Tuesday, August 07, 2007

NYC to Ban the B Word

As many of you know, I consider myself a libertarian politically. While it has more often been the Republicans in the past that wanted to abridge free speech, more recently it has been coming from the Democrats. They seem to think that we need to be protected from some types of speech, as if words could actually harm us. The NYC commission is proposing to ban the use of the words "bitch" and "ho":

The New York City Council, which drew national headlines when it passed a symbolic citywide ban earlier this year on the use of the so-called n-word, has turned its linguistic (and legislative) lance toward a different slur: bitch.

The term is hateful and deeply sexist, said Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn, who has introduced a measure against the word, saying it creates “a paradigm of shame and indignity” for all women.

Obviously, the words are offensive in some contexts, but banning words cannot be acceptable in a free society. While it may seem harmless legislation (since it is in no way enforecable) banning words today may have unforseen consequences in the future. The same NYC commission already banned the "N" word earlier this year. What's next? Since when did we elect politicians to decide the boundaries of our vocabulary?

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