Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned as an editor of Breitbart amid outrage surrounding flippant remarks he made that appeared to be pro-pedophilia.
During talk show appearances last year, Yiannopoulos made comments that seemed to condone his experience of being molested by a priest as a teenager and younger “boys” having sex with older men. He has since apologized for his jokes about clerical abuse and for using imprecise language, explaining that in gay circles young men are often referred to as “boys.” His critics, however, maintain that he is disturbingly comfortable with older men having sexual relations with teenage boys.
I will not psychologize or pretend to know what’s in Milo Yiannopoulos’ mind or psyche. I do know one thing. People who are sexually abused, when I work with them in therapy, sometimes tell me they enjoyed it. They express profound shame and embarrassment for admitting this fact. It’s shocking and difficult to face, but it’s how people sometimes feel when exposed to a circumstance they never should have been placed in.
When they say “enjoy,” they don’t mean it in the normal sense of the term. What they mean is they liked pleasing the perpetrator. I know it’s disturbing to think about, and to put it in such plain language. But think about the mentality of most young children, and some teens as well. They often seek to please. They want praise and approval from adults. Maybe not all children, and maybe not all of the time; but generally speaking, it’s the truth. Particularly if they’re prepubescent, they don’t have any concept or notion of any kind of sexuality yet. The troubled (arguably evil) perpetrator puts his or her victim into an impossible situation, the ultimate of lose-lose situations where the child is rendered forever helpless to responses not of his own making.
In such situations—counseling the adult years after the fact—my central role, at that point, is to help them move past and challenge the shame they feel for in some sense having wanted the seemingly pleasurable attention, an emotional response for which they remain entirely blameless.
Think or say what you will about Milo’s politics, ideas or tactics. All I’m saying is that if his sexual abuse led him to make confusing or puzzling remarks about sexuality when he developed into a celebrity, I’m not in the least bit surprised. In fact, my own response is, “Why wouldn’t he be confused?” I have no idea how he has addressed any of this on his own, in or out of therapy, nor anything at all about his psychological status. I am left wondering, and I hope he will address whatever might remain to address.
Does anything I’m saying excuse a suggestion – even as a libertarian or other advocate of limited government – that child molesting should not be against the law? Or that the age of consent should be drastically lowered or dropped? Of course not. However, that’s not what Milo did. He made it plainly clear in the last few days that he didn’t support anything of the kind. But to his detractors, it does not matter. He committed the ultimate offense: He was a gay man who’s not a leftist. For some reason, in our intellectually warped culture, a gay man isn’t supposed to favor things like lower taxes, reductions in regulations, a strong military with a plan to decimate ISIS or privatization of medicine. These issues have nothing to do with being homosexual or heterosexual, yet in the implicit (increasingly explicit) irrationality of our times, they have everything to do with it. For that, Milo had to pay, and pay he did. He paid a price for being an obviously flamboyant gay man, and not speaking the lines he was supposed to say.
True to form, Yiannopoulos nailed the whole situation best when he said:
“Let’s be clear about what’s happening, here,” he said. “This is a cynical media witch-hunt from people who do not care about children. They care about destroying me and my career and by extension, my allies. They know that although I have made some outrageous statements, I’ve never actually done anything wrong.”
Exactly right. He didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t molest a child. He’s not the kind of libertarian who thinks government must not protect children from child molesters. His comments were taken out of context by people who seek to destroy him. It’s as simple as that. Remember our culture. When Madonna threatens to blow up the White House, it’s dismissed as a joke. You don’t even dare criticize her. When left-wing celebrities imply support for murdering the President or launching a coup in the United States, they’re considered laudable heroes. When Islamic terrorists blow up a gay bar in Orlando, you have no comment, because political correctness trumps gay rights only when it comes to Islam. When Milo—a gay man, of all things—says strong, powerful and unyielding things from the opposite direction, it’s the end for him. Or seemingly so.
Milo is right that his detractors do not care anything about children. The kind of social engineers and socialists who detest him are not interested in the individual rights of children. They seek the indoctrination of children at the hands of the state. Sure, their left-wing version of state-enforced indoctrination involves positive attitudes about homosexuality. But so did the Communists’ brand of indoctrination, in many cases. So what? What good does it do a child to grow up accepting his homosexuality while at the same time being programmed to believe that Government is his God and his only friend? And when that leftist government will do absolutely nothing to protect him from the ultimate anti-gay hate movement, Islamic terrorism.
Milo’s tactics were often outrageous and controversial. The man caused UC Berkeley to literally burst into flames, just a few weeks ago, in a way not witnessed since the 1960s. But he’s not a nihilist. He’s showing us something. He’s showing intolerant leftists how the rest of us feel when they righteously and piously try to shove their world views down our throats, not by persuasion but by the force of a government gun. The one-party California government that runs UC Berkeley could not have made it plainer that dissenting opinion is not welcome at their taxpayer-supported schools. Least of all from a man who (being gay) has no right to stand in the way of their belief that gays should be yes-men and yes-women for anti-American, anti-capitalism, anti-defense policies that have nothing to do with being gay.
Breitbart has lost a more important figure than they might yet realize. Their failure to stand up for their colorful and unlikely media soldier is disappointing and out-of-character for the up-and-coming website. It’s definitely their loss.
Yet if Milo has even half the strength that his willingness and ability to stand up to the bullies at our nation’s college campuses suggests, I have an uplifting feeling that he’s not yet done with us.
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