Around the start of this year, Superversive Press published an anthology of SF stories called Forbidden Thoughts. Many – if not all – of the contributors are from the Sad and/or Rabid Puppy campaigns, and the stories are meant to represent everything that SJWs hate.
The book’s foreword is by Milo Yiannopoulos, a man who has made a career out of expressing sundry politically incorrect opinions. In this post, I would like to examine one politically incorrect opinion of Milo’s which, to me, appears to have sparked surprisingly little controversy: his argument that it is sometimes morally acceptable, even beneficial, for an adult to have sex with a minor as young as twelve.
Exhibit A is Yiannopoulos’ appearance on the YouTube show The Joe Rogan Experience. Here are some of his comments:
Yiannopoulos: Because it wasn’t sufficiently scandalous that I lost my virginity in an interracial fivesome with a drag queen…
Rogan: That’s not enough? How old were you?
Yiannopoulos: Thirteen, maybe twelve…
Rogan: Thirteen? Drag queen? Interracial fivesome?
Yiannopoulos: Twelve or thirteen.
Rogan: That’s the first one?
Yiannopoulos: Yeah, it was great.
Later, Yiannopoulos mentions having sex with a priest named Father Michael as a teenager. Rogan initially appears to take this as a joke, but it then transpires that Father Michael is a real person:
Yiannopoulos: Like I said earlier, if it weren’t for Father Michael, I would have given far less good head.
Rogan: There was a real Father Michael?
Yiannopoulos: He’s going to get killed now…
Rogan: Who was Father Michael? He was a real dude? He made you suck his dick for real?
Yiannopoulos: He didn’t make me, I was quite enthusiastic about it. I fucked my English teacher, too.
Rogan: How old was he at the time?
Yiannopoulos: I don’t know. He was quite young, quite hot.
Rogan: So that’s where it all started, with Father Michael? Was it post the tranny, the drag queen?
Yiannopoulos: Yeah, it was post. I wasn’t abused as a child, or anything like that.
Rogan expresses disgust at Father Michael; but Yiannopoulos continues to defend the man, and shows clear discomfort when Rogan presses for identifying information about this perpetrator of statutory rape. As the discussion progresses, Yiannopoulos argues that it is entirely normal for 30-year-old men to be physically attracted to youngsters in their early teens:
Rogan: He’s a fucking creep getting his dick sucked, then.
Yiannopoulos: He’s going to get lynched now.
Rogan: How’s he gonna get lynched? Do people know who he is?
Yiannopoulos: I don’t think so.
Rogan: What’s his name?
Yiannopoulos: I’m not saying it.
Rogan: Well, how old were you at the time? You were a little kid and he was, what?
Yiannopoulos: Stop it, you’re just trying to…
Rogan: Was he in his twenties or thirties?
Yiannopoulos: See, yet another feminist strategy that you have adopted, in addition to your language policing…
Rogan: What, trying to out paedophiles? You’re the one who was anti-paedophile earlier!
Yiannopoulos: No, trying to go on this witch-hunt! I told you, it was after I’d lost my virginity. I was in my teens.
Rogan: How old were you?
Yiannopoulos: I was in my teens.
Rogan: Fourteen. That’s what you said.
Yiannopoulos: Something like that.
Rogan: Fourteen is paedophilia, buddy. I don’t know how they rock it in merry old England, but over here in my country, where you are right now, America… [Note: the age of consent in England is sixteen]
Yiannopoulos: You’ve never seen a fifteen-year-old girl – at any point in your life, however old you were – you’ve never seen a fifteen-year-old-girl you thought was hot?
Rogan: Yeah…. when I was fifteen, I thought they were hot as fuck. I’m not retarded, dude.
Yiannopoulos: When you were twenty-five, when you were thirty, you will have seen girls about fifteen you thought were hot.
Yiannopoulos: Of course you did.
Rogan: No, I thought they were little kids!
Yiannopoulos: No you didn’t…
Rogan: I thought ‘damn, she’s gonna be hot’ but I didn’t want to fuck her.
Rogan: Not bullshit at all.
Yiannopoulos’ comments in the Joe Rogan interview inspired one of his detractors, a YouTuber called SJW101, to make this video in response. The video discusses Yiannopoulos’ defence of the adults who had sex with him when he was underage alongside his attacks on Sarah Nyberg, an anti-Gamergate activist with a history of exhibiting paedophilic tendencies (For the record, while I think that SJW101 does a good job of demonstrating that paedophile apology is not a uniquely left-wing phenomenon, I believe that he is giving Nyberg far too much of a free pass.)
SJW101’s video was brought up when Milo Yiannopoulos became a guest on the Drunken Peasants podcast. One of the hosts, TJ, took him up on his comments about losing his virginity aged 12-13 in an orgy with a drag queen:
TJ: Okay, so you were a kid and you fucked all kinds of older men, correct?
Yiannopoulos: No, not a kid, I would say that I was a sexually aware, promiscuous 13-14 year-old, perfectly able to give consent…
TJ: How does everyone feel about the age of thirteen?
Yiannopoulos: I was giving informed and aware consent, and I was a sexually mature and aware young man able to give consent, and giving consent to sexual acts.
TJ: So you’re saying that you reached sexual maturity at a younger age, or at an early age? Okay.
The other Drunken Peasants then contributed to the debate:
Ben: If I knew someone who was around my age, who was like, ‘I just had sex with a 13-year-old,’ I would be creeped out, honestly.
Yiannopoulos: What is your age?
Ben: I’m almost 35.
Yiannopoulos: Okay, well, I’m talking about 28-year-olds.
Scotty: [Sarcastically] Well, that changes everything!
Yiannopoulos: I’m guessing, because I’ve never told this publicly, but you hear that in this video, but we’re talking about 13/25, 13/28, these things do happen perfectly consensually. Often it’s the women who suffer, by the way, because what normally happens in schools, very often, is that the boy is the predator in that situation – the boy is like, ‘let’s see if I can fuck the gym teacher’ or ‘let’s see if I can fuck the hot maths teacher’, and he does, the women fall in love with these nubile young men, these athletic young boys in their prime, and end up having their lives destroyed, end up having to move schools, leave the country, whatever. I would say that in the situation I describe in the Joe Rogan show, I was very definitely the predator on both occasions, as offensive as some people will find that, I don’t much care, that was certainly my experience of it. I was very much the predator in those situations.
TJ: Ben, you said you’d be creeped out if someone came to you and said they’d had sex with a 13-year-old, but what if they said, you know, ‘the 13-year-old – they were the predator, they came on to me’? I mean, is it that unbelievable if you have some really horny 13-year-old comin’ at ya?
Yiannopoulos: The point about this stuff is that 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 consent between consenting adults, like grad students and professors at universities.
PaulsEgo: This 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. But I was also a 13-year-old. I hung around with 13-year-old guys when I was 13, and there were some of them who still thought that girls were fucking icky at 13. Not many, but they were just coming out of that phase. I don’t know that I was ready at 13 to get fucked in the ass by a 28-year-old black drag queen is what I’m saying. The reason these age of consent laws exist is because we have to set some kind of barometer here, we’ve got to pick an age and say ‘okay, look, we can reasonably be assured you’re an adult, you can give informed consent, you understand the risks…’
At this point, Milo weighs in on the age of consent:
Yiannopoulos: Of course, and I think the law is probably about right, that’s probably roughly the right age, 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. This is one of the reasons I hate the left, this sort of stupid, one-size-fits-all policing of culture, this arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent which totally destroys the understanding that many of us have of the complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex, and in the homosexual world particularly, some of these relationships between young boys and older men, these kind 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 rock for when they can’t talk to their parents.
Ben: It sounds like Catholic priest molestation to me.
Yiannopoulos: And you know what? I am grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.
PaulsEgo: It’s funny because Ben gave me some homework on you, Milo, he gave a few videos to watch to brush up on my Miloisms, and one of the things you said in one of these clips is that transgenderism is the new frontier in social progress and the next thing in line is gonna be paedophilia – and yet, here you are talking about how, ‘some of these kids that get diddled by these priests, it’s a good thing for them’.
Yiannopoulos: You’re misunderstanding what paedophilia is. Paedophilia is not a sexual attraction to someone 13 years old who is sexually mature. Paedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty. Paedophilia is attraction to people who do not have functioning sex organs yet, who have not gone through puberty, who do not understand how their bodies work. That is not what we’re talking about. You don’t understand what paedophilia is if you think that I’m defending it, I’m certainly not.
PaulsEgo: But you are advocating for cross-generational relationships here, can we be honest about that?
Yiannopoulos: Yeah, I don’t mind admitting that, and 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 boys from desolation or drug addictions, provided they’re consensual.
So, to recap: Yiannopoulos says that the age of consent is an appropriate rule of thumb, and condemns sex with pre-pubescent children, but argues that some people achieve sexual maturity at a young age – including himself, and as we have seen in the Joe Rogan interview, he believes that this occurred when he was aged 12 or 13. According to these statements, it is morally acceptable for an adult to have consensual intercourse with one of these these sexually mature 12/13/14 year olds; and furthermore, this may even save the youngster in question from desolation. He also argues that, in some of these couplings, the adult is the real victim as they will face ostracism. Furthermore, he blames the left for enforcing an “arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent” that is preventing adults from having sex with minors. The Drunken Peasants Wiki, which shows a somewhat self-deprecating sense of humour, summarises this as “Milo advocates for pedophilia”.
As an aside, there is another controversial moment in the Joe Rogan interview that I would like to bring up before moving on. During the video, the conversation turns to film director Bryan Singer, who had been accused of sexually assaulting a teenager (the charge was later dropped). This is what Yiannopoulos has to say about paedophilia in Hollywood:
Yiannopoulos: You know, I lived in Hollywood a while ago, briefly…
Rogan: Did you go to one of his parties?
Yiannopoulos: I went to other people, who I won’t name, of a similar stature in Hollywood. I went to their boat parties and house parties and things, and some of the things I have seen have beggered belief.
Rogan: Yeah? Can you give us, like, a…?
Yiannopoulos: Well, I don’t want to be indiscreet about specific people, because I think it’s going to be dangerous…
Rogan: Yeah, you don’t have to do that, just dance around the facts.
Yiannopoulos: But I can tell you the truth without dropping anyone in it. Some of the boys there were very young. Very young.
Rogan: Was this recently?
Yiannopoulos: No, about eight years ago.
Rogan: Statute of limitations…
Yiannopoulos: I don’t remember whether I ever met Bryan Singer, or if I even knew who he was then, but I knew people of a similar stature as I say, and there were some very young boys around there at the time. There was a lot of drugs, and a lot of twinks taking drugs and having unsafe sex with older men, and some of these boys were very young, desperate for a job.
Blogger Nina Illingworth cites this as the most damning part of the video, as it indicates that Yiannopoulos has witnessed the sexual abuse of minors at the hands of prominent Hollywood personalities but failed to act upon this knowledge. Illingworth identifies this as both a moral and possibly legal violation on Yiannopoulos’ part. I am not familiar with the relevant laws, and so cannot comment further.
At this point, I would like to take the discussion back to Forbidden Thoughts and the Puppy campaigns.
Many people involved with the Puppies or their overlapping groups have attempted (with varying degrees of legitimacy) to paint their opponents as paedophile apologists, and I would be genuinely interested to see how – in light of the above comments – their alliance with Yiannopoulos can be reconciled with this narrative. Daniel Eness’ Castalia House essay “Safe Space as Rape Room”, for example, condemns Arthur C. Clarke for allegedly having sexual relations with adolescents – just like the people defended by Milo Yiannopoulos.
The Puppy-aligned groups have also (and not entirely without reason) gone after Samuel R. Delany, in large part due to statements he made in this interview with Will Shetterly. Delany appears to believe that he was a psychologically mature 8-year-old who was able to give informed sexual consent to adults. Compare this to Milo Yiannopoulos, who believes that he was a psychologically mature 12-year-old who was able to give informed sexual consent to adults.
Now, there is obviously a difference between the two statements – a four-year difference, to be precise – but I am not convinced that this is large enough to justify treating Yiannopoulos as a trusted ally and Delany as a pariah. Any honest debate involving the two men’s views on this subject will need to acknowledge the partial overlap.
Take another look at some of the above quotations from Yiannopoulos:
I think in the gay world, some of the most important, enriching and incredibly life-affirming, important, shaping relationships [are] very often between younger boys and older men, they can be hugely positive experiences for those young boys, they can even save those boys from desolation or drug addictions, provided they’re consensual.
You’ve never seen a fifteen-year-old girl – at any point in your life, however old you were – you’ve never seen a fifteen-year-old-girl you thought was hot? When you were twenty-five, when you were thirty, you will have seen girls about fifteen you thought were hot.
We all know that, had these statements come from a left-leaning SF author, that person would have been named and shamed alongside Clarke and Delany in “Safe Space as Rape Room”. But Yiannopoulos is not a left-leaning SF author. He is an ally to the Castalia/Puppy/Superversive axis, and a valuable ally at that: I notice that Amazon lists him as the primary author of Forbidden Thoughts, which no doubt helped to give it a sales boost from his acolytes.
And so I prepare to hit “publish”, without knowing what response this post will receive. If it gets any attention at all, then I should prepare for a barrage of insults and accusations from Yiannopoulos’ allies, in an attempt to distract from what he has said in the above quotations. But I have no plans to back down: this is something that needs to be talked about.
UPDATE, 20 FEBRUARY: As I said, when I first made this blog post, Yiannopoulos’ comments defending sex with minors had sparked little discussion. That changed recently when video clips from the above interviews went viral, and were covered at a number of posts on both the left and right. I gather that it was a pro-Republican but anti-Trump outfit called the Reagan Battalion that first broke the seal.
Yiannopoulos responded to the controversy with this Facebook post in an attempt at damage control. Predictably, the post is blatantly disingenuous.
To start with, take this part of his defence:
I shouldn’t have used the word “boy” when I talked about those relationships between older men and younger gay men. (I was talking about my own relationship when I was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the UK is 16.)
This is a lie. Yiannopoulos was not talking about himself when he was 17, He was talking about himself when he was “twelve or thirteen” (as he put it in the Joe Rogan interview) or “a sexually aware, promiscuous 13-14 year-old, perfectly able to give consent” (as he put it in the Drunken Peasants).
The age of 13 is cited repeatedly both by Milo himself…
We’re talking about 13/25, 13/28, these things do happen perfectly consensually
Paedophilia is not a sexual attraction to someone 13 years old who is sexually mature.
…And by the other speakers on the podcast:
How does everyone feel about the age of thirteen?
If I knew someone who was around my age, who was like, ‘I just had sex with a 13-year-old,’ I would be creeped out
I mean, is it that unbelievable if you have some really horny 13-year-old comin’ at ya?
I don’t know that I was ready at 13 to get fucked in the ass by a 28-year-old black drag queen is what I’m saying.
These people are not talking about sex between adults and 17-year-olds, they are talking about sex between adults and 13-year-olds. Yiannopoulos’ recent claim that he “was not talking about anything illegal” is patently false.
Elsewhere in his defence, Milo makes this claim:
The videos do not show what people say they show. I *did* joke about giving better head as a result of clerical sexual abuse committed against me when I was a teen. If I choose to deal in an edgy way on an internet livestream with a crime I was the victim of that’s my prerogative.
Again, this is a total distortion. Now, I do agree that Yiannopoulos has the right to come to terms with the statutory rape committed against him by Father Michael in whatever way he feels fit, but he should at least be honest about what he is on record as saying. His comments about Father Michael were not simply an off-colour joke, they were a lengthy and specific defence of the man, a chastisement of Rogan for “adopting a feminist strategy” and “going on a witch-hunt” against the priest, and an attempt to normalise sexual attraction to adolescent minors (“you will have seen girls about fifteen you thought were hot”).
I have provided all of the necessary video links, so you can hear Milo’s words for yourself.