Freedom of Expression and Other Frowned Upon Things

 


With so much happening in the world it is impossible to stay put and keep quiet about things. When Trump was running for presidency I could not resist expressing how I felt about it – even more so when he actually won the election. It was a moment many people had been dreading worldwide, and there is proof of this in all the videos of worldwide protests on the day of his inauguration.

I cannot count the number of times I have painted a detailed picture of what Trump truly is and have been attacked for it. I do of course understand that people share different opinions and I accept that – can you imagine what would happen if everyone thought the same way? – but is it right that we should be insulted for sharing our own personal view on things?

Of course it isn’t.

You would think that in the age of virtual reality and artificial intelligence people would have grown out of it, but then again perhaps not.

In this day and age you would think that sexism should be on the verge of dying out, but when you see how women and girls are frowned upon or viciously attacked both verbally and physically for expressing their opinion you realise just how far we are from that. Look at Malala Yousafzai: she peacefully protested in favour of girls having the right to an education and refused to remain silent when the Taliban took control of her home, the Swat Valley. Since many men believe that a woman’s place is in the kitchen and not at school getting an education, the Taliban shot her in 2012 on a school bus. She has made a miraculous recovery and is still campaigning for everybody’s right to an education, especially all of those girls who are denied it.

When I wrote about how I felt on Trump’s inauguration day on social media my post was once again flooded with arguments; more than usual, in fact. I wrote exactly what I felt in my heart and what I am sure many felt as well: my disbelief at how eight years ago we were all gathered around our televisions watching Barack Obama’s inauguration (history in the making)  and now we were watching a sexist, racist narcissist with his finger hovering over the nuclear weapon button take his place.

I cannot say I was not expecting people to argue with me (and believe me they did) but you know that they have gone way too far when they begin to insult you, calling you an “idiot” and an “imbecile” just because you dared to write against what they believe is the key to America being made great again. I hope they realise that a) America will only be made worse and b) the world will be affected and not just the US.

The boy who called me an “imbecile” said that I haven’t got any arguments and am simply just calling Trump names.

Well, we all know what Trump thinks of women:

  • In 1991, Trump spoke to a magazine about the media: “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [they] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
  •  In 1992, Trump said that German gold-medal winning Olympic ice skater Katarina Witt was “wonderful looking while on the ice but up close and personal she could only be described as attractive if you like a woman with a bad complexion who is built like a linebacker”.
  • And who could forget his “locker room banter”?

As for racist: “I think the guy is lazy,” Trump said of a black employee, according to John O’Donnell, a former president of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. “And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”

And when it comes to narcissist, well, Trump is the definition of the word.

The point I am trying to make however is not really about Trump at all; it is about how we (especially women, young women and girls) are continuously stripped of our right to freedom of speech. Many reading this might say that it was merely just a bunch of ridiculous comments on social media and that I am overreacting, but it is a shame that things like this happen all the time and are not given a second thought.

Everything appears to most as less harmful when it happens online, when the perpetrator is hidden behind their screen. Some of the comments on my more recent Trump related posts were written by people who have practically never even spoken to me in real life despite us seeing each other around nearly everyday. I know better than to give them the pleasure by answering them back.


So to all the people out there who have ever been attacked for expressing their opinion:

Do not stop doing so. Your opinion counts just as anyone else’s and it is golden. After all, our generation will be in charge of the world one day and we are going to have to speak out if we disagree with what the “experts” are doing. Just like Michelle Obama said, “when they go low, we go high”.

Make your voice heard, it’s worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Freedom of Expression and Other Frowned Upon Things

  1. Excellent article. The problem here is that the average Maltese person lacks the ability to form, and even less so to periodically review and if necessary change, an opinion.

    People simply latch on to someone or something, be it Trump, Theresa May, a political party, band club, or whatever – then lacking a logical base for their opinion, resort to insults as a form of defence, instead of reasoned argument, whenever the object of their loyalty is challenged..

    Like

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