champion of free speech George Brandis also introduced draconian new “anti-terror” surveillance legislation that criminalized the “support or promotion of terrorism” and a new “metadata retention” scheme to monitor people’s usage of the Internet.  The Attorney-General – who is routinely attacked in Australia for being too “ultra-libertarian” – also wants to introduce new Internet filtering in a throwback to Australia’s laughable attempts to filter the Internet during the Julia Gillard administration.  Since the Gillard administration also attempted to secure total state control of all media outlets (a plan which many Australian “journalists”, of course, wholeheartedly supported), one can surmise that it’s only a matter of time before the current Tony Abbott administration revives this idea as well.  After all, they’re also introducing a “Children’s eSafety Commissioner” to monitor “cyber bullying”, while Australia is also determined to ban protesting and outlaw journalism.

 
 
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At one point during the Gillard administration, Australia nearly passed a law – the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill – that would have made it illegal to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” someone not only on the basis of their race, but on their “attributes”, including their political opinion, along with outlawing any expression of religious belief if someone were “offended” by it. The proposed law also would have reversed the burden of proof, as it stated that accused individuals were to be declared guilty unless they could prove their innocence.  The Australian Greens, of course, opined that the proposed law “didn’t go far enough” (it’s hard to imagine what “going far enough” would be for the Greens – perhaps executing anyone who ever mutters an “offensive” word to themselves in private?).  While one shouldn’t expect the current Abbott administration to revive this failed law, it nonetheless exists as a testament to just how deep the contempt for freedom of speech runs in Australian society.

 

Of course, laws against “hate speech” merely push bigotry underground where it can multiply and grow stronger. Bigotry must be exposed to the light where it can be defeated with open discourse. In addition, once the government has set the precedent that certain thoughts and ideas can be outlawed, there is no limit to what can be censored – after all, who gets to decide what “hate speech” constitutes? Government suppression of speech results in the perception that the speaker must have something important to say (vindicating the speaker’s beliefs and fueling their persecution complex), and it never fails to generate massively increased interest in what would otherwise be fringe and marginal ideas, giving them far more exposure than they ever would have had otherwise. It effectively turns bigots into martyrs, as one can see from the massive upsurge in support that Dieudonné M’bala M’bala and his anti-Semitic ideas received in France recently after he was banned for anti-Semitism. The way to respond to speech is with more speech, not with enforced silence. If anything, laws against “hate speech” actually HELP bigots along with making them angrier and much more likely to resort to violence. As groups like the Westboro Baptist Church have demonstrated, the easiest way to make people hate bigots is to simply let the bigots speak out freely and openly.  Bigots speaking freely actually turns people against bigotry.  The more vile, offensive, outrageous, and over-the-top their rhetoric is, the more they will discredit themselves and the more people will unite against them and everything they stand for. The Westboro Baptist Church, for instance, has done a wonderful job at completely discrediting homophobes and making millions of people (who might otherwise not care) stand up against homophobia. In fact, many have actually accused them of being “black propaganda” (which is a sort of reverse propaganda that aims to make the opposing side look bad by posing as them) agents working to discredit homophobes.

The only way that bigots could actually recruit people to their cause would be by being subtle and not overtly bigoted. And prosecuting people for subtle bigotry would not only be impossible, but would also backfire even worse than prosecuting people for overt bigotry.  “Hate speech” laws merely force bigots to be more “respectable”, which can only work in the bigots’ favor.  If anything, we should be encouraging bigots to be as shockingly extreme and utterly disgusting as possible so that they stand no chance of ever appearing reasonable or ever winning anyone over.

Of course, people who campaign for censorship never consider the very real possibility that their speech may one day be deemed “offensive” and silenced by the government.  For example, when Unite Against Fascism lobbied for a ban on a proposed English Defence League (EDL) march, UK home secretary Theresa May banned all protest marches for 30 days. Unite Against Fascism responded by saying that they “welcomed the banning” of the EDL’s march, but were outraged at being banned from protesting themselves.  This is, of course, nothing unusual. In a similar vein, I remember seeing a Facebook page titled “Australians for a Progressive Society” screaming about “democracy and freedom of speech” when they couldn’t protest, but also demanding extremely strict “hate speech” law enforcement (including for “sexist” speech) because “freedom of speech does NOT give you the right” to say things that offend them.  Do these people never consider the fact that there is absolutely no objective criteria whatsoever for determining what is “offensive”?  Had the First Amendment not existed, abolitionist speech could have easily been banned as “hate speech” in the Antebellum South – what is considered “hateful” and “offensive” is entirely relative, which is why the government should absolutely never have the power to ban speech that it deems as such. Every single civil rights victory in history has been owed to freedom of speech.

Personally, I find it nothing less than absolutely disgusting and depressing how people who claim to campaign for “human rights” are so opposed to the most basic human right of all: freedom of speech. Since when did “the right to not be offended” trump the right to speak freely? Whatever happened to “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”? As Jacob Hornberger once said, “The true test of a free society in terms of freedom of speech is not whether popular and ‘responsible’ speech is protected from government assault but instead whether the most vile and despicable speech receives such protection. After all, even in North Korea people are free to publish popular and ‘responsible’ materials. People have freedom of speech only when government is prohibited from suppressing the most unpopular and irresponsible forms of speech.”