Milo Yiannopoulos: It’s absurd that I was banned from speaking at Manchester SU
You guys, I feel very oppressed right now
I’m Milo Yiannopoulos, and I’m a gay columnist who is too extreme for the University of Manchester’s Student Union.
Lesbian feminist activist Julie Bindel and I have just been banned from speaking at Manchester on the grounds that we pose a threat to “student safety.” Um, sorry, what? We were due to speak about whether feminism has a free speech problem. No, the irony is not lost on me – or on anyone else.
This ban is a new chapter in feminism’s war on free expression, because it shows that not only do feminists not want to hear the opposing side, they don’t even want the discussion to be had. They didn’t just ban me, remember: they also kicked out my opponent, a woman who has advocated for the rights of women and girls for decades.
The proposition we were to debate at Manchester was: “Does modern feminism have a problem with free speech?” Given that the justification for my exclusion was my challenge to dodgy feminist rape statistics, I believe that question has been conclusively answered. But we should still have the debate somehow, and I know the Free Speech and Secular Society is trying to find a way.
It’s getting funny, isn’t it? All these desperate, frantic attempts from bossy and schoolmarmish student union types to prevent their views from being challenged. But there’s a serious point here: Manchester’s students are being denied the chance to hear points of view–and even facts–that don’t fit the kooky far-Left narrative laid down by the student union.
As my colleague Allum Bokhari recently wrote, panicked and desperate incidents like this are a clear sign of a movement in crisis. The zealots know they cannot win over the public. They know they cannot win over intellectuals. Censorship, the last resort of a defeated ideology, is their only option. And so a union elected with less than seven per cent of the popular student vote chucks its toys out of the pram at the thought of being contradicted by external speakers.
To tell you the truth, they’re right to be afraid of me and Julie. Even if the audience was entirely hostile, I would have had no problem demonstrating that modern feminism lives and breathes censorship. The past few years have been full of ridiculous, absurd, feminist-led efforts to control expression – from lad’s mags to pop songs to Dapper Laughs.
I’ve got a myriad of examples to draw on – including my recent ejection from a “Slut Walk” in Los Angeles – and was prepared to deliver them in my usual humble, self-effacing and persuasive style.
As it turned out, I didn’t need to. The absurdity of feminists censoring a debate about feminist censorship will be lost on no-one. I mean, the Manchester Student Union have effectively made my point for me. I’m used to winning debates about feminism and free speech quickly and easily, but even I’m not used to winning before I’ve even showed up.