In Freedom of Speech Part 2, Betty McLellan discusses the issue of “no-platforming”. Is the call to no-platform someone an affront to free speech, she asks, or a legitimate form of protest in a democracy?
This is the first in a series three podcasts in which Betty McLellan discusses aspects of the principle of Freedom of Speech. Here, Betty suggests that today’s heightened focus on individualism has rendered the concept of Free Speech farcical. Blame for this is laid at the feet of the economic philosophy of neoliberalism which has brought about a decline in democracy and democratic values. When free speech is seen to be an absolute right of the individual without any thought for the responsibilities that go with that, it is women and minority groups who are silenced. Free speech must be for all.
The #metoo campaign is enabling courageous women to speak out about the sexual harassment and abuse they have been subjected to in the course of their lives. Such courage is supported by radical feminists who have worked long and hard to break the silence around men’s sexual abuse of women. This podcast urges feminists, other women, and men of goodwill to see this as an opportunity to call for structural change as well as individual change. Individual perpetrators must change their behaviour, of course, but the unequal and unjust way that society is structured under patriarchy must also change.
“WomanRiver” focuses on the enormous amounts of information coming at individuals in today’s so-called ‘Information Age’ and encourages radical feminists to pause, to stand back and analyse, to take time to study the situation of women in past generations in order that present and future activism is well-informed and strategic.
“Yet Another Challenge” is the first in the podcast series: Radical Feminist Reflections. It focuses on the role of radical feminism in the age of Donald Trump.