Free Speech Communication Guidelines

Free Speech PRePP 

Communication Guidelines in a Politically Correct Culture

Any open discussion about sex and society will often bring up issues of race, culture, gender, orientation, and other ‘hot button’ issues. With Hedonisia communication guidelines we try to create a safe container for participants to feel comfortable enough to communicate freely with differing political views, religious beliefs, and sexual orientations.

During the course of his travels and belief in open communication, Mojo developed the PRePP approach to dealing with feelings of offense when confronted by "micro-aggressions", jokes, criticism, ignorance and stereotypes.

These guidelines are not just for communication about sex. PRePP can allow people from different backgrounds to have open conversations about any subject with respect and politeness for individual sensibilities without a feeling of being judged or censored.

PRePP consists of two parts, personal responsibility and personal politeness.

1. Personal Responsibility

sex positive communication

Sex-Positive Communication

While a word or expression is offensive to one person that does not mean it is offensive to others of the same demographic. People can speak from their personal experience. However, it is important to make the distinction between taking personal offense and taking offense on behalf of a group. 'Trigger Words' and 'micro-aggressions' are personal. They are not objective truths. It is the height of entitlement for anyone to claim to be a ‘spokesperson’ for their demographic.

Mojo, the founder of HedoFeminista, can speak from his experience AS an Indian, Ex-Muslim, or Immigrant but I cannot speak FOR any of those demographics. If something offensive is said to him, he can respond and talk about his personal experience as an Indian male. However, he is not entitled to speak for his demographic. In other words, he takes personal responsibility for the fact that he is offended.

Nor does he have the right to accuse someone of racism on behalf of all Indians. I can speak only for myself and what offends me. The reason is simple. Certain words may trigger me but not others in my group.

Most stereotypes, jokes, ignorant comments, and criticisms of my race were often just other people's attempts at trying to understand my people rather than an automatic indicator of prejudice. 

The advantage of taking personal responsibility when you are offended is that it allows you to tell a little bit why that word or phrase is hurtful to you. You can share an anecdote or a personal experience. Anything to your comfort level.

A person can easily bow out of a conversation while assuring the other participants that while they have a right to free speech, you have a personal right to leave a discussion.

Showing that you are taking responsibility for being offended is not accusatory as in "that's homophobic" or "that's racist". You are not lecturing or censoring them on what they can or cannot say in the future. You are simply saying why a particular word or phrase is hurtful to you.

When someone takes personal responsibility for being offended there is a different narrative based on subjectivity rather than the objective 'call-out" tone of Intersectionality. More often than not, this will engender a polite "I'm sorry" response than when someone feels they are being attacked as bigoted.

2. Personal Politeness

In most cultures, is natural and polite to not say something that is personally offensive to another. That is the essence of living in a civilized society.

Anyone is free to say what makes them feel personally uncomfortable. As culture that strives to be a polite community of individuals, we adopt a policy of personal politeness and respect for individual feelings.

Being polite does not mean that one needs to feel accused or censored. An offensive phrase to one person may not be so to another. For example, the word 'bitch' can be offensive to some women. To others it is not. If someone is offended by that word, they can speak up about their personal offense giving as much personal reasoning as they feel comfortable with sharing. One woman might hate the word because it was what an abusive partner called her. Another person, of any gender, might love using the word as part of their erotic talk.

Once it is known that a word is personally offensive, most polite people would not use the word when in the presence of the offended person. However, when they are with other friends, they can use the word again without any feeling of guilt. This is a much better outcome than feeling censored for ever using that word based on one person's offense.

The subtle distinctions between politeness, personal responsibility and free speech allows a diverse group of participants to feel comfortable expressing themselves and sharing their views. Honest meaningful conversations can challenge our beliefs. In many cases, personal growth and development emerge from these free-flowing uncensored conversations.

Intersectionality, Micro-Aggressions or Trigger Words

Trigger Words & Micro-Aggressions are Personal

Everyone has a unique personal history. Certain words or phrases may bring up painful memories. That is completely understandable. While anyone can speak from their personal experience for their demographic, no one is a spokesperson for their demographic.

When we separate the personal from the ‘tribal’, it becomes easier to have honest conversations. It is humble and polite to say you’re personally offended. It is the height of ego to be offended on behalf of a certain group whether you are from that group or not.

This can be more challenging if you are not from the group being joked about, yet being offended based on your perceived feelings and sensitivities of that group.

An accusation of prejudice is serious. In today's world, it can have social, economic, and even legal consequences.

Implying prejudice when offended is a great censor of free speech. It can also create animosity and opposite outcomes. If a person feels accused of being prejudiced, they might hang out with others who do the same. Right wing populism is growing in US & Europe as a reaction.

J.I.S.C. - (Jokes, Ignorance, Stereotypes, Criticism)

  1. Jokes. If a person makes a joke at the expense of another’s demographic it can be deemed as prejudiced but is not necessarily so. (What about if the joke is really funny? 
  2. Ignorance. If a person makes a comment that shows complete ignorance of another’s demographic it can be deemed as prejudiced but is not necessarily so. (You would be surprised at how little people know about each other.
  3. Stereotypes. If a person points out a stereotypical pattern of another’s demographic it can be deemed as prejudiced but is not necessarily so. (And what if a stereotype whether positive or negative, has merit? 
  4. Criticism. If a person criticizes some aspect of another’s demographic it can be deemed as prejudiced but is not necessarily so. (And what if there is some truth to the criticism? 

Free Speech & Negative Intent versus Negative Impact

An important key that defines prejudice is negative intent. Of course, negative intent is hard to prove. However, as we get to know people we can easily ascertain their intent if they continue to make comments that are critical, joking, or show ignorance of a demographic group.

Intersecting Identity Play Zoom Discussion Group

Guidelines for Civilized, Friendly and Open Discussion

We live in a politically correct world that sometimes stifles honest conversation. And sex is one of the most politically incorrect subjects there is.

Our purpose is education and communication about the sensitive subject of sexuality. In order to do this we create a ‘safe container’ for open friendly discussions:

  • We respect this safe space for open discussion.
  • We engage in our right to free speech while respecting individual sensitivities
  • We agree to be polite and not tolerate hostile language or behavior.

S.I.S.C. Social Identity Sensitivity Check

Everyone has different social identities. However, each person has different sensitivities based on those identities that often depends on situations in their life that created an impact. A SISC reflection is simple. Look inside and see whether you're sensitivity is High, Low or Medium with each social identity that you feel part of.

For example ,a person who is gay and black might have had much more negative experiences with their orientation than their skin color. As such, they might be more sensitive with any JISC comments about their sexuality than their race.

Call Outs & Cancel Culture

Always assume best intent, that we all want to build supportive communities and build each other up. We know that is not always the case. Use PRePP when confronted with unwanted speech. If the person persists in that personally offensive language then they can be called out.

Rule of thumb. Don't be a D.i.C., Doing Intentional Cruelty. In other words, if.a person is offensive, you respond personally, without accusations, and they continue, then you can take remedial action to leave the situation or if in a group, to complain about their behavior.

Volunteer Options for Free Attendance to Meetups

There is a $10-$25 Sliding scale fee to attend a discussion group. However, we offer a Volunteer program to attend workshops for free:

  • Research and Writing Volunteer. We are always doing updates, proofreading, and writing of content of these discussion groups. Some of the subjects we are working on can be found on the Hedo Feminista Sex & Society Essays. For 2 hours of writing and research, which you can do at home, you can attend any discussion group for free.
Intersecting Identity Play Sex and Free Speech Workshop

Intersecting Identity Play

Sex & Free Speech Zoom Communication Workshops

Due the nature and subject matter of Intersecting Identity Play, many people like to attend from the comfort of their homes. Hosting the group online also allows us to maximize participation in the world.

Purchase 2021 Tickets via Eventbrite