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Not a social warrior’s blog

We indeed are living in a mad world when we get to read an opinion piece of the likes of Christopher Attard and his latest gem titled “Social justice gone mad.” A piece so laden with big words and despise for anything that resembles a call for equality that Freud himself would have a field day analysing its contents. Overcompensation much?

Mr Attard talks about this plague of unreason, fuelled by a bankrupt ideology yet fails to point out what he is exactly referring to. He simply gathers all the different things he seems to be angry at and drops them one after each other in a way which resemble more the premise of one of the Sharknado movies than it does a coherent, well researched argument.

He manages to mix up feminist and LGBTIQ issues, putting them in the same pot and in the same breath insult anyone who feels close to these causes. He does the same with gender dysphoria, sexual orientation and gender identity.

I don't know if Mr Attard is aware what is happening outside his little misogynistic microcosm but women to this day are still being treated unequally

He talks about feminists not being required to bring any facts to the table yet forgets to bring any facts of his own. He starts by mentioning the need for safe spaces at university and shooting the need for such spaces down, saying "mere words" should not drive anyone to "hysteria". Well I guess if “mere words” didn’t have such power I wonder why he chooses to write down his opinions for the world to read. Am I missing something here?

And I don't know if Mr Attard is aware what is happening outside his little misogynistic microcosm but women to this day are still being treated unequally.

Just look at what happened at Stanford University where a male student felt entitled to rape a female student because she was intoxicated together with the judgment handed down to this man and the way the University of Stanford conducted itself on the matter.

Just in case Mr Attard wants some facts, how about the fact that one out five American women has been the victim of rape, and that in America only about 15 to 35 per cent of cases are reported to the authorities according to the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. I’m unable to provide any statistics for Malta as these are rarely published.

Having said that, even Helena Dalli, Minister for Civil Liberties believes we have a huge problem with unreported rape cases.

I guess third-wave feminists do need therapy, but not for their "dysfunctional core beliefs", but for the gender bias women have to face in their daily lives - from sexualised adverts offering women up on a plate as mere sexual objects to something which apparently is pretty close to Mr Attard’s heart - the gender pay gap (see his other ludicrous unsubstantiated rant previously published in Times of Malta).

Oh and by the way the gender pay gap is not a myth but a widely documented economic fact. Someone even went through the trouble of linking a few statistics by Eurostat under one of Mr Attard’s article showing the gross hourly earnings in the EU for women are an average of 16 per cent below those of males.

Later on in his post he alludes to a recent news item which warmed the heart of many. I'm assuming he is talking about the launch of Willa Naylor’s book. Willa is an eight-year-old, transgender girl who wrote a book about her experiences while transitioning and who is now living with her true gender identity.

He paints her family as being somewhat of an abomination for giving Willa the support she needed to get through her transition, because what is more dangerous than supportive parents who give their children all the love and understanding they need.

"Chromosomes are here to stay," he cries out. Well apparently so are bigotry and lack of compassion. He talks about a Swedish study that states how people who had gender reassignment therapy are more prone to suicides. I wonder if it ever occurred to Mr Attard that the reason for this is not down to identity but down to the persecution these people face on a daily basis from neanderthal specimens who would rather condemn than accept?

Freedom of speech has its limitations and it can also be abused.

Finally, I want to address the issue of freedom of speech, because I have seen many saying that as a society we need to let people like Mr Attard speak out on their opinions, because freedom of speech goes both ways. Well, no! Freedom of speech has its limitations and it can also be abused.

There are many people out there who are happy to let this kind of speech be published, thus facilitating bigotry and in so doing shutting down voices that for decades have been silenced. All this is somehow being done in the name of free speech and Mr Attard’s opinion piece is one of them.

It was Oscar Wilde who said “tolerate everything except intolerance” and I’m sure he knew a thing or two about censorship. It is high time that we distinguish between speech that can free us and help us grow and other forms of speech that are there to intimidate and shut others up. This goes for all forms of media, from newspapers to social media channels.

Times of Malta as a journalistic institution, one whom I have the utmost respect for, had a duty not to publish such an intolerant piece towards women and the LGBTIQ community.

I understand that the canned reply is that this post was written under the author's name and doesn't represent the views of the newspapers, but the editors have a responsibility towards their readers, not to mention a responsibility towards the law that prohibits any kind of incitement of hatred, something Mr Attard has once again infringed upon.

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