Where do you draw the line between criticism and insult?
Even with good intentions, this is not always easy for a writer.
Furthermore, it is wrong to assume that the writer is always free to write what he or she wants to write about.
If Tolstoy was among us today, he would be treated like garbage by some influential people. After all, he was a Russian and he intensely criticised Shakespeare!
I have never met or read about an individual who is totally free.
Have you ever tried to control your heartbeat, your blood flow or the much more subtle, your thought process?
Maybe, freedom means to be free from the enslavement of another human being.
But then you need to show me one nation on this earth where that has truly been achieved, and I shall show you how wrong you are.
You should have heard George Carlin when addressing the people of the land of the brave and the free. For, he said to them: “You have no choice!” …”You have owners!”
Yes, he used foul language. That is a burden, he had to carry.
Therefore, instead of chasing this illusive word “freedom”, I would rather use my abilities and the bit of energy that I have in actively choosing a way forward that is the least harmful.
And I would add, so far this has not always been easy.
Now, onto the pratical side, would you choose, Salman Rushdie’s satanic verses, where he wrote the following:
“For boys like Battuta, white women — never mind fat, Jewish, nondeferential white women — were for f***ing and throwing over.” *
And would you therefore apply it? Be careful, you might join the ranks of Epstein and his ilk!
Or would you rather choose the following:
“Women are the twin halves of men!”
A sound narration from the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him
“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward according to the best of what they used to do.” َ
Ask your mother, your daughter or your wife if you need help choosing!
* The asterisks are from me.
nondeferential is from the copy I read. Maybe it is “nondifferential”. I left it as I found it.