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In September last year, I came up with an idea. What if there was a day solely dedicated to annoying cultural authoritarians across the world? What if we all came together and collectively posted offensive content in defence of free speech? A day when media feminists and social justice warriors would be triggered 69 times a second – a day of "Triggering", if you will.
I jokingly tweeted out my master plan, not expecting anything to come of it. However, a screenshot of the tweet was shared all over Facebook and other realms of social media.
The reaction was overwhelmingly positive. With threats to our freedom of expression coming thick and fast both online and in the real world, I knew we had to go through with it.
But on which day would "The Triggering" actually happen? The date clearly needed to hold some meaning. I decided on 9 March, the day after International Women's Day and the day before Osama bin Laden's birthday, giving us the maximum opportunity to make jokes about both events. Even though I had to wait six months before it began, I knew it would be worth it.
Now some of you may find that particular choice of date offensive. Who is she to make jokes about women's rights and terrorists? This is clearly nothing more than just an excuse to bully innocent people online and should in no way be permitted to take place!
I'm sorry to disappoint you, but the point of the day is that we need to be able to type things that people don't want to hear, that polite society demands we should not say and remarks that get us hauled off of our social media platforms. If we don't, then our freedoms that our ancestors fought so hard for will be lost.
The rise of Donald Trump is another sign of how sick and tired people are of the mind control that exists within PC culture
When everybody comes together and posts offensive comments all at the same time, it's impossible for those who wish to silence us to ban everyone from Facebook or Twitter. The ban system itself is massively broken. What originally started as a mechanism to remove bullying and threats is now being used not just to remove offensive jokes – but to silence political dissonance.
Conservatives like Milo Yiannopoulos have lost their Twitter verification marks. I myself have been banned from Facebook a couple of times (including a week-long ban I received while I was writing this) for milquetoast jokes about feminism. People's comments are even being removed just for pointing out fallacies in some feminists' arguments.
Even though the guidelines of these websites explicitly say that these opinions are allowed, those controlling the sites are not following their own rules. Instead they are banning people solely on an ideological basis, using a pathetic excuse: that these words are "hate speech".
What originally started as a mechanism to remove bullying and threats, is now being used not just to remove offensive jokes - but to silence political dissonance
When you stifle what you deem to be hateful speech, all speech is under threat. The definition of what "hate speech" actually is changes from one year to the next; 100 years ago, blasphemy laws were in place across many European nations, and 100 years from now you could be thrown in jail for denying the existence of the 700 genders invented by Tumblr. If you deem this day hateful or bigoted, so be it. Not long ago the suggestion that homosexuals should be allowed to marry was deemed bigoted. Once upon a time, it was frowned upon for a woman to speak up about political issues.
At the time of writing, "#TheTriggering" is trending worldwide with 159,000 tweets. This is a testament to how fed up people are with the censorship brought upon by the madness that is political correctness. The rise of Donald Trump is another sign of how sick and tired people are of the mind control that exists within PC culture. Students are standing up and inviting speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Christina Hoff Sommers to demonstrate how much they want to hear dissenting views.
We will not let our liberty perish at the hands of the professionally offended
We don't want the very free speech that our forefathers fought and died for to disappear in the most coercive and underhanded way possible. We will not let our liberty perish at the hands of the professionally offended, who would rather try to destroy your life through name-calling than defend your right to speak and challenge your points.
This worldwide trend of #TheTriggering is a wake-up call to social media companies and our governments. We don't want to watch comedians like Mike Ward be put on trial for making a joke. We don't want to see Gregory Alan Elliott arrested for the crime of sending anti-feminist tweets. I don't want people to continue believing they are justified in assaulting me on the streets by throwing urine at me because of my political opinions.
We want our freedom back, culturally and legally.
Inevitably, the headlines from The Mary Sue and other progressive publications have come out to label participants of #TheTriggering as bigots and bullies. Call us all the names you want; we absolutely defend your right to do so. However, remember that no one is safe from the threat of authoritarian censorship and the eroding of our freedoms. No name-calling or ban is a heavier price to pay than the loss of our freedoms.
Not to mention, the hashtag is a ridiculously fun way to defend those freedoms.
Lauren Southern is a political sciences student and a contributor for The Rebel Media.