In her recent New York Times article entitled “When Is Speech Violence?” Barrett contends that speech that “bullies and torments” ought to be prevented because “from the perspective of our brain cells,” it is “literally a form of violence.” She points to scientific findings showing that “Words can have a powerful effect on your nervous system. Certain types of adversity, even those involving no physical contact, can make you sick, alter your brain—even kill neurons—and shorten your life.”
Professor Barrett is a respected psychologist and she cites studies in neuroscience that support her statement that verbal abuse can bring on stress that causes physical damage. Let’s not question the science she cites. Let’s agree that she is correct in saying that chronic stress is bad for an individual, perhaps even life-shortening.
The problem is that there is no apparent connection between chronic stress and merely listening to someone speak, for a while, no matter how provocative his words may be. More.
Reality check: How did today’s pensioners get through all these years reading letters to the editor in a free press?
People who think words are violence tend to think that violence is words. Hence the SJW swinging the bicycle chain.
See also: Campus starts shovelling snowflakes off sidewalk