Thursday, October 01, 2015

Fair Enough?

I help in editing the Ewha Voice, and I was recently asked to edit a special article that was 10 pages on an MS Word document, rather longer than most. The title was "Inclusion needs action: Harmonious coexistence with LGBTs in New York" (September 28, 2015, Volume 61, Number 10, page 5e), written by one of the Ewha Voice's reporters. Most of what the article covered was the prejudice still faced by those of the LGBT community but also the greater acceptance these days on the part of society - and especially on university campuses. But one fellow hadn't got the memo:
On the other hand, an anti-LGBT protester was standing at one side of the fair and was shouting at fairgoers that homosexuality should be "cured." He was also holding a poster that read "Homosexuality is sin, Christ can set you free." Soon, scuffles broke out when participants and fairgoers started to fight back, expressing their thoughts as well to the protestor.

"It's intolerant to say such words and force one's idea [on]to others," said Emily Terry, a fairgoer who was upset about the protester. "In my opinion, homosexuality is never a sin and everyone has [been] given a free will to choose who they love."
My last edits don't seem to have made their way into the print version - hence the brackets. I also see that the reporter wasn't able to find out what actually happened with the protester or who had started the scuffles. I advised that the precise details ought to be determined, or that this passage be excluded. That was my opinion, anyway. The Voice apparently disagreed.

But here's what I think happened. The protester was shouting his message as he held his protest poster. Somebody from the fair grabbed at his poster and pulled on it. The protester pulled back. Other fairgoers joined in on what became a scuffle - a physical altercation - accompanied by shouting at the protester.

I'm guessing that the ones who attacked the protester hold views like those of Ms. Emily Terry, who thinks that anyone protesting against LGBTs is trying to "force one's idea [on]to others."

Doesn't anybody believe in free speech anymore?



At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does free speech include profanity and graphic images? Other than genuine threats and libel, are there any forms of expression you think should be banned in public spaces?


At 11:10 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Profanity is pretty widely accepted these days. More problematic is pornography, much of which is harmful for children to see, so we compromise and allow it privately. I am not an expert on where the line is to be drawn. However, these are rather far from the example I gave of the lone protester.

Jeffery Hodges

@ @ @

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Graphic images include not only pornography but also violence. Interesting that you thought only of the former though not surprising since US and Korean censors are far more tolerant of violent images than sexually explicit ones. I was also thinking of children in the public space when I asked that question.


At 9:54 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That occurred to me, but I thought you were referring to pornography. I think that graphic violence is harmful to watch. I've never watched any beheading put out be ISIS. I don't want to see one. People whose job entails viewing such things sometimes put an end to their own lives, or so I've read. The horror, as Conrad might put it.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


Post a Comment

<< Home