Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What About Personal Freedom!

Some Questions:
Does anyone know what Personal means? When we define something as personal: what do we mean? What about Private? Are these the same? Do we want to block other’s judgment when we say this is a personal matter? And do we always need to say it or is there going to be a day that the others realize it on their own? (The other is anyone who is not you.)

Some Points:

For those of us who pretend to believe in Personal Freedom – from freedom of speech to freedom of choice and so on:

“Freedom of speech is the concept of being able to speak freely without censorship. […] The most important justification for free speech is a general liberal or libertarian presumption against coercing individuals from living how they please and doing what they want.” [Freedom of speech, Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia]

That means:
If X wants or chooses to talk, to write, to express … anything X prefers, and I mean anything - from the monthly menstrual period to the Heegaard splittings and pseudo-Anosov maps – X has the right to do so. We mostly agree with this part, but we are usually not so enthusiastic for the rest of the quoted phrase that says: Individuals have the right to live how they please and forcing them, in any way, to decide against their will is against freedom of individuals–.

And that means:
X is also has the right of choosing what X wears, what X eats, who X has sex with, what X reads, what X sees… This is the fact that particularly gets ignored: that there are some personal choices everyone has the right to make without the fear of being judged by others: I believe the others’ judgment is an act of coercing an individual. Keeping our judgments to ourselves and not pass any judgment on one another’s personal choices is wishful thinking on my part. But I still prefer to go with my wishes rather than my limits. So I strongly suggest that the others should at least try to keep their judgments to themselves when it comes to one’s personal choice(s).

Happy Halloween!
A Coffee Shop gets ready for Halloween
Santa Barbara, October 2007

*I assume everyone understands that I am not suggesting one should not be responsible for the choices they make, Though I believe how they want to be responsible is their choice also. I am merely suggesting that let everyone be free of fear when they make that choice.

**Last night magnitude-5.6 earthquake shook San Francisco Bay area: This post is by no means a result of that earthquake!


jeerjeerak said...

good point here. Ones the "personal" choices get out of line with social norms, is actually where we need to have this "freedom" enforced and protected. Otherwise if your personal choices are in line with social perceptions, then the freedom is there by default.

P.S. So i've heard the earth quake was a good kick off for the Halloween;)

Tameshk said...

Dearest Jeerjeerak

That is the precise point of the freedom of speech and moreover personal freedom: It should protect the minorities(under any category) ; people whose tastes are out of the accepted norms and many times in arts it should protect creative and smartly brave artists whose works break through our daily lives.

PS. the Earthquake: I was in the car when it happened, and I didn't feel it at all; but for our friends and relatives who were inside their houses it was a great introduction to Halloween!

Nazy said...

Salam Tameshk Jan: You sound so serious in this post! Just show me the person who overstepped the boundaries and I will talk to them!

In Farsi, Personal means shakhsi and Private means khosoosi. They do have two different meanings, albeit close in certain applications.

You know that it is harder for Iranians to fully grasp and embrace the concept of "freedom of expression," because we simply don't know how to do it ourselves by social training, as we were never taught, nor can we easily accept and tolerate it from others. It takes a lot of work to learn it. Even when we are past the social and political limits we continually feel, we are caught in the "roodarvaisi" snare for years to come! Though I have taken pains to practice the tolerance, there are some things that turn me off and then I have to think to myself: "Is it that you don't like the person's speaking his/her mind, or is it that you don't want to know about what he/she is saying." I was really distraught, for example, when I was reading about someone's sexual activities in a blog. First I had to examine myself for exactly what was turning me off. In the end, I decided that it is perfectly fine with me what she says in her blog about whatever she feels like saying. Reading about someone's sexual experiences or her vibrator was really not something I wanted to do. So, my tolerance was extended to her, but not my taste and audience.

I may just be really old-fashioned, too. Be good azize delam.

Tameshk said...

Nazy Joonam;

Thanks for the offer; I always feel protected around you. I came back from Berkeley last night, but I still have you protecting charm with me.

Your are, like always lovely and fashionable, so don't call yourself old-fashioned: On the matters of Personal Freedom; I do not eliminate criticism from the issue; but I see a difference between criticism and judgment and by judgment I mean verdict and ruling. By sure people's tastes differs from one an other and as you said we don't need to change our taste what we need is more tolerance toward one another.