Why the assault on Milo hurts sexual abuse survivors

Milo Yiannopoulos – conservative firebrand, gadfly, and diva rolled into one bleached blonde package, came under fire recently for some comments on the Joe Rogan podcast regarding underage men having sex with older men.

In context of the discussion, Milo discussed his nonconsensual sexual experiences as a younger man with older men – including with a member of the clergy, then how particularly fatherless* young men who come from difficult backgrounds tend to be more drawn to these types of situations, and finally discussed the prevalence of younger-older encounters being endemic to the gay community, especially in the party scene.

Milo went on to reaffirm his support for the age of consent laws being as they are, and made a few jokes in-between, as he is wont to do.

Somehow this turned into a blaring headline of “Milo supports pedophilia!” – which literally couldn’t be further from the transcript of what was discussed.

Milo: “This is a controversial point of view I accept. We get hung up on this kind of child abuse stuff to the point where we’re heavily policing even relationships between consenting adults, you know grad students and professors at universities.”

The men in the joint video interview then discuss Milo’s experience at age 14.

Another man says: “The whole consent thing for me. It’s not this black and white thing that people try to paint it. Are there some 13-year-olds out there capable of giving informed consent to have sex with an adult, probably…”

The man says, “The reason these age of consent laws exist is because we have to set some kind of a barometer here, we’ve got to pick some kind of an age…”

Milo: “The law is probably about right, that’s probably roughly the right age.”

Because we all know how much a “pedophilia apologist IRL” would support the age of consent.

Milo: I think it’s probably about okay, but there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age, I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who are sexually active younger. I think it particularly happens in the gay world by the way. In many cases actually those relationships with older men…This is one reason I hate the left. This stupid one size fits all policing of culture. (People speak over each other). This sort of arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent, which totally destroys you know understanding that many of us have. The complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex. In the homosexual world particularly. Some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort of coming of age relationships, the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are, and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable and sort of a rock where they can’t speak to their parents. Some of those relationships are the most -”

It sounds like Catholic priest molestation to me, another man says, interrupting Milo.

Milo:
“And you know what, I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.”

He made a joke about his own rape, CRUCIFY HIM.

Other people talk. Oh my God, I can’t handle it, one man says. The next thing in line is going to be pedophilia…says another man.

Milo: “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.”

Another man said, “You are advocating for cross generational relationships here, can we be honest about that?”

Milo: “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 has since been disinvited from CPAC, had his book deal cancelled, and had to resign from Breitbart, his home publication of many years.

For his critics, this is the vindication they’ve savored: the fervent free speech advocate is shut up, forced to apologize, chastened and rebuked.

*Note that Ann Coulter, discussing the disproportionate prevalence of crime in children from fatherless households, was attacked for “going after poor, defenseless single mothers”. Why is it that when the subject of kids from fatherless households and the negative consequences thereof the media comes with claws out?

The question is: what did anyone gain from this?

Did the professionally-outraged save one child from the clutches of a pedophile?

No, of course not: they made a sexual abuse victim have to stand up and apologize for discussing his experiences.

Not only does this have a chilling effect on the discussion of controversial topics – “don’t mention the P word!” – this quite literally makes Milo’s point regarding off-limits speech on campuses and in the media.

Certain subjects, from certain sources, are seen as taboo, while the same subjects, from other sources, are heralded and applauded as “courageous”.

Fall on the wrong side of the ideological spectrum, and you’ll get your throat cut.

Fall on the correct side, and you’ll get another book deal!

How many sexual abuse survivors will feel more reticent to stand up, describe their experiences, and name their accusers because of this? Milo talked about how a member of the clergy molested him as a young man. It took decades for other victims, now in their senior years, to come forward and describe the horror and trauma that befell them. Why do we want to return to that dark era?

Importantly – there’s a stark difference between victim and victimhood.

Milo’s called out professional victims and pedophiles – from Lena Dunham who assaulted her sister to “rape” accusers who had consensual sexual encounters as adults, regretted it, then sought to punish their accusers, to actual pedophiles who described their own actions as normal while leaving a trail of victims in their wake.

This isn’t hard math here:

A young person touched inappropriately by an adult is a victim.

An adult who has consensual sex with another adult is not a victim.

An adult who inappropriately touches a young person is not a victim in this particular scenario – despite the disproportionate rate of child sex abuse victims going on to later abuse children.

Victimhood is claiming to be a victim while garnering all the sympathy despite not having an experience as a victim. Note the real victims: they won’t be the ones parading around for apologies or special treatment – they just want to move on and have a normal life.

Silencing uncomfortable subjects like rape and pedophilia weakens all of us in the end and strengthens abusers. It creates more victims. It normalizes this behavior.

Speaking openly, freely, laughing, crying, expressing – this is the only way we can truly move forward from the traumatic experiences of the past.

Milo’s courage in using his platform to discuss his own experiences should be applauded by his critics as well as his supporters.

Those who believe pedophilia shouldn’t be discussed are simply supporting it.