No, you can’t say whatever you want: why free speech should be tempered with kindness

[content notice: discusses suicide, online abuse, rape]   In a democratic society, freedom of speech is frequently in the news. Attempts to alter section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, to replace “offend, insult & humiliate” with “harass and intimidate”, were fortunately stymied in Parliament. Contrary to popular belief, the Australian Constitution does not expressly protect freedom of expression. Many people get their ideas on … Continue reading No, you can’t say whatever you want: why free speech should be tempered with kindness

Beguines: ‘Fake women’ of the Middle Ages

Now has Divine Light delivered me from captivity, and joined me by gentility to the divine will of Love, there where the Trinity gives me the delight of His love. This gift no human understands, As long as he serves any Virtue whatever, or any feeling from nature, through practice of reason – Marguerite Porete* In the year 1308, a Frenchwoman known as Marguerite Porete … Continue reading Beguines: ‘Fake women’ of the Middle Ages

Don’t be chivalrous, be kind

“Chivalry! – why, maiden, she is the nurse of pure and high affection – the stay of the oppressed, the redresser of grievances, the curb of the power of the tyrant – Nobility were but an empty name without her, and liberty finds the best protection in her lance and her sword” Wilfred of Ivanhoe is a Saxon knight with very high ideals. His Jewish … Continue reading Don’t be chivalrous, be kind