First Among Equals: The Voice


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No! I don’t defend your right to say it

When your words make her put her wrist to the razor

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When you words make people spit and stare at her

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make a mother shed endless tears

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make them feel they don’t belong here

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words inflict pain and distress on beautiful faces

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words mean we need the safest of spaces

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make others stigmatise and shun

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words incite thoughts of killing and guns

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make a young man die alone by a tree

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make a father grieve ’til he’s empty

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make their day as dark as the night

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make suicide a national plight

I don’t defend your fight to say it!

When your words are divisive so hateful they kill

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make someone’s best friend overdose on pills

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make no one sit near him on the bus

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make it all about them and us

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make another feel less than whole

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words eat away slowly at a beautiful soul

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your excuse for this harm is speech and freedom

To self-absolve from the hurt that you have caused

I say your words are sick and I condemn them

To honour the beautiful lives forever paused.

Originally Published on Polyfeministix

 1,000 total views,  2 views today


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  1. silkworm

    I have to agree. “Freedom of speech” is being pushed by right-wing bullies, and is completely outside the spirit in which Voltaire proposed it.

  2. Miriam English

    Well said Trish. Words are some of the most powerful and dangerous instruments we have at our disposal. To use them irresponsibly is all kinds of wrong. The deceitful and shallow-minded campaign for supposed “freedom of speech” needs to be seen for what it is.

    I support genuine free speech – exposing uncomfortable truth and unmasking lies. I don’t support the pretense at free speech that the new breed of bigots want, that allow them to lie and to attack and hurt people with impunity.

  3. paulwalter

    Fairly sombre stuff. The more idiot forms of hate speech just aggravate a depressive condition.

  4. trishcorry

    I participated in an argument last night on Twitter with some on the NO side, that the YES side will drive people to suicide because they are getting called bigots.

  5. wam

    The reason for the plebiscite:
    I want to have my say re the gay marriage debate- I do not need politicians voting for me
    but surely on Feb 11-2017 ,we can add a few more items , to make it cost effective- I would add Voluntary Euthanasia for one,what does the general public like to add- after all it is our money??)
    howard changed the act without any trouble or reason and what is gay marriage to do with you.
    an opinion!
    Another delay another wedge and equality is the last resort. The plebiscite may lose but the result can be ognored. A free vote in parliament is the best, perhaps only, chance for equality

  6. trishcorry

    Yes, I’ve seen people flat out deny that there is any harm in people disagreeing with SSM even when I have put the evidence in their face. “That’s just an opinion” they say (Rainbow noose or G Christensen with a Machine Gun with a Rainbow in it). Some people are so insular and selfish they don’t care about the harm their words cause particular groups of people. I agree with a free vote, but I do not support Labor having a free vote. I am for a binding vote as pushed by Plibersek. This should not be a matter of conscience for anyone in Labor. It is a matter of legal discrimination.

  7. Jaquix

    Good on you Trish. Totally covers it! Doug Cameron on Q&A was right when he said “We didnt need a plebiscite to change the Marriage Act in 2004, we did in in parliament.” (wars, ditto of course) What a lot of time being wasted on this – Turnbull stands condemned on this one matter alone. If he had any guts at all, he would stand up to the rabble he “leads” and say, No folks, Im the leader, I say its going to parliament today. Parliament will decide the issue, as it should. ” And offer his resignation after the vote has been taken – call their bluff I say.

  8. townsvilleblog

    Words are weapons and can bring harm as well as compliment. We should stick to compliments and making feel important and add to their self esteem if we are able. I usually dislike tags, but I am a democratic socialist, not a social democrat nobody compliments me for my political affliction, however over the years I’ve developed a hide as thick as a rhinoceros. I’m one of the lucky one’s where insults merely bounce off me. Mind you I’m not a teen-aged homosexual either who is sensitive about his/her sexuality, care must be used with words, so as not to offend our fellow man.

  9. townsvilleblog

    Trish/Jaquix both excellent post above me, congratulations you two for being ‘caring’ people.

  10. wam

    twice for emphasis townsvillelog you will give me a persecution complex.
    I believe absolutely in love being the basis for marriage but my facebook is full of people who believe they have a personal opinion and they want to have a say
    (the fact that they are abbottian xstians and want to say no is irrelevant to them because it is their opinion that counts not the source of that opinion)
    they post and when i reply about little johnnie they opine.
    I shudder to think what $15m of miserable adverts will do??? Their answer? Can you guess??

  11. Gany

    Well said Trish.
    In a sense, all speech can be said to be free, but what is the intention of a particular speech?
    Is the intention to isolate the other in some kind of dungeon of dark thoughts hemmed in by vindictive or petite criticism or is the intention to encourage the other towards an open field of freedom where the predominant feeling is that of inclusion?
    That is, is the speech delivered with a black heart or an open loving one?
    What some consider as free speech is nothing other than insults.
    When individuals perform the function of being fountains of insults what purpose do they serve?
    Truth plus kindness is all that is needed.
    If one cannot deliver a truth with kindness, better to stay quiet.

  12. Florence nee Fedup

    If it is OK for all to say or do whatever they like, why do we have defamation & libel laws?

  13. Trevor Cohen

    I do agree, but it is wise to know ones ‘ enemy ‘

  14. win

    Even the NT has strong words to say about the harm the tongue can do . True christians should heed them.

  15. kerri

    Well said Trish! Will share.

  16. trishcorry

    Thanks Kerri.

  17. Judith W

    Ahh… Exactly! Thanks Trish. Will share. X

  18. Trish Corry

    Thanks Judith

  19. guest

    Of course the question on the plebiscite is a loaded question. The bit about “change the law” is the tripping point. Why not just ask if single sex couples should be able to marry?

    That there can be open discussion where people can say that SSM will lead down the slippery slope to bestiality, or that football teams will demand to be allowed to marry, is part of the ignorance being encouraged. Hate speech is not “free speech”. It is just absurdity.

    So we are told bigotry is allowed. We are told we should be allowed to speak hate speech, that we should be allowed to offend and hurt people. What kind of garbage is that? It seems to me the most vocal about “free speech” are the ones most intolerant of those who speak out against them.

    We are told the people who say yes to SSM are going to degrade heterosexual marriage and cause heterosexuals to suicide in despair. Some kind of argument which has no substance. What has someone else’s marriage got to do with anyone else’s marriage?

    Then we have people claiming we are being “swamped by Muslims”, just as we have been “swamped” by Asians.(?) Are we being “swamped by Hansonites?

    Then we have those who promulgate a fallacious idea about a Jewish-UN conspiracy to take over the world with a Climate Change scam. They say what?

    Are we being swamped by ignorance and irrationality?.

  20. SGB

    Trish Corry

    Thank you

    No words – thats it all

  21. Annie B

    Trish … I have noted that you have turned off comments for “Have the Greens Just Divided the Nation” … which was rather an obvious decision by you, but as a moderator – you are entitled to do it. … And perhaps in a very small way, it is pertinent to this article.

    I did have something to say – on that article – in answer to your OWN question / query …. so here it is :

    Re : the above named article : ….. you might like to read the link – for purposes of further articles from yourself.


    Trish ….

    Re : your comment about Antony Green. [ at 7:01 pm ] and in answer to it ….

    On this link he does give a break down of preferences given to ALP and the LNP – at 2013 (?) and 2016. That’s at the top, but he then goes on for 25 +++ pages of commentary, analysis, and facts / figures. … So be prepared for a very long read. I could not go on. …. He does however, broach the subject of preferential voting on several pages – plus many other interesting observations.

    There is not ONE politician in Australian history who has not made idiots of themselves at times, or have uttered “ooops” statements. Not ONE. … It is only by degree that separates them – giving them a 1 out of 100% score on the bloopers. Top of the list is the totally inept and inarticulate Tony Abbott … I’d give him a 96% bung-hole statements score. The remainder fall in line behind him.


    So – Di Natale, Shorten, Turnbull ( of the mains today ) … and anyone else going back in time including the Australian Democrats, long gone as effective … fall on their own swords at times. … I am a Labor supporter myself, but frankly think Bill Shorten could be a lot more positive and assertive in his statements and in his opposition. … I see Di Natale as trying to play the politics ‘game’ … kind of pitting one major party against another. …. I still think his party policies are very good … but he needs to stop ‘playing games’ and strike out on his own – to stop courting whoever might accede to his requests – no matter what. … btw, I am not a Greens hater, and I don’t believe their supporters are ‘apologists’. … It is, in our history, a very new party – so give ’em a break – and lets’ see how effective ( or not ) they can actually be. …

    As for Turnbull, he is a puppet within his own party, and if he is not very careful ( to watch his back ) will be thrown down by the return of the most disgusting of all politicians in our history – Rabbutt. There is no honour amongst thieves, and the LNP is a bunch of them. … In fact, in politics – any party can turn on, or against their own party – “party infighting”.

    Speaking of ‘in-fighting’ … there is much of it on this thread. …. and it is not necessary. … We all want what is best for our country, but as usual – factions divide, and facts become distorted. …

    At least we don’t have N of S in the mix here – which would bring in the LNP in big doses to add to it all – or start another ‘confusion’.

    Oh gawd, perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned that !!! 😛 .. 😉 .. 🙁

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