What Really Bothers You About Free Speech?

A brief post, with a few links, was published at Metafilter on the issue of colleges and universities becoming “non-free speech zones.”

Free speech is so last century. Today’s students want the ‘right to be comfortable’ in British Universities. The New York Times chimes in on this side of the Atlantic. Popehat offers a possible explanation.

It was followed up by a comment about how a debate on abortion at Oxford’s Christ Church was scuttled after feminists vehemently objected to “two human beings ‘who do not have uteruses’” engaging in such a debate:

I was attacked by a swarm of Stepford students this week. On Tuesday, I was supposed to take part in a debate about abortion at Christ Church, Oxford. I was invited by the Oxford Students for Life to put the pro-choice argument against the journalist Timothy Stanley, who is pro-life. But apparently it is forbidden for men to talk about abortion. A mob of furious feministic Oxford students, all robotically uttering the same stuff about feeling offended, set up a Facebook page littered with expletives and demands for the debate to be called off. They said it was outrageous that two human beings ‘who do not have uteruses’ should get to hold forth on abortion

I can’t imagine why people would object to this debate, but the author sure looks like an impartial, objective POV if I ever saw one!

While the commenter was taking the “pro choice” position, which one might suppose would be tolerated, even if not cheered, the reaction received was less than enthusiastic.  My new favorite commenter in the world, Nora Reed, had this to say:

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Without food, I would not have the strength to keep up the fight and the bastards would win

I am so fucking sick of overprivileged cishet white dudes getting all salty over trigger warnings and safe spaces. This particular asshole is really upset about the Blurred Lines thing and he’s pretending to not notice the fact that it is a song that glorifies rape by just calling it “rude”.

It’s especially shitty when it’s talking about rape culture shit and safe spaces where people can recover from sexual assault, since that’s so incredibly pervasive on college campuses. God forbid students have a place where they can go and do fun stuff and be around soft things and not have to think about their institution failing to protect them from the assault that’s already occurred and probably is failing to protect them from having to see their perpetrator on a regular basis too.

You get one of these fucking essays every time someone tells a white dude to maybe shut up or that he’s not welcome somewhere and the entitlement starts oozing out of his fucking pores all over his keyboard. I’m amazed that I even have the mental energy to be annoyed with it anymore, since I’ve heard this shit so many times.

I too am amazed Nora has the mental energy to be annoyed anymore, what with choosing her words so carefully to convey the full impact of her message of love and tolerance. No wonder she needs to eat.  And yet, she gave the last ounce of strength to add:

also lol at the idea that the constant bombardment of racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, rape culture, etc is “unfamiliar ideas” and a series of micro- and macro- aggressions that regularly causes serious trauma to people in marginalized groups and requires significant time and energy to deal with

except not lol because i am super pissed, fuck all of these writers

If people like Nora didn’t exist to protect the world from evil haters, where would we be?  If Nora Reed didn’t exist, we would have to invent her to have someone to show us the way. Thank you, Nora, from this overprivileged cishet white dude who needs to shut up.

25 thoughts on “What Really Bothers You About Free Speech?

  1. John Burgess

    Wow! I’m so privileged that I didn’t even realize I was cishet! Does that mean that I’m supposed to have a club and a fur loincloth? If so, I didn’t get mine. Was it taken away at birth? Did I lose it by going to university? I kinda miss the club. I see certain potential uses.

    1. SHG Post author

      I have no clue what cishet means, but it sounds really bad, like a disease.

      Edit: Looked it up and loving it.


      An abbreviation of cisgendered (opposite of “transgender”) heterosexual: a person that identifies as the sex they were born as and are attracted to the opposite. Mostly used in social justice circles as an ad hominem attack to people who have to audacity to be born identifying with their birth gender and have an opinion different than theirs/zheirs/xirs.

      So I was right, it is a disease.

      1. RAFIV

        There just has to be a way to work that term into an argumet! Although I have still failed in incorporating “da too yoots” so maybe I’m just whistling past the OWG (Old White Guy) privilege.

          1. Jim Cline

            It’s so gratifying to learn how to say “shit happens” in polite company. Yet another unexpected reason I like coming here.

      2. Rick Horowitz

        The ironic part is that Nora, and others like her, tend not to fully comprehend what “cishet” means, either, and incorrectly assign the label to some people — usually people with whom they disagree. Because, after all, while you, as an over-privileged old white dude are being a dick (wherein lies a big part of the problem, since you’re not gay, or trans) by labeling others, a big part of her job is labeling people, so she can begin to winnow down the group that is allowed to speak.

        In that sense, “cishet” becomes both a pejorative, and a tool.

        Speaking of tools, I’m wondering why her ilk don’t have a solid new vocabulary for those who might ordinarily be in her favored group of people who are allowed to speak. “Non-cishet non-over-privileged non-white non-old non-dude” just makes for just too much of a mouthful.

        On the other hand, it allows for a lot of spitting, and foaming at the mouth, so maybe it works better that way. After all, there is little to no other content in her speech.

        1. John Barleycorn

          April is always a good month to mess around with the ones regular rotation of Bloody Mary recipes to see if any new twists make the cut anyway.

          As an extra added bonus, that is often overlooked, there is nearly a limitless potential of garnishment choices.

          If one gets creative enough you will surely stumble across the perfect assortment of garnishment combinations to offend some if not all gender and racial combinations at your next Saturday afternoon brunch gathering.

          This is were the fun begins, as there is nothing like watching people have to deal with their personal and projected daemons of “hurt” to reach the safe harbor of vodka and tomato juice on a spring afternoon.

          Drink up and explore the “hurt” but don’t be hating on the safe harbor of Bloody Mary.

          Cheers! May you enjoy every last slanderous slur directed at your helpless garnishments to the last drop, as humanity itself continues its quest to bring loving humility to humanity humiliating itself one fucked up soul and cocktail at a time.

  2. Angie NK

    Nora’s an idiot, obviously. But, more for the sake of argument than anything, I have to ask: Are today’s youth really all that exceptional(ly stupid)? Haven’t people in their late-teens and early-twenties pretty much always been dumb, idealistic, and angry? Sure, the topic du jour changes with each generation, and with the Internet this particular generation has a much louder megaphone, but it’s basically the same situation it’s always been, right?
    Not that I’m saying you shouldn’t call them out for it – that’s the role of experienced adults. They act stupid, call them stupid. Maybe they’ll learn.

    1. SHG Post author

      Yes and no. They’re all stupid (I know I was, for sure), but they’re stupid at different levels and in different ways. That said, few are as fabulous at it as Nora.

        1. JD

          As is her take on just what it means when people honk at her. Seriously, that girl has some issues. Most likely stemming from her cishet envy.

    2. Neil

      Nora posts a question ‘shoring up the digital ramparts against hate mobs’, on the metafilter site. Nora is in the generation that has learned debate on the internet, and the experience has not been good. With the necessity of digital ramparts firmly planted in her mind, I’m not surprised that she contributes to building physical ones as well. The older generations learned to debate in person, and may sometime bring the manners learned in those forums to their internet conversations. For the younger generation, it’s the other way around.

  3. David M.

    Were you cynical buttgoblins aware that Nora is the mind behind ORCWANKER, the Internet’s go-to swear generator?

  4. Fubar

    also lol at the idea that the constant bombardment of racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, rape culture, etc …

    If only Nora studied science, she could learn the tragedy of arene substitution and isomerism from the ancient tale of Racemeo and Julie-Het:

    A cis-para-het status offender
    Meta trans-ortho-het, sweet and tender.
    But zheir structures racemic
    Made love life anemic.
    Zhey linked ions and jumped in a blender.

  5. KP

    “”Are today’s youth really all that exceptional(ly stupid)?””

    No, when we were that age we were marching against the Vietnam war and fighting for peace.

    These days kids don’t care about war, there is no draft, so they bang their heads equally stupidly against the wall of conventional morality. After all, if nobody was “kiss-hetable” then there would be no more college kids… A lot of those sexual choices are evolutionary dead-ends!

    1. Patrick Maupin

      > A lot of those sexual choices are evolutionary dead-ends!

      Only if made irreversibly and too early. Cf. Bruce Jenner.

  6. Bruce Godfrey

    The environment is target-rich, so I will pick the two largest barns.

    1) They – they who demand adult-sized playpens – demand not only the power to exclude, but enforced critique-free silence from the excluded. Further, they want the playpens fur “fun stuff” and “soft things”. So does my autistic 10-year-old, but he is supposed to be a dependent.

    2) If, say, a lack of a uterus deprives one of standing in the minds [sic] of the screechers to discuss abortion, how can we study history, sociology, anthropology? Who am I, who did not live as a woman in medieval Japan, answer an essay question on an exam about women in medieval Japan? How brazen of me to discuss the law under Hammurabi regarding builders of houses that fall, when I am neither Hammurabi nor a builder of houses in his realm? $20 backs this on abortion debate: never will a pro-choice male be hushed by this mob.

    I am 46 and soon this cohort will be running Serious Things.

  7. Bartleby the Scrivener

    I don’t know what I find to be more disturbing…that this is the voice of tomorrow, or that she got this pattern of “thought” from her teachers.


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