Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sticks & Stones

When John Galliano was caught on camera saying inappropriate things during a dinner outing in 2011, the public was outraged. Galliano was subsequently fired from his gig running legendary fashion house Christian Dior and it took 2 years for him to begin making a public comeback, so it seems clear that some things just can’t be said. Whether it’s from a sense of libreral guilt, a desire to be politically correct, or an attempt to avoid unnecesary social drama the trend not to say what is on our minds is taking over everything.

It has even become common in the workplace. Many companies have instituted policies which prohibit their employees from speaking about their work – not just on social media, but in every situtation. Even Library and Archives Canada has followed this trend and told their employees to keep mum, which comes as a surprise to many library enthusiasts who are used to hearing about librarys enforcing freedom of information and freedom of speech right alongside.

It’s fine to limit free speech when it comes to derrogatory remarks about race, religion, etc, but when it comes to the workplace what is the benefit? If employees are speaking negatively of their workplaces, shouldn’t that be an indication that there are problems within the organization? If it’s only one person making noise, then maybe they are just a disgruntled employee, but when there is an outcry from a multitude then employers should take stock of whether the complaints have any truth. At least that way the complaints are dealt with rather than being allowed to fester. 

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