Take Your Freedom of Speech and Shove It!

I didn’t have a plan of what to talk about today, until I remembered reading something really crazy yesterday. If you haven’t heard, fashion designers Dolce & Gabbana made some interesting statements regarding gay marriage and gay parents adopting/using IVF to conceive. People have also written that their thoughts include straight couples that use IVF. I don’t know if that last sentence is true, as I’ve only read two articles that stated that info.

Today, Domenico Dolce went on to clarify his statements:

We talked about our way of seeing reality, but it was never our intention to judge other people’s choices. We do believe in freedom and love.”

Domenico Dolce added: “I’m Sicilian and I grew up in a traditional family, made up of a mother, a father and children. I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I’ve known. But in my personal experience, family had a different configuration. That is the place where I learnt the values of love and family. This is the reality in which I grew up, but it does not imply that I don’t understand different ones. I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people’s choices and decisions.”

In the article I linked above, it states that he’s a practicing Catholic.

When I first heard about this story, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. In case you didn’t know, D&G are gay. They were actually in a decades long relationship at one time. So, for them to feel this way, after spending an enormous amount of time together is just…weird, right? All I could think was, “What?? I don’t get it”. But that’s not my issue.

My issue is that these days, you cannot have an opinion. You just can’t. Remember my posts about shaming and hating? Essentially, if you speak out against the status quo, you 1) have shamed someone or some behavior, 2) are a hater or 3) are just flat out wrong.

This is how I look at D&G’s statements. As a Black person, I feel like someone out there is always going to hate me. Yes, random strangers will always hate me simply because I’m Black. Now, that’s terrible, right? How can you hate someone that you don’t even know, simply because they are a darker hue than you? It doesn’t make sense. It feels VERY WRONG. Yet, it’s going to continue to happen until the day I die. I’m sure of it. Why? Because unfortunately, that’s life. Ok, forget skin color. Let’s talk about personalities. Let’s talk about that annoying co-worker you have right now. Maybe they don’t do any work. Or maybe they spend all their time chatting with everyone, hence avoiding doing actual work. Or maybe, they love to kiss up to the boss. They are just lame, for whatever reason. But guess what? You do not have to like them. Why? Because LIFE. In this situation, life is awesome! See, it works out for the best sometimes. 🙂

We can’t like everything. We can’t like everyone. I’m sure God didn’t intend for this life to be this way, but it is.

The same goes for opinions. And this is where things get dicey, but there are people out there that will state how they feel and others will not like it. I knoooow. Sucks, right? Why can’t everyone just agree with everything I say!! But let me give you some reverse psychology. What IF we all agreed on everything that everyone said? Can you imagine that world? I can’t. Just thinking about that makes me mad. We’re not a monolithic society. We are different people, with different thoughts and views. It’s what makes us unique, folks.

So, if that’s how D&G feel about family, that’s how they feel. I believe the explanation given today is what they should have said initially. I think how they stated their opinions at first, is what drew the outrage. Today’s statement seems more thought out and more understandable. I can wrap my head around this new statement. Sometimes we need context for what people are trying to say. Reading Dolce’s statement does make me wonder a little more about why his thoughts never changed as he grew up and came to be where he is today. And this speaks to something very, very important that we tend to forget. Everyone goes through something in life that we may never know. Dolce has shared a little more about how he grew up, so we can begin to understand why he feels the way he does. However, perhaps he has experienced even more as a gay man that has made him continue to feel the way he does. Unless he shares that, we won’t know. But clearly, I think there’s more to his story and why he has these feelings. Finally, while I understand D&G are in positions of power and influence, I don’t think they should hide their real thoughts. If that’s how they feel, that’s how they feel. As I just stated, there’s clearly more to their stories.

I’ll wrap this up and say, in our country, we love to yell freedom of speech all day long. But if it’s something we don’t agree on, we are quick to condemn it. Yes, freedom of speech doesn’t mean free from consequence, but we need to remember what freedom of speech means in the first place. If we only want people to exercise freedom of speech when we can all agree on it, then perhaps our country doesn’t need it.

-t

 

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