by Wednesday at 6:50 am•
Journalist Laurie Penny was embedded with Milo and his collection of Lost Boys just as the wheels were coming off his "Dangerous Faggot" tourbus. It's a long, furious, and furiously intelligent piece. Go read the whole thing. I wanted to respond to this paragraph...
Delicious as you might find it to see karma come for Yiannopoulos, what he actually said about gay relationships and child molestation was less offensive than a great many bigoted things he has come out with—in part because, for once, it seemed just a little bit true to his experience. When he spoke about consenting relationships between adult men where there’s a large age gap, he was talking about something that is a real and meaningful part of romantic experience for a lot of gay men—and something that American conservatives seem to have no problem with when the participants are heterosexual or, indeed, presidential candidates. His mangled age-of-consent comments and crass priest jokes are a bridge too far, especially for the conservative mainstream, which has so far held performative racism, transphobia, sexism, and xenophobia as well within the bounds of free speech. Today, absolutely nobody, from his publishers to his former tour promoter, is defending Yiannopoulos’ right to consequence-free speech.
As Penny notes earlier in the piece: It was conservatives, not liberals or progressives, who took Yiannopoulos down. (Or maybe just slowed him down.) Conservative activists circulated the incriminating-but-publicly-available podcast recordings after Yiannopoulos was invited to speak at Wingnutapalooza. As others have pointed out (including the brilliant Roxanne Gay, brilliantly), the GOP, CPAC, Donald Trump, Simon & Schuster, et al, didn't have a problem with Yiannopoulos when he was attacking feminists, people of color, immigrants, queers, trans people, individual trans women, Muslims, Leslie Jones, etc.
I don't want to quibble with Penny, but Yiannopoulos wasn't just talking about "consenting relationships between adult men where there’s a large age gap." At times and clumsily, yes, Yiannopoulos was talking about relationships between young men—teenage boys above the age consent—and older adult gay men. But he also said this: "We're talking about 13/25, 13/28—these things do happen perfectly consensually." Challenged on another point, Yiannopoulos described 13-year-olds as "sexually mature" (has he ever met a 13 year old?) and clearly suggested that 13 year olds were capable of consenting to sexual contact with adults. And, of course, Yiannopoulos crudely/jokingly expressed his gratitude to the priest he says molested him when he was 14.
But I gotta say...Continue reading »