Be honest. Had I not added the disclaimer, how many of you would’ve thought I was referring to the four-letter slang word for the female genitals? It’s okay. I won’t judge. Had I read the title I would’ve assumed the same. And since I don’t offend easy, I would’ve clicked right on through the link just to see what Jenna Patrick had to say about it. (Did I just talk about myself in the third person?)
Had I not added the disclaimer there would’ve been people who didn’t read this blog simply for that reason. Hell, I probably lost hits because I did add the disclaimer! Maybe it was that specific “C” word you would’ve drawn a line at. If I’d used the “P” word would it have bothered you less or bothered you more? Or maybe it wasn’t the word at all that would’ve bothered you, but the subject itself.
While that wasn’t the “C” word I was referring to, it gave me a great little segue into the one I was – Censorship.
Webster’s Dictionary defines Censorship in the following way:
1: the act of supervising conduct and morals: as
a: an official who examines materials (as publications or films) for objectionable matter
b: an official (as in time of war) who reads communications (as letters) and deletes material considered sensitive or harmful
That seems fairly cut and dry, I suppose. After all, who wants to read something they might find objectionable or harmful, right?
Well…I do, actually.
I haven’t been a fan of censorship since junior high when I read Fahrenheit 451. Who were these people who thought they had the right to decide what was appropriate and inappropriate? That takes balls, doesn’t it? To assume they knew best for everyone?
But that’s the beauty of living in America. You have the freedom to speak your mind about whatever subject you feel passionate about in whatever way you see fit. It’s one of the core reasons I wanted to become a writer in the first place, because I have a lot to say and I believe there are people out there who want to hear it. In the same breath, you may choose not to read a book at whatever point you feel uncomfortable with it or for whatever reason you feel offended. But people have the right to hear all sides of a topic and then choose for themselves which side they fall within.
Recently we had a bit of a disagreement between the bad girlz about what was an appropriate and what was an inappropriate blog. I tell you this not to cause a stir or ask you to choose sides, but because I feel it’s important to be completely honest with our faithful readers. Besides, I don’t believe in ignoring the pink elephant.
If you follow the blog regularly, then you may know which blog I’m referring to and you also know we made the decision to remove it from the site. I’ll admit, though in the end I voted for the removal, I wasn’t 100% on board with this decision for two reasons: 1. I happened to agree with most of what was stated in the blog. And 2. I don’t believe in censoring anyone’s speech. So why did I vote to remove it?
Because in addition to my aversion to censorship, I also believe in a little something called democracy.
There are seven of us. Seven women with completely different backgrounds and completely different objectives in life. Seven women who feel strongly about those objectives and have different ideas on the best way to achieve them. Seven women who understand and respect the views of each other, even if they don’t always agree.
We’re not always going to be on the same page. Frankly, I’d be a little concerned if we were. But what is important is that we debate and respectfully listen to each other’s views before coming to a decision. Maybe the reason I write is because I want the world to know my views on any given subject, but that might not be the reason we all write. Maybe I’m willing to accept that I may lose readers because of my opinion, but that doesn’t mean all of us are.
Whether we like it or not, there is such a thing as guilty by association. Maybe as an individual I didn’t find the blog harmful to me, but collectively I could certainly understand why some feared it may be harmful to them. In the same way, I would hope the girls would understand how posting something extremely religious might be harmful to me – a liberal who’s made her position on freedom of religion very well known.
Lets talk about another “C” word: Collaboration. We should all have the right to express our opinions in whatever way we see fit, but when you’re part of a group blog you have to do what’s best for the majority. You win some, you lose some. And here’s the thing – that doesn’t mean any of us are wrong. It just means we’re different.
Ironically, this is also what makes our group so strong. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Stay strong and speak up!