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Free speech can't execute abuse

I am writing in response to Adam L. Dershowitz G's recent letter in The Tech ["Preserve campus speech," March 19].

Yes, free speech is important. People should be able to express their opinions. I also must say that you argue your point in a clear, logical manner. There is, however, a fault in a logic. It ignores people; and after all, it is people whom your "free speech" affects.

Free speech means freedom to express what you think and how you feel. It means you can argue if you disagree with something. However, as always, there must be a line. Freedom of speech does not give you the right to hurt innocent people.

For example, your insistence upon showing Deep Throat constitutes a form of sexual harassment. This is harassment not because it simply offends people who don't like sexually explicit films but because showing the film hurts women.

Linda Marciano was brutalized and terrorized in the production of the film and others like it. Each time you show that film to prove what you call your "freedom of speech," you support an industry that abuses women and you further hurt each of those women.

You also hurt all of the women who have been raped and forced to perform such sexual acts as are presented in the film by men who see such films.

Personally, I have no problem with sexually explicit material. The problem is, however, that most of the movies that fit into this category are degrading to women. Deep Throat is one such film. It supports the notion of women as objects for the sole purpose of male sexual pleasure. This is not our function. Consequently, the showing of this film is hurtful.

If you want to test your right to show sexually explicit films, there are some which are not degrading to women or anyone else. You could have shown any of these films.

However, by making the decision that you did, you are testing something that is not a right. What you are calling your freedom of speech is not a right that you wish to preserve, but, rather, a mask for the power that you, as a white male, hold and are clearly afraid to share.

Perhaps you, not Associate Provost Samuel J. Keyser, do not understand what is really at stake. Keyser is not trying to censor free speech and the right to express our views, he is merely trying to protect the rights of those oppressed and hurt by people like you.

Jill Soley '92->