We’re feminists and we spent 45 minutes in Milo Yiannopoulos’ hotel room
He’s charming if you don’t focus on the words he’s saying
For two young feminist reporters, interviewing Milo Yiannopoulos is a curious opportunity you don’t really know how to prepare for. Milo’s onstage persona is known to be charismatic and charming, but you never really know what to expect offstage. The more radical Milo’s views are the ones most often flashed in your face, and while they sometimes seem like the rantings of a madman out of context, his debate strategy is renowned even by those who dislike him.
Entering Milo Yiannopoulos’ hotel room, his noted energy is already evident in his movement. Barefoot and flitting about, moving pieces of his suit off of the chairs for us to sit, he’s already chatting with us and directing our attention toward his tablet propped up. “Just watching Daddy!” he chirps. Daddy, of course, is Donald Trump, one of Yiannopoulos’ noted idols. After we’re settled in and offered coffee, we begin to speak to the famous anti-feminist.
First of all — Skeeps. How was it, did you have a big showing?
Well, it was really funny because people kept coming up to me and saying “I fucking love you man! I loved your talk today, it was great.” And then there was like some really black looks from a particular sort of feminist contingent over in the corner…I had really good fun, and I took my picture by the big M… it’s been good.
Honorary Wolverine pic.twitter.com/7NnoYn8AFp
— Milo Yiannopoulos ✘ (@Nero) February 24, 2016
So how did you think the debate went last night? I know Julie’s kind of an extremist feminist, the opposite of you, an anti-feminist.
Milo: Well I won, obviously, because I had evidence based on opinions rather than this weird crazy shit about putting men in camps…you know, I don’t believe there is a sinister mysterious force in the universe that’s called the patriarchy that keeps women down. I think white middle-class women in America and in England, they’re probably the most privileged class in the history of civilization. But we had a really fun time last night because unlike the humorless, earnest social justice warriors who feel traumatized by my very presence, Julie and I can disagree and have a laugh and even like, you know, gently mock each other, and still be friends in the end.
Back to something you mentioned very briefly, you stated that white middle-class women are the most privileged group, in your opinion, do you feel that way about other women in other races and other classes?
Milo: I think black women have it really bad. They don’t have good dating options, in many cases, they don’t have good educational options, and being born a black woman in an underprivileged environment in America is not fun. They don’t get to take advantage of the same things that the sort of whiny social justice feminists all have on a plate. They don’t have the same resources, they don’t have the same access to things.
Do you think that, not so much the radical feminism that exists nowadays, but more of the inclusive feminism — that’s more gentle and not as extremely PC — would do better to help these women who, in your opinion, genuinely need it?
Milo: Well I think the women who need the help need it for reasons other than their gender. I think black women need the help because they’re poor and they’re black, right? Way before the woman thing is a problem. So I take the view that feminism is unnecessary in the West now. I don’t really think it serves any purpose.
Just in the West?
Milo: In the West, of course, yeah. I mean the Middle East, I mean, Jesus… but the West, you know, I don’t see any battles left to be won….we don’t need to do things for women they don’t need.
Do you think it’s more of a “white feminist” problem then? Or “white feminism?”
[Note from the authors: White feminism is a phrase used to describe non-inclusive feminism, that doesn’t include women of color, transgender women, or women in places of horrible repression.]
Feminism, as far as I can tell, doesn’t actually care about women…that’s the thing, feminism used to be pro-women. Feminism used to be about raising women up and giving them equal access to the institutions and to opportunities and to the workplace. But feminism has gone beyond that into outright man-hating, and it is now, in my view, principally defined by man-hating, not by supporting women.
What do you think that middle-class women can do to help what are, in your opinion, these very maligned men?
I think the best thing that women can do is be honest and say, “Look, there are some structural” — I’m not a Men’s Rights Activist but they are right about some things — “some structural disadvantages to being a man now…” Men have no idea how to approach women anymore. They’re terrified of getting accused of rape, or getting accused of being creepy or getting accused of sexual harassment or assault or something like that…. I want to see women, rather than filing a sexual assault claim because a man touched their boob, I want to see them turn around and say, “Get your fucking hands off me” and move on with your life. Don’t make this an episode of trauma that you require counseling and attention for.
What do you think would be an alternative, I suppose, to this type of verbal consent, to ensure that it still happens and that people are very clear about what it means?
There’s no alternative to consent. You need consent. You need to make sure that both people are happy to participate in something…but men can have their entire lives destroyed because a woman made a claim of sexual assault against them. There’s no rape culture on American campuses, that’s insane. To believe any of the statistics, which are also bollocks, that they share, you would have to believe the rates of rape on American campuses are equivalent to those in the Congo, where rape is used as a weapon of war. I think we need to get universities out of students’ sex lives. Whether it’s rape, report it to the police and the police will deal with it. You’re gonna have some interactions with people that aren’t going to bring you joy and some interactions with other people that are going to bring you joy, and part of growing up is learning how to navigate other people.
Mariah on the drive home. Michigan has been perfect https://t.co/SWeHLm4AMh
— Milo Yiannopoulos ✘ (@Nero) February 24, 2016
You’ve called yourself the “Kanye West of journalism”…
No, no, no, to be very clear, RedState Media called me the Kanye West of journalism.
Do you agree with that?
Yes of course. It’s both flattering and accurate. I like people who are a little bit preposterous and a bit bombastic, and who are very talented but also… whose personal lives and personality has become part of the story of what they do. And I think that’s probably true of my career.
You’ve stated on social media that you support Donald Trump as President.
Yep, Daddy. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.
Well, first of all, before we ask you about his actual politics, is he what sparked the recent change of your hair?
No, no, no, no, no. No, I went blonde before I got really into Daddy. It’s just a happy coincidence, sometimes the universe just lines these things up.
Obviously you refer to him as Daddy…what do you like about him?
Whether it’s economic, or worries about national security, he has gone in and said things that the Republican establishment was too scared of seeming racist or seeming whatever to say. But there are other groups of people who love Trump too, like me, who just want to see the system burn down because it’s broken and it’s not fit for purpose anymore. And for many people who enjoy free speech, free inquiry, and the right to offend people, and that’s not just for trivial reasons. Let’s remember that offensive speech is what keeps us safe. When we can insult each other we don’t shoot each other. And those countries where you can’t insult people, or you can’t speak truth to power, and you can’t say what you want about the government, people kill each other over politics. We don’t do that here.
Have you ever met Trump?
No, but I’m hoping to meet him at CPAC.
And one final question: We’ve been talking a lot about speaking offensively. Do you think this kind of rhetoric can encourage people who are trying to be offensive about the wrong things?
I don’t care about people’s feelings. I care about the way the world really is rather than the way people feel that it is, or would like it to be. I want more people to be offensive. I want to demolish grievance culture and offense-taking. I want it to no longer be a thing in culture where me saying “you’ve hurt my feelings” or “I’m offended” has some weight. It’s meaningless. It’s garbage. It’s a slimy debate tactic designed to shut someone up when you don’t have facts.
Is there a line that should be drawn?
Julie and I had a lot of fun. She said all men should be put into camps and maybe taken out like library books when they learn to behave themselves. I said women should have their vote taken away because they vote terribly so we should reverse suffrage for the sake of women. When you say stuff like that, it is understood that you’re playing satirically with ideas in order to reveal the truth or have a discussion. I don’t believe, as the Left believes, that language shapes reality.