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Posted by on Jan 6, 2013 in Atheism, Drama, Feminism, Freethought Blogs, Nonsense, Progressive Politics | 19 comments

Freeze Peach (formerly known as Free Speech)

You know that a concept is truly ridiculous when online feminists and social justice warriors think of a cutesy name for it. Like, for example, free speech. Surely this is a concept worthy of nothing but mockery and contempt? And of what value are the related freedoms of expression and association? Having grown up in Soviet Russia, I can testify that these things are of no value at all. Being instructed as to which topics I should avoid discussing in public so as not to get my entire family (and those who associated with it) in trouble, and living in constant fear that I might have said the wrong thing in the wrong place was no big deal. After all, every six-year-old should know better than to question authority or propaganda. </sarcasm>

Of course, just because Americans have the right to free speech, doesn’t mean we should always exercise it. I fully agree with the sentiment that people should try their best not to treat each other cruelly, and that reasoned argument, not personal attacks, should be the norm. In fact, a personal attack is generally an indication that someone has no good argument to make, and stands out as such in a debate. Thus, personal attacks come with their own disincentive, since the attacker will generally lose credibility in the eyes of most.

It’s also true that in your blogs, on your social media accounts, and in other privately-owned spaces, you have the right to limit speech in any way you choose. However, what does it say about your ideas when you have to silence even the most polite of critics, as well as anyone who associates with them?  Just because you have the right to block people from commenting on the ideas you proclaim as absolute truth, doesn’t mean you should. In the end dissenters will find a way to speak out using other avenues, and eventually, the truth will out no matter how badly you try to suppress it. Because as a country, we value free speech. And that, at least as far as I’m concerned, is a very good thing.

 

  • http://twitter.com/Rushyo Danny Moules MQuack

    People who get it wrong (by blocking reasonable dissent) are much easier to single out as people with poor arguments, though. I’d rather they fouled-up that than continuing to hood-wink a larger percentage of people by presenting a reasonable facade. When unreasonable people act unreasonably society generally comes off better for it.

    • bluharmony

      True, that.

  • http://elevatorgate.wordpress.com/?disqusprofile ElevatorGate

    It has been rather sad to see such derision, for example: https://twitter.com/DaylightAtheism/statuses/285510476333453312

    To me, it’s like mocking people for being “hyper-skeptical” or a “24-7 skeptic”. It really illustrates a lack of understanding of Skepticism 101 ;)

    • bluharmony

      Women are a minority? Can they not count? (Caveat: To sociologists we are. Minority group means “singled out for unequal treatment” because men have “greater power, privileges and social status.” Gross over-generalizations and over-simplifications are apparently just fine.)

    • Karmakin

      It’s even worse than that, actually. I actually agree with the idea that being “hyper-skeptical” can sometimes be a barrier to discussion of a subject. However, seeing the same people say STOP IT, you’re being hyperskeptical, and then five minutes later demanding exactly quotes links and proof, quite frankly is at best hypocritical.

  • http://twitter.com/noelplum99 Patriarchae Persona

    What irks me about the ‘freeze peach’ thing is that it isn’t even very funny. maybe the first time you hear it or read it there is some mild humour value but I have see comments threads where poster after poster appears to think they are being incredibly clever and witty simply be writing a paragraph with ‘freeze peach’ in it

    • bluharmony

      It’s the echo chamber effect, I think. Good ideas can stand up to criticism and scrutiny without any silencing tactics being employed.

  • Vic

    Many of them are so used to their living in an environment of free speech, they cannot actually imagine to live without it.

    Ironically they belive that the sadness of every misfortune, be it sexism or racism or personal abuse, can only be fully appreciated if you had personal experience of it.

    And when they publicise their ideas on the internet for a potential of
    millions of readers, every challenge of their claims is a “attempt to silence them”.

    What a strange school of thought we witness here,

  • DrewHardies

    The ‘freeze peach’ meme shows a huge gap between my opinions about the topic and the opinions of the social justice movements.

    They value a freedom from government regulation. So do I. But I also value the real existence of forums for open discussion. They don’t seem to.

    This is where the ‘freeze peach’ thing comes from. They’re saying, “it’s not the government regulating things, so no harm.” But it’s only harmless because they don’t seem to agree that a robust public discussion is a good thing.

    • bluharmony

      That’s exactly on point.

    • Lorenzo Benito

      What happens when the government regulates speech in a manner they find congenial? Do they like it then?
      Other people I’ve know who operate like this do so very much: they call governmental censorship of views they don’t like a victory for human rights.

  • Mel

    If they can come up with a catchy term, they can dismiss anything without examining it. Handy when examining it means acknowledging something they prefer to ignore, or defending a flawed position. Freeze peach, JAQing, ‘what about teh menz’, hyperskepticism, etc. It’s no different from sticking their fingers in their ears and going “la la la, I can’t hear you,” except the catchphrase provides (them, if no one else) the illusion of legitimacy and their own superiority and “rightness.”

    • bluharmony

      Mansplain’, privilege, patriachy…

      • Mel

        And in the case of A+, “Arguments To Avoid” (a list of arguments that happen to be effective).

      • http://twitter.com/iamcuriousblue iamcuriousblue

        Don’t forget “cargo cult social justice” for any kind of anti-oppression politics that don’t fit their narrow ideology. Albeit, I haven’t heard that term bandied around so much these days.

        • bluharmony

          I must have missed that one. Then there’s “libertarian” for anyone who isn’t “liberal” enough for them. They fail to understand that when you’re asking people to subscribe to dogma rather than think for themselves, those people are no longer liberals; they’re authoritarians.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/theo.fensivatheist Theo Fensivatheist

    At last, i’m so pleased a blogger has finally spoken up about this. It’s been coined by some (i wonder who? FtBcough*) as a means of diminishing it’s importance. Happily the people involved have seen their own importance diminish much much more & hopefully will continue on their downward spiral into an abyss of irrelevance.

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  • Jen L

    You would be making an excellent point if your premise were correct. Since it is not, your point is nonsense. By the way, you should probably cut down on the use of personal attacks against groups of people because you disagree with them– which is a silencing tactic as well as a logical flaw.

    “Freeze peach” is the term that feminists, social justice warriors, skeptics, and others use to refer to the argument that person 1 having the freedom of speech to disagree with person 2 is a violation of person’s 2 freedom of speech. The way that actual free speech works is that you can state your position and I can state my disagreement, as I have just done.

    You would only be accused of a “freeze peach” argument if you responded by claiming that I am violating your freedom of speech by speaking.

    But you know, you’re from Russia, so apparently that’s perfectly fine? No. You misunderstand the term and its usage, which is fine, but when you write a rant about the usage of a term, would it kill you to LOOK IT UP FIRST?

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2013/05/free-speech-vs-freeze-peach/

    • bluharmony

      OK, so you didn’t understand anything I wrote. What country are you from? Hopefully not an English-speaking one. Also, you cannot possible tell me how all feminists and SJWs use a particular term of ridicule, when such usage is rarely, if ever, consistent.

      Since apparently you’re unaware, “Freeze Peach” has been used to justify banning people and keeping certain arguments from being voiced — no matter how politely — in certain fora. And that’s the only way I’ve ever seen it used. If it were used the way you clumsily describe, I doubt anyone would have an issue with it, and my post would have received no attention or support.