Female Bloggers Fight for Freedom of Speech: In November 2009, Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez was walking to a march against violence in Havana when three men drove up in an unmarked black car and told her to get in. When she refused, they dragged her into the vehicle and began beating her.
“They were saying, ‘It’s all over, Yoani.’ I really thought they were going to kill me,” she said after her release.
The beating, which left her with broken teeth and a black eye, was one of the many attacks Sanchez has endured due to her work as a journalist and activist. Her blog “Generación Y” offers a critical look at daily life under Castro’s regime and gets about 14 million hits each month.
She is one of three female bloggers whose fight for freedom of speech is documented in Forbidden Voices, a new film directed by Barbara Miller.
Link to Global Journalist: http://www.globaljournalist.org/stories/2013/11/18/female-bloggers-fight-for-freedom-of-speech/
Did you see this documentary? The documentary follows the lives of Sánchez in Cuba, Farnaz Seifi in Iran and Zeng Jinyan in China. The three women have faced censorship, threats and violence to tell their stories.
I was horrified to witness the extent of cruelty against these brave women - and this cruelty is condoned by the government in some countries. The violence against these women was spurred on only because they voiced their opinion on social injustices. One can only assume that the government authorities fear the consequences if their dictatorial actions becomes common knowledge worldwide, as well as motivate fellow civilians to question and demonstrate against the government.
How I have taken my freedom of speech for granted! Short of encouraging hatred or violence, I can pretty much say what’s on my mind. The worst that can happen is I’ll either reveal my ignorance or receive a whack of criticism.
There is the opposite end of this ‘free speech’ spectrum. There is a ton of garbage on twitter, facebook, and blogs. Some are deliberately hurtful or just plain noise with no purpose. I’ve learned to follow only a few bloggers who regularly have something interesting to say, and make an effort to say it well.
If you’ve got something of value to say, say it well. You are responsible for the effect your post or tweet may have on others. Value the freedom of speech most of us enjoy. Use it wisely.