Thursday, June 09, 2005

Speak Freely

I speak freely because it's my right to do so, as specified by the Bill of Rights of 1789, Ammendment I:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

If you are an American, this is also your right, unless you submit to bylaws or restrictions which give another person, organization or entity the power and the permission to take it away from you and decide for you what is respectable and what is not.

I advise you think very carefully before you do that.

The word respect is being thrown around heavily at the moment, mainly by entities involved in morality campaigns who believe 1) they deserve it, 2) have the right to tell you how/when/what/whom to respect, and/or 3) expect you to adhere to their tastes and standards in what's respectable and what's not.

I was raised to believe that respect is what you owe other people. Not what you're owed.

Keeping that in mind, I am responsible for the content of this blog, and was kicked in the butt about it when I read Shannon Stacey's stand on profanity and censoring comments.

My posts do sometimes contain what I consider mild profanity, and it's about equal to what I use in real life. I have already posted what has been interpreted as a graphic image. Folks who comment here also use a wide range of language, and like Shannon, I will not censor anyone except SPAMmers.

No rules, no standards, no expectations. You stop in here, you speak freely.

This also means that PBW can no longer be considered a respectable place. In the event there is some question on this, allow me to be momentarily explicit: Fuck Censorship. There, now I'm officially ban-worthy. Please adjust your linkage accordingly.


  1. Anonymous7:05 AM

    *cheers and claps* Very well said. Too early in the morning for any deeper comment. Shoulda had coffee before stopping in here! - Charlene

  2. Anonymous7:48 AM

    I always took the stance that it's my blog, my rules, and I only recently opted to delete people's comments that I felt were personal attacks, and one silly "watch what you write, you're pissing people off" to which I say, "i'll write what you want to hear when you pay me".

    And yes, I curse like a sailor. I'm ok with that, because I don't swear much other than in the blog.

  3. *clapping heartily in agreement* Every now and then I'll use the F word, just because there are some situations when other swear words just wont do, effing is just so effing satisfactory (grin)

  4. And no one who uses the word "pottymouth" should be allowed to discuss swearing. That's a conversation for adults. No self-respecting adult should use a word like "pottymouth".

  5. That's why I love this fuckin' place. *Breaks into a horrid rendition of Friends in Low Places*

  6. Anonymous8:43 AM

    *applauds* Thank you.

    I fail to see why I should treat my blog any differently than I do real life - that means the swearing has to be there for reality's sake. ^-*

    I only delete personal attacks in my comments, not language. I recognize that everyone has different preferences where language is concerned - and if it bothers them, they don't have to read it!

    My world, my rules. *-* I'm not forcing anyone to visit.

  7. The word respect is being thrown around heavily at the moment, mainly by entities involved in morality campaigns who believe 1) they deserve it, 2) have the right to tell you how/when/what/whom to respect, and/or 3) expect you to adhere to their tastes and standards in what's respectable and what's not.


    I have found the more someone demands respect, the less they deserve.

  8. Anonymous9:52 AM

    Great fucking post.

    Is this about the RWA issue? (Sorry, haven't had my coffee yet, so I often miss things.)

    It's driving me nuts, because I read a letter forwarded from the organization about this, and it read as if this whole censorship thing is just a decision suddenly made -- having nothing to do with losing non-profit status or anything else. When did writers start promoting censorship?

  9. Anonymous10:03 AM

    I don't want to go back to the early days of this country when they put you in stocks for practically everything. We have a lot of people who want us to go backwards in time. Too much of that going on these days.

  10. Andi said: "I only delete personal attacks in my comments, not language."

    This is my stance as well. I've never had this occur at my blog, but if someone posted something that incited violence or hatred, depending on how ugly it was, I'd probably delete it.

    However, I don't have a problem with language. I don't remember who it was, but I once heard someone speaking about profanity. He said (paraphrasing), "They're just words. A word isn't obscene. It's the manner in which it's used, the message behind it, that is potentially hurtful and dangerous."

  11. What a concept *bewildered look*. I very rarely swear. I reserve such words for accidents, when I'm royally pissed off (which btw is a swear word according to my kids' school), or when I'm totally thrown. It gives the words more oomph that way. If I'm swearing, my kids and husband at least know to back away slowly.

    The rest of the time, I use substitute words. They're not as strong, but they work in polite company when I want to use an "emotion" word. I do this for me, not for shock value or out of a need to get any reaction at all so what word I choose is largely irrelevant. (Yes, in this I'm completely self-centered.)

    That said, do I censor other people? Within my family and in front of my kids I do. We have a watch phrase "watch your language" that the kids have been parroting back MUCH to my husband's dismay since they were little. Why do I do this? Because they're good, smart kids. They pick things up and use them in the appropriate context (as an almost detention for calling someone a homocidal neophyte, based on context in the book he was reading, proved). I don't want them getting in trouble for something out of there control.

    Am I happy about this? Read one of my first blogs to see just how much it delights me. Anyway, didn't mean to drone on, but the bottom line is that adults in adult conversation should not have to cross their legs tightly and zip their lips. Next we'll be putting ankle curtains on the chairs :p.

  12. Anonymous12:00 PM

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    You da' woman!

    Gods, I love your blog...

    -- F.

  13. Anonymous12:09 PM

    Go, Sheila. I agree with you. But, I did teach my kids that they can control their language and keep it appropriate to the situation. My point was that the speaker/writer makes the decision about when and where you use any word, not the people hearing/reading those words. That's what I see as the distinction.

  14. Too late. You're already on my links. Otherwise I'd have to add you now just to piss off the censors.

    BTW - what's wrong with the word 'pottymouth'?

  15. Yep, the censorship is really beginning to scare me. It's easy to think it's not a big deal, but that's how it starts. Thanks for creating such a terrific blog. I come to learn from the master. :0) Bowing as I leave the room.

  16. Great stuff, Lynn. I wanna have your baby now!

  17. Right on, sister! Yeah, I am that old. ;-)

    I don't really care how much people respect me as a person, but they damn well better respect my Constitutional rights!

    As far as my blog is concerned, I'm pretty laissez-faire. I won't allow hate comments, personal attacks, or SPAM to stand, but otherwise I'm pretty easy.

    Maybe we should start a "Fuck You Censors" blog ring.

  18. If only more authors were as open and honest as PBW, RWA wouldn't be able to start this complete and utter bullshit.

    Carter-be careful what you wish for!


  19. Just one example what goes in Germany. "Der Stern" is a weekly political/society magazine avaliable everywhere, and about one in ten has a cover like this:

    Except a few extreme feminists, no one cares about these covers.

  20. Ok, give me the brown paper bag.

    Here's another nice one:

  21. I can't. I already have you linked. :D

  22. Anonymous12:24 AM

    Is it better if I say I'm a fucking pottymouth? Not that I care.

    The whole racial slur thing brings up a hmmm moment, though. That would be a hard one to deal with. Making the offender cry would certainly be called for.

    And, as always, PBW--you rock! Pottymouth.


  23. As to the racist thing, or anything else that the majority of readers found objectionable. I'd still leave it there, maybe comment about it, maybe not, and move on. As long as it's a contribution (however bad, stupid, bigoted or just plain wrong) to the discussion, it stays.


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