Hi all. Apologies for not posting on Monday. I’ve had a…weird few days and I haven’t really had the chance to sit down and write. (Also, on Monday I was off at the Fight the Bite zombie apocalypse survival/self defense class, where I was learning how to not get my ass kicked by the pet zombies. Watch for my posts on In Case of Survival about this.)
So as I mentioned in my posts last week, a nonprofit I work with lost support from a major (also nonprofit) group because the other nonprofit read my blog and was offended by it. Which is weird to me, because a) I write about the apocalypse in a rather tongue in cheek way; b) I write a lot about books in the science fiction/fantasy genres; and c) tongue in cheek, people, tongue in cheek.
Anyway. All that being said, I now find myself pausing every time I go to write something. Because what if somebody else finds it and is offended by it? I’ve already been asked to take down all mention of said nonprofits off my blog, and I’ve been asked to take down all mention of my blog on another group’s site.
So quite frankly, I’ve now gotten a bit of writer’s block. And I don’t like it. I’ve already said that I will not stop writing because some people don’t like what I write. After all, I live in a country with something called “freedom of speech,” so I can write whatever I want (within reason, I mean, no hate speech and all that) and you don’t have to like it. That said, it still chafes, being asked to take stuff down, being asked to compartmentalize my life because “they” are offended by my blog and the topics I cover on it.
And I ask myself, how do people do it? For people who live in places where they are censored, where their writing could land them in jail or worse — how do they do it? How do they keep writing? I’m not even writing about social policies or the government or anything that could remotely land me in trouble (well, at least, not from most people’s perspectives). And I’m already thinking to myself, “Should I write this? Would be people be offended by it? And why do I care?” I mean, I’m checking myself every step of the way. So how do the writers, journalists, and bloggers in other parts of the world do it?
And what is the point of censorship? To instill fear? To bend people to your will? To manipulate? All of the above?
I hate that I’m now essentially censoring myself. I hate that this organization has made me become wary of writing what I normally write. I hate that some old-school conservative has essentially stopped me from being myself. I hate it.
So thanks a lot, organization. Is this what you wanted? Are you happy now?
I gotta say, this whole thing is not motivating me to do my nonprofit work (which, by the way, is a volunteer position).