Free Speech Rhetoric and Normalizing Violence: Setting Higher Standards for University Guest Speaker Policies

  • Madison McDonald McMaster University


In response to recent protests against controversial guest speakers, many Canadian universities have implemented new policies that conflate academic freedom and freedom of speech. The resultant free speech policies often protect speakers regardless of the content of their speech; this paper discusses the importance of barring speech that normalizes acts of harm.

Author Biography

Madison McDonald, McMaster University

Madison McDonald is a recent graduate of McMaster University’s Gender Studies and Feminist Research M.A. program. Her recent research focuses on anti-feminist women and their unique relationship to far-right politics.

Special Section: Speaking Freely and Freedom of Speech