“Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority” – Justice Paul Stevens When we think of anonymity on the internet, we often think of the negatives. Trolls say horrible things because they can hide behind a screen, but you might not know that anonymity is also a quintessential part of our functioning democracy.
Harvard Professor Michael Bronski explains what led to the pivotal moment when the Supreme Court ruled that discussing homosexuality was “okay.” Unfortunately there was actually a time when magazines with “gay or lesbian content”– not pornographic content– were censored by the Post Office. This era was a dark time for the LGBTQ community, when any […]
If a woman walked down the street in the 1950’s wearing men’s shoes, pants, a fedora, and a wristwatch, she could be arrested, fined, or even put in jail. Why? Because her attire violated “Three-Piece Laws,” which in many states forbade men and women from wearing more than three articles of clothing associated with the […]
The freedom to express ourselves implies a freedom to imbibe potentially harmful substances.
Kaepernick is engaging in a uniquely American way of making his belief’s known. He’s standing up for a cause he believes in, and in doing so he is using his platform and privilege to amplify an important message. For this he should be celebrated and defended, not shouted down and diminished.
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Author Lionel Shriver’s keynote address at the recent Brisbane Writer’s Festival has sparked heavy criticism. Shriver, best known for her book “We Need To Talk About Kevin”, spoke out against criticisms of authors based on cultural appropriation. The concept of cultural appropriation is divisive: some view it as oppression by majorities who adopt or appropriate […]
Are giant rats free speech? This is the question at the heart of an ongoing suit in against the town of Grand Chute, Wisconsin. As a form of protest, unions will place giant, inflatable “union rats” in front of businesses they have disputes with. In Grand Chute, the town ordered that one of these rats […]
YouTube is effectively censoring video content by barring videos that depict controversial subjects from collecting advertising revenue.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has sparked controversy by choosing not to stand for the national anthem. Despite shock and outrage, Kaepernick has defended this decision, telling NFL media: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To […]
A woman who chooses to wear a burqa, burkini, or headscarf is exercising her right to dress herself how she wishes—the same right enjoyed by women who wear bikinis or even nothing at all on French beaches. French authorities aren’t liberating Muslim women by forcing them to change their clothes. They’re oppressing them.
Does a ban on signs on the beach infringe on property rights? Edward and DeLanie Goodwin, in partnership with the Pacific Legal Foundation, argue that it does, and have filed a lawsuit with Walden County, Florida. Walden County recently banned all signs on private beach property—this includes “Private Property” and “No Trespassing” signs meant to […]
Earlier this month, the FBI released footage of the protests in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray filmed from the Bureau’s surveillance aircraft. While the FBI spy planes were called in to help police deal with the violent riots which broke out in Baltimore, the FBI also recorded hours of footage of peaceful daytime […]
Libertarians have been quick to criticize the growing movement on college campuses to protect students from unsettling or offensive opinions. It would be wise not to swing too far to the other direction into the arms of bigots.
Feminists begin to turn on their own when some deviate from the feminist party line. Professor Laura Kipnis details her experience with campus censors in this Learn Liberty video.
Professor Laura Kipnis argues that modern day feminism is actually leading to the “disempowerment” of women.
Is asking someone, “Where are you from?” an example of microaggression? These days, it’s unclear. In general, people generally apply the term microaggression to describe subtle or perceived insults on socially marginalized groups. It’s such a vague term, however, that is often used to label behavior that could mean anything—or nothing at all. Nevertheless, in […]
Some of professor Laura Kipnis’ students thought she should be fired over writing a controversial essay. Here’s her take on standing up to censorship and writing the truth as she sees it.
The form of feminism that has emerged on college campuses recently may not be so beneficial for women. Professor Laura Kipnis of Northwestern University shares her views on the direction of modern feminism on campus, and the difference between a feminism that’s about vulnerability and a feminism about liberation.
“People who target minorities don’t have a place in this community and should be expelled.” Can you believe in free speech and still have this stance on hate speech? Professor Laura Kipnis of Northwestern University explains the difference between hate speech and microagressions and how they should be handled on campus.
Northwestern University—like many universities around the country—recently banned consensual relations between faculty and students. In response to this decision, Northwestern Professor Laura Kipnis wrote an ironic essay highlighting all the professors married to former students on the campus and at other campuses around the country. In the Learn Liberty video below, Professor Kipnis discusses the […]
Numerous top comedians have said that they refuse to perform on college campuses because of their chilling climate on free speech. When even noncontroversial comedians like Jerry “What’s the deal with Ovaltine?” Seinfeld refuse to perform for college students, you know just how bad the situation has become. In the Learn Liberty video below, Northwestern […]
Limits on free speech are often justified to prevent people from offending others. But to paraphrase Nietzsche, if we can overcome what offends us, it makes us stronger. In the Learn Liberty video below, Northwestern University Professor Laura Kipnis explains how being offended can actually be an intellectual exercise which allows us to explore the […]
In the third episode of Free Speech on Campus, Laura recounts when students organized a protest against her for writing an offensive paper. Kipnis goes on to explain how lack of tenure is hurting education.