Milo’s Mistake

The provocateur has at last provoked too much. He’s gone a line too far and been taken to task for it. Yes, Milo Yiannapoulos has taken a fall. The king of going too far has finally gone too far.

The evidence being offered against Milo is roughly as follows: On a YouTube show with Joe Rogan, Milo made comments on his sexual beginnings as a homosexual. He credited a priest with his introduction to sexuality. Milo claimed that he was a ‘sexually aware’ 13-,14-year old, who was capable of giving consent for sexual acts between himself and an adult. Rogan was surprised by this, but the topic soon came to an end.

Later in the same year, he partook in a YouTube show called Drunken Peasants, with other YouTube personalities. (relevant portions: 52:30-1:07 (approx.) When challenged about his previous statements, he defended his comments with Rogan, again claiming sexual precocity.

Yiannapoulos said, “We get hung up on abuse. This is a controversial point of view, I accept. But…we get hung up on this child abuse stuff. To the point where we’re heavily policing relationships between consenting adults.” Another member of the group goes on to agree, in part, with Milo, saying that sexual consent from legal children is possible. Milo next said that he thought the current age of consent, 18 in most places, is ‘probably about the right age.’

When another member of the broadcast went after him for defending pedophilia, Milo made a defense. He said that pedophilia is sexual attraction to those with non-functioning sex organs. He made it clear he was not defending pedophilia. He’s right. The sort of thing he’s referring to, sexual contact between teenagers and adults, may be called either hebephilia or ephebephilia, depending on the age. However, today we use the blanket term pedophilia to refer to all sexual attractions to those under 18.

Did Milo defend pedophilia? From the evidence I’ve gathered I would say no, he did not. Our first problem here is one of language. The law says that if you are under 18, you are legally a child, and cannot give consent. Milo claims that some legal children can. The psychological terms behind this are clear. Pedophiles are attracted to those under 13, hebephiles and ephebophiles are attracted to those between 13-15 and 16-20 respectively.

Milo presented his early sexual history in his usual shocking manner. He went on to say that sexual relationships between legal adults and legal children can be beneficial. This is gross and we must repudiate it. No matter his personal experience, what was done to him was a crime, whether he feels that way or not. His presentation of issues of sexuality, particularly among homosexuals, age of consent and the like, was sloppy, poorly thought through, and done with his usual panache for outrageousness and bravura. Milo was wrong to make these statements and to joke as he did.

What Milo has forgotten in his ascent to cultural enfant terrible, is that not every aspect of life should be presented as a joke, not everything should be made to seem as a subject for hyperbole and misstatement.

The media Left is now damning Milo for his unclear remarks on sexual contact between adults and children. As I’ve shown, Milo does deserve criticism for his own foolishness. But his Left-wing critics hardly have a leg to stand on. These are the same who wouldn’t damn Lena Dunham for her very clear remarks on Dunham’s sexual victimization of her younger sister.

Dunham has paid no price for her awful and unabashed admissions of abuse. Milo at least posses the fig leaf defense of humor, which he used in press conference on Tuesday. In that conference, he said that he had been sexually abused a teenager, and that one of his abusers was a priest. He claimed that the effects of this abuse included ‘nihilistic partying’ and a feeling that because he’d been abused he could say whatever he liked on the topic. On his Facebook page he noted that he had, in the course of his career, exposed 3 pedophiles, along with other points meant to vindicate himself. He denounced a ‘cynical, media witch hunt’ and in some ways he is correct. Dunham does awful things and nothing is said; Milo makes flippant comments and is damned for them.

Milo Yiannopoulos is paying the price for his own mistakes. He has lost his book deal, his CPAC speaking engagement, and has stepped down from his position at Breitbart, to say nothing of the damage done to his reputation. I hope that he is able to come away from this a more tempered, humble man and is able to continue his valuable work of challenging political correctness and the Left wherever their tyranny exists.