The only real beauty in this world is the freedom of speech. Because of it, I could run around the streets yelling “Taylor Swift makes bad music and should be charged with crimes against humanity” without getting arrested. Being able to express your opinion in public is a wonderful thing.
My right to express myself also allows me to act upon my beliefs. Let’s say I got ticked off by Swift’s headless chicken dance and decided to start my own “T. Swift Haterz” group one day. That would still be fine because I am not really hurting anyone or anything (apart from Little Miss Swift’s feelings).
But what if I took it a step further? Let’s say I got permanent ear damage from listening to one of Swift’s god-awful songs and decided to start a radical anti-Swiftism movement with the aim of removing her and her fans from this planet. I would be arrested the minute I make the announcement.
Though the freedom of expression grants everyone the right to say whatever they please, it has no tolerance for radicals and extremists. There is a fine line between standing up for your beliefs and suggesting blatant acts of violence.
A perfect example of where people have crossed this line is the world of Tumblr “feminism”. The microblogging platform has now become a hotbed for misandrists masquerading as feminists, with some demanding the eradication of the “male race” (whatever that means) and the establishment of a matriarchal society. Instead of demanding equal rights for women, they have turned the cause into a sick man-hating/female supremacy campaign.
Another example that is a bit closer to home is the “HK State” movement that has been plaguing the city recently. Good-for-nothing thugs have been graffiti-ing rude messages such as “kill mainlanders” and “assassinate 689” on the walls of public transport terminals, schools, and even government buildings. Though propagating the idea of creating an independent “State of
We are lucky to be living in a world where everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. However, I firmly believe that any and every form of extremism, be it the radical “feminists”, religious extremists, or political extremists, deserve to be condemned.
As people always say, too much of anything is bad. We need to be careful when we discuss the subjects that we’re very passionate about in order to prevent ourselves from slipping into the mindset of an extremist. It is okay to say things like “I think Taylor Swift sounds like a goat”, but saying “Taylor Swift and her fans need to be thrown into a Siberian gulag” is completely out of line. Your right to assert your views ends where other people’s rights begin.