freedom of speech or just poor taste?

File this one under: Stupid things women say wear.

Earlier this week when singer Rihanna was caught outside her hotel by some young adoring fans. She did what any self-respecting pop star would do. She posed for pictures with her young fans. Sounds nice, right? Lucky fans. But unfortunately she is now making headlines for her inappropriate choice in jewelry. She was wearing a necklace with the words “F*** YOU”.

In her defense, many people are claiming that wearing this necklace is “Freedom of Speech”. Clearly the necklace is, at the very least, poor taste. But, is poor taste a crime? She is 20-something. And 20-something’s have a history of showing all of us their poor taste. (Think Britney Spears sans underwear!)

I remember a time when I was “young and dumb”. I lacked clear judgment, and yes, taste. I once wore an Ozzy Osbourne t-shirt to a family picnic. It was the “No More Tours Tour” t-shirt. You many have it in your closet too. Pictured on the front of the t-shirt is Ozzy sitting on the toilet with his pants down around his ankles. Not my finest clothing choice. It was simply a What-Not-To-Wear-In-Public-Period moment! I did it anyway because I thought it was cool. Just like I am sure Rihanna thinks her gold necklace is cool. But the important thing is that I learned from my bad taste in clothes.

My is issue isn’t with whether singer Rihanna has the “right” to wear a necklace with the words “F*** YOU” on it. Because, in my opinion, she does, even if I don’t like the message. (That is what is so great about America.) I want to talk about what “Freedom of Speech” really means. Does it mean we can tattoo “F*** YOU” on your forehead and call it freedom of speech? The answer is yes, but I don’t have to like it.

Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship or limitation, or both. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on “hate speech”. According to the Freedom Forum Organization, legal systems, and society at large, recognize limits on the freedom of speech, particularly when freedom of speech conflicts with other values or rights. Limitations to freedom of speech may follow the “harm principle” or the “offense principle”, for example in the case of pornography or hate speech. (Source:

Bottom line: I always say, “Just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”

Hopefully Rihanna will grow up soon and learn what not to wear.

One thought on “freedom of speech or just poor taste?

  1. I heard a preacher say on time ” If God was standing in front of you would you talk or act like you do?”


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