Freedom of Speech Means Freedom to Offend: Persuasive Essay

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In Canada, do we have our freedom of expression? To an extent, we do have the right to freedom of expression. Having the right to express whatever you want allows you to have the podium and voice your ideas and motivations aloud. These three articles’ reoccurring patterns are trying to figure out and understand why people feel so threatened or offended by this given right. The pieces justify that not everyone will support the same ideas or opinions, so how do you create boundaries when communicating your freedom of expression? Limitation exists when someone begins to feel offended or hurt; this is the main reason we have a limit to expressing ourselves.

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Danielle S. Mclaughlin, Director of Education Emerita, wrote an article called “You Have the Right to Offend Me,” about a student who wore a T-shirt to school that says “Life is wasted without Jesus.” This article reflects our rights and freedom of expression and the conflicting matter of why someone would feel offended by this T-shirt. Mclaughlin did not question why the student would wear that type of shirt to school. Still, she focused on why some people felt offended by it instead (Mclaughlin, par. 9). This article teaches their audience that before we call out individuals who may have offended us, maybe we should ask ourselves, “Why does this offend me?” (Mclaughlin, par. 12); a lot can go along way with communication. David J. Climenhaga, the author of the Alberta Diary blog, wrote “On the streets of Edmonton with street preacher Dale; ‘it’s really tough.’” This is about a preacher on the streets of Edmonton who preaches Christian gospels. Now this could attract a crowd of Christian believers who support this kind of event (Climenhaga, par. 3), or people who have a different type of religion that would disagree with Dale's preaching of Christianity. Sometimes, becoming defensive in situations that make us feel uncomfortable is using angry words or becoming physically aggressive towards something that we may perceive as a threat to our own identities or morals. The evidence Dale gave when he spoke out about being both physically and verbally assaulted demonstrated that valuing your right to freedom of expression can be hard when not everyone agrees with your opinions Climenhaga, par. 5). James L Turk, Director of Ryerson’s Center for Free Expression, wrote an article called “Censorship Has No Place in the University” that although freedom of speech is a right, it becomes a problem when you do not consider the damage when you them (Turk, par.16). Jenn Smith is a supporter and speaker for the LGBTQ community. Turk promoted protests outside of the University of British Columbia to spread awareness about LGBTQ people (Turk, par. 3). This article differs from the other two because it explains how people can overuse their right to express themselves. Overusing could mean crossing the limit between discriminating against individuals who disagree with your point of view and calling it “Freedom of Expression.” Jenn Smith has the right to express himself, but when people identify his words as “hate speech,” the defensive approach is to protect ourselves from being a part of that other side of the line (Turk, par.13).

There are both sides good and bad of having the right and freedom to express. The advantage of having this right can speak out about the challenges that society faces. As a society, we need to become better at expressing ourselves in more appropriate ways and ask ourselves why we may feel threatened by another person’s morals.

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Freedom of Speech Means Freedom to Offend: Persuasive Essay. (2023, September 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 23, 2024, from
“Freedom of Speech Means Freedom to Offend: Persuasive Essay.” Edubirdie, 25 Sept. 2023,
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