Milo the Pedophile?
I’ve brought up Milo Yiannopoulos before. I enjoy his drive and some of his humor though I’m not what you would call a fan I do listen when he speaks because of the power with which he defends freedom.
Recently, as I’m sure many are aware, he has been under condemnation from the right for comments he made relating to sex and the age of consent. To some these comments equal Milo’s support of pedophilia. Milo says they don’t at all and he’s been clear about that. What is the truth of the matter? In this case much of Milo’s defense of his statements stems from the definition of the terms we use to speak about sex.
In a press conference announcing is resignation from Breitbart news he said, “My experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous. But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, “advocacy.” I am horrified by that impression.”
This is a rather twisted subject. By that I don’t mean twisted in the colloquial sense of disgusting but rather twisted in that it contains several ideas that intertwine with each other. It’s difficult to talk about without trying to somewhat untangle them. Since Milo seems to be using very specific terms in his defense we should start with defining our terms.
What’s in a name? Terms of sexual attractions
“I do not believe sex with 13-year-olds is okay. When I mentioned the number 13, I was talking about myself, and the age I lost my own virginity.” – MiloThere are many terms associated with sexual attraction but I think the three below will suffice to narrow down what we are talking about. These are from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary.
- Pedophilia: sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object;
- Hebephilia: which is the same as above but with the ages being 11-14
- Ephebophilia: which is the same with the ages being 15-19
In the podcast that started all of this Milo speaks of those 13 years old specifically.
Here is an excerpt from the podcast.
Milo makes a rather grotesque comment which I don’t feel compelled to repeat here. You can look it up if you like.
One of the hosts says, “The next thing in line is going to be pedophilia.”
Milo says, “You’re misunderstanding what pedophilia means. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13-years-old who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty. Pedophilia is attraction to people who don’t have functioning sex organs yet. Who have not gone through puberty. Who are too young to be able (unclear and cut off by others)…That’s not what we are talking about. You don’t understand what pedophilia is if you are saying I’m defending it because I’m certainly not.”
It seems clear that Milo is saying that 13 years old is an acceptable age. In his press conference later he said this was in reference to himself.
“I do not believe sex with 13-year-olds is okay. When I mentioned the number 13, I was talking about myself, and the age I lost my own virginity.”
He also says that in the gay community a younger man is often referred to as a boy.
“I shouldn’t have used the word “boy” — which gay men often do to describe young men of consenting age — instead of “young man.” That was an error. I was talking about my own relationship when I was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the UK is 16.”
Going back to the pod cast. After he discusses his own experiences one of the show’s hosts chimes in by exclaiming, “You are advocating for cross generational relationships here, can we be honest about that?”
Milo answers, “Yeah, I don’t mind admitting that. I think particularly in the gay world and outside the Catholic church, if that’s where some of you want to go with this, I think in the gay world, some of the most important, enriching and incredibly life affirming, important shaping relationships very often between younger boys and older men, they can be hugely positive experiences for those young boys. They can even save those young boys, from desolation, from suicide (people talk over each other)… providing they’re consensual.”
Milo says in his press release that he is guilty of using “imprecise language”.
The leftist media’s involvement in Milo’s “fall”
The left, the media, have had the long guns out for Milo from the start. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them work so hard to destroy someone, not even a Republican. Not even Mel Gibson. Maybe Trump. But clearly he’s struck a nerve and they wanted to destroy him. They smelled blood in the water and went to town. As they are prone to do the left look only those parts of a two-hour long show and cut out what they wanted. Much in the same way they did with Felix of PewDiePie fame.
Then there is the fact that Salon Magazine Online has posted several articles taking a pro-pedophile position. Not pro-pedophilia per se, they did not advocate for the behaviors, but rather that it was just another sexual orientation. So it would be LGBTQP. One article was titled “I’m a pedophile, not a monster”. I would link to it, but it has been deleted.
That line of thinking is reasonable. I don’t mean reasonable as in a good idea but I mean taking the root of the word “reason”. For years the left has been saying that a person cannot help who they are attracted to. The next logical step in that reasoning means they have to accept this attraction as well.
Then of course there is George Takei, in an appearance on the Howard Stern show talks about his sexual experience with a camp counselor when he was 13 and the counselor was 19. He did not feel molested because, as he says, “I thought he was attractive”.
There was laughter and jokes as Stern and his crew listen, but no condemnation from the mainstream media. You can listen below if you like but it is disturbing so be warned.
So, when it is one of their own the left has no issue with pedophilia talk but when it is a member of the left but as soon as it is someone they want to destroy then they will put on indignation. They will scrub proof of their own support and take whatever view they need to make their attack. They see no hypocrisy in this and no villainy in deleting an article so they don’t get called on it.
It has also been discovered that the group who dug up the year old footage and made the accusations against Milo are part of a “Never Trump” organization. They were one of the two or three people supporting Evan McMullin for president. If you haven’t heard his name don’t worry, that’s no surprise. He is a Mormon candidate put up by Mitt Romney in an effort to beat Trump and got very little support outside of (shock) Utah. You can read about this in more detail in an article by the Daily Caller published yesterday.
And let’s not forget the comments of Lena Dunham from her own book. In this quote she was speaking of her younger sister.
“As she grew, I took to bribing her for her time and affection: Three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds. Whatever she wanted to watch on TV if she would just “relax on me”. Basically, anything a sexual predator might to do woo a small suburban girl I was trying.”
So there is a clear double standard. That doesn’t mean Milo didn’t say what he said but if he were a popular leftist it would have been ignored.
Did Milo deserve to be attacked in this way?
Milo was himself the victim of child sexual abuse by two different men at two different times in his life. One of those was a Catholic priest. Because of this Milo says that his view on the subject is different from most people.
The remarks I made on podcasts and interviews more than a year ago were about my personal life experiences. I will not apologize for dealing with my life experiences in the best way that I can, which is humor. No one can tell me or anyone else who has lived through sexual abuse how to deal with those emotions.
I understand that. I really do. However, I don’t think being a victim allows one to say anything they want. It’s much like when blacks use offensive terms about blacks and say it’s okay for them, because they are black but not okay for others. Milo is saying his offense language is okay for him, because he’s a victim but not okay for others who aren’t. I say hogwash to both!
I consider Milo an important figure in the free speech movement and someone who has helped to gain ground against the politically correct left and the social justice warrior class. This is vital work. However, he’s been a radical. They say the pen in mightier than the sword but Milo has certainly wielded his pen and tongue like a two-edged sword.
He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.
I think perhaps Milo’s mouth got out in front of his mind on this one. However, I think he spoke what he really thought. I’m not saying that he does advocate for pedophilia. I honestly think he doesn’t. What I am saying is that somewhere in his mind this was something he wrestled with. At least at a year ago anyway at the time he went on the podcast.
He clearly said he did not consider himself a victim at the time. This is common in cases of sexual abuse. There’s a psychology behind it that victims have to deal with and sort out. The fact is, sex feels good even to the victim. Because of this they become confused. Because they enjoy it physically they often think there was nothing wrong with it. Because it feels good they often want more of it and confuse this with consent. Even after years of effort, and sometimes therapy, people still revert backwards to thinking about their abuse as not abuse. I am only guessing but this may be a case where Milo was having a wrestle within his own thoughts. I think it was a subject better left alone for him because it is obviously too close to home for him to discuss with focus.
If I’m not to give him the benefit of the doubt, he said what he meant and holds secret beliefs on the subject that he supports. I really don’t think that is the case. It goes to believing what he said afterward or not. He’s never apologized for anything but for this he did. For the person who will say anything to say sorry, I think, has meaning.
Branded with the scarlet P
Like Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book the Scarlet Letter I think Milo has been branded by this. Instead of a scarlet A it’s a scarlet P for pedophile. The one thing in our society that is still taboo. In an age of homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender, marrying robots, and much else this still stands as the line not to be crossed, even in joking. Even Louis CK got flack for his SNL monologue that joked about pedophilia and joking that he felt bad for not being molested by the town molester and how child molesting “must be really good, from their point of view, it must be AMAZING.”
Louis CK didn’t resign from anything, it wasn’t his last show. Is that a sign of a double standard? No. There’s a clear difference between the tasteless jokes CK made and the tasteless joke Milo made as well as his comments that followed. In the end it doesn’t really matter if Milo meant what he said or didn’t, the fact is, he shouldn’t have and he’s the one saying that, not me. He clearly has not properly thought out this issue enough to present it in an articulate and sophisticated way that people can understand. This is likely because he doesn’t understand it himself.
If this is the fall of Milo as many are proclaiming it to be, I believe, is yet to be seen. I have a feeling it isn’t. I have a feeling his book will still get published, I have a feeling he will still be giving speeches, and I have a feeling he will still be on the front line of free speech. However, I don’t think the same Milo as before will take the stage. I think from this point on we will see a changed Milo. Not drastically mind you. He won’t suddenly be calm, suddenly not curse, suddenly not use ribald humor and innuendo. We’ll still see that Milo stand before us still, but I think we will see a more guarded man who keeps his personal life and personal thoughts closer to the vest.
At least I hope that’s the case. You see, when a person makes a mistake, like he admits he did, they ought to learn something from it and make changes in their behavior or life accordingly. If Milo comes away with a lesson learned and applied that’s a sign of maturity and also a sign that the apology he gave was real.
For me, I would not call myself a fan of Milo simply because I don’t curse, I try to avoid the kind of dirty talk he engages in, and so on. An admirer rather than a fan would be a better way to phrase it. I admire his courage, his will power, and his lust for liberty. While I’m not a fan of his delivery style, I am a fan of his message though. We do need to make changes in our culture that allow people to speak more freely and to not be called racists, bigots, and various kinds of “phobes” for holding an opinion contrary to someone else’s.
“She had wandered, without rule or guidance, into a moral wilderness. Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers – stern and wild ones – and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.” – The Scarlet Letter, Chapter 18
It is a little ironic that Milo has found a limit to free speech that both sides can agree on, yet I don’t think that means his desire to push boundaries is bad or has failed. That Milo has found a real, honest to goodness boundary may be his greatest success in the end by providing a new touchstone for good taste and a new measure of what a real limit looks like. He pushed the fake boundaries of the left and found the real boundary of Americans. For that alone he deserves a measure of praise.