I admit, it’s a bit crazy to speaking up for Milo Yiannopoulos, the outspoken, Breitbart writing, envelope pushing, gay Brit, who has caused so much trouble, but I cannot help myself, I hate injustice, especially the kind of injustice I call crowd sourced violence, the politics of personal destruction.
Crowd sourced violence is an organized effort to take people down based on rumor, innuendo, and whispered smear campaigns. Gossip. The goal is get them fired from their jobs, their book contracts shuttered, their speaking engagements canceled. Whatever you can do to hurt someone for the purpose of silencing them.
I try not to hate anything, but I must say crowd sourced violence really pushes my buttons. I dislike bullies. I dislike mobs of bullies even more. For those who don’t know, people took some things Milo said out of context, edited some video footage, and declared him to be an advocate or a fan of pedophilia. Actually they didn’t even do that, they “implied” the possibility, they said such a thing is “seemingly possible.”
I flat out think not. It just does not fit. Milo has actually exposed 3 pedophiles that I know of, at least one who is now in court. He has clearly stated his opposition to the sexual abuse of children. He has addressed the issue repeatedly from several different angles, such as in this article from Sept 2015. Usually people who are invested in covering up for pedophiles are not also trying to expose them at the same time.
Ironically gay men are often the safest ones to talk to about sexual abuse, the ones most likely to understand victims, the ones most likely to be agreeable to exposing pedophiles. You don’t have to explain things to them, they already know. This is quite clearly a smear campaign, a more insidious one then the outright protesting, smashing of windows, and assaults that have occurred previously, but it is an effective one. No one will come within 200 feet of you if they suspect you “seemingly support pedophilia.” Unless you’re Salon of course, or Lena Dunham. Woody Allen. Roman Polanski…
Milo is a big boy, well-connected, and can likely take care of himself, but just the same I must speak out against this particular violent tactic because it’s just so wrong, so unjust, and so harmful to genuine victims of abuse. The threat of making some man a target of either whispered rumors of supporting sexual abuse or to imply he is a pedophile himself is just a despicable tactic, one I would genuinely like to see people criminally charged for.
That is just a grave injustice, one that I’ve seen used against men much less connected than Milo who lack the power to fight back. It’s really hard to defend yourself against rumors of how you “seemingly might approve of child sexual abuse.” You can’t fight against whispered evidence leaked into the court of public opinion and you can’t even face your accusers because you don’t even know who are. Half the time they don’t even know who you are either, they just don’t like your politics or something you’ve said or whatever.
Ironic, because genuine pedophiles should be given their day in court, the right to defend themselves,the right to face their accusers,the right to be represented, a whole slew of rights that you just don’t get in a political smear campaign. Crowd sourced violence stinks.
It breaks my heart that there are men in the world who have to live in fear of such things, that they could be falsely accused at any moment based on nothing more than gossip and rumors. People may not like Milo, may not agree with him, but there are other good men who push the envelope and risk being falsely accused of sexual abuse (or supporting sexual abuse) as a way to silence them. It is weapon being lobbed against men more and more and I fear that if we don’t address it soon, it’s going to become even more prevalent and effective then it already is.
Women are kind of protected from this, sheltered. Female privilege. Someone could start a whisper campaign that I support rape for example, and it’s just not going to stick. It doesn’t carry the same weight. For that reason alone, I think it’s so imperative that women speak out and speak up against this. We have far less to lose.
Victims of genuine abuse however, have a great deal to lose. When everyone is a pedophile, no one is anymore, and those who ask for help will no longer be heard.