Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy. And ideas are bulletproof.
V, V for Vendetta
I loved V for Vendetta, the movie and I could recognize a younger myself in V’s speech. There is something compelling about bulletproof ideas that remain and that in time other people and other bodies will bring them forward. What we need to understand is that free speech is about ideas, while violence is always about bodies.
What legislators, advocates, regulators and policy-makers fail to see is the power of brutality and violence to silence and even to annihilate the body of the assaulted person. That it is virtual, does not make the attack any less real or painful. Our data selves and online bots inscribe our bodies in our physical realities with a terrific precision. The online is not virtual, virtuously removed from the body – it is inscribed in the same patriarchal world that will use any argument to silence diversity, while allegedly upholding free speech.