I know I’ve said I would try and keep off politics, but fuck me.
Just to be completely clear, Milo is not a paedophile. He has worked to expose paedophiles in fact. His condemnation of paedophilia has always been clear. He was abused as a 13 year old.
I disagree with a fair amount of what Milo says generally, and that fact is completely irrelevant.
Was some of what Milo said stupid? Yes, and to me distasteful (but oh yeah, I’m a grown up and can make up my own mind on things). Were they personal to him? Yes, as far as I can see, overwhelmingly. Did he challenge age of consent law? No, the opposite in fact, explicitly. Did he “enable” predators? I am quite sure that was not his intention, and I doubt that predators are waiting to misinterpret his opinions, especially when buried in a rambling, hours long online discussion. Is he opposed to abuse of minors? Vehemently so.
I am opposed to his views on pederasty, which appear to reflect something akin to the ancient Greek idea of the mentoring relationship between the erastes and the eromenos. I don’t buy that, as the pitfalls of potential abuse and destructiveness would be legion, given the unequal capacity to give real consent. Quite simply, a teen cannot understand a relationship in the same way as an adult, cannot understand the potential distortion of their development, and even if they enthusiastically agreed or even initiated a relationship, it doesn’t matter. Adult relationships involve adult consent. It’s the adult’s job to put the minor right, refuse and maybe see if they need proper help from the appropriate source. I think Milo’s views, which were not unnuanced, and were expressed in the aforementioned rambling online discussion, were wrong, but that is his opinion, I think it is probably influenced by his own past and how he has chosen to cope with it, and he has committed no crime. I repeat: he is not a paedophile, he is vehemently opposed to paedophilia, and has exposed paedophiles in his work.
The media frenzy over his off hand comments trivializes actual abuse – but then I think it’s pretty clear that protection of children was not the primary intention of the perpetrators of the hit.
If you aren’t defending the free speech of people you disagree with, you aren’t defending free speech at all, and it really wasn’t this speech of his they were trying to shut down.
Don’t be fooled.
[23rd February: post edited].