Progressive Shaming: Milo Yiannopoulos, the “self-hating” homosexual.

NOTE (October 12, 2015): I have written a follow-up post on this issue. In the follow up I argue that while self-hatred is probably an overly-inflammatory descriptor, in his discussions regarding homosexuality Milo is sometimes pretty much “asking” to be interpreted as having anti-homosexual inclinations. He is a complicated man – surely be design. A fully out-of-the-closet homosexual who both lauds and criticizes aspects of gay culture and even homosexuality itself – sometimes apparently lauding and criticizing the very same things in different contexts… He’s a complicated man. As a self-described provocateur, I am confident that this is by design.

In the video below I talk about how Joe Rogan, who I often find myself agreeing with, and Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk accused gay conservative Milo Yiannapoulos of being a self-hating homosexual. Why? Because he indicated that he would have preferred to have been born straight. I think this is a completely unfounded appraisal of Milo’s state of mind.

As I discuss in the video, there is no shortage of pragmatic reasons why a gay person could wish to have been straight while not for a moment hating themselves, homosexuality, homosexuals, gay subcultures, etc. Perhaps I should have made a point of saying that Joe Rogan probably did not intend to be engaging in progressive shaming. From what I’ve seen of him, this is not something he would do. But this exchange definitely brought to mind how some hard-line progressives will engage in shaming, uncharitable characterizations of motives, and so forth when a person does something like what Milo did – regardless of the sensibility of their reasons.

And sometimes even non-hard-line progressives – like Rogan – will engage in such behaviors. In part, this could speak to the success of various social justice narratives. This could happen on any number of social issues.

As an example, consider what would happen if one were to cast doubt that women are an oppressed class who require special government treatment in order to bring them up to parity? One could simply give straight forward arguments supporting the contention that women, as a class, are not underprivileged. Despite saying absolutely nothing disparaging about women, they are running the risk of being perceived as a misogynist, and run the risk of being shamed accordingly.

Alternatively, imagine a person who simply thought America – like every other country ┬ánot to mention household, business, and social club – should have a right to be aware of and either approve/disapprove of the entrance of whomever steps on the premises. This person is liable to have to fend of accusations of anti-Mexican racist shaming.

To be clear, I have absolutely no problem with the promotion of gender equality, equal rights for homosexuals, and racial egalitarianism. And I’ve said absolutely nothing that implies the contrary. The mere fact that I’m even coming out and pointing this out, one could argue, points to the walking-on-eggshells culture we are now living in. To say anything that contradicts the narratives of mainstream or radical feminism or various “social justice” factions, one immediately must go on the defensive and explain how they’re not a racist/sexist/etc.

There are sexists. There are racists. There are people who hate gay people.┬áThere are also wolves. But that doesn’t mean we should go calling wolf every time we see a puppy.


10 thoughts on “Progressive Shaming: Milo Yiannopoulos, the “self-hating” homosexual.

  1. Yeah, you do know that Milo has also called being gay wrong and an inferior lifestyle, right? Seems pretty self-loathing to me. I would think it homophobic if a straight person believed and said those things. They don’t not become so just because Milo says them.

  2. Who cares. One of the few men in history that God called a righteous man , Job, said that he loathed his life. Job 7:16 I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity. If Milo was wise he would loath his sin instead of flaunting it.

  3. @ Tom: Has he really gone that far? I’m not being sarcastic. I’ve heard him say such things as that if he were straight he would be the biggest homophobe that you have ever seen. But I’ve also seen him speak of gay culture as in ways that indicated that he valued it. Specfically, he spoke of how gay culture is often a sort of counter culture, has more freedom to push boundaries, etc., and that he personally values these things.

    In any case, whatever he has said in other contexts, in this particular situation he simply said that he’d rather have been straight. In other contexts I’ve seen him give the sorts of practical reasons why he’d rather have been straight.

    In this situation, he didn’t say anything that implied self-hatred. So I didn’t think it followed that he was accused of such.

  4. @deathbytrolley

    In this article he goes beyond the practical and actually says he thinks it is wrong. That and everything else he has written, including on Twitter, leads to the conclusion he is self-loathing. Added to this he has said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t like other gay people, and as you say he has said he would be the world’s biggest homophobe.

    If you think being short is wrong and an inferior way of living, then yes, I would consider you self-loathing as well. I wear glasses – if I considered it wrong to wear glasses I would think it appropriate go call me self-loathing. This entire argument hinges on thinking being homosexual is inferior to being heterosexual – that of itself is a little homophobic anyway.

    In summation, it is reasonable to lable Milo as “self-loathing”, even if what he said in the Rogen interview was not strictly speaking sufficient to label him as such – in conjunction with everything else he has said and done, it is a fine conclusion.

  5. Just read the link. I’m going to do a follow up post. I don’t think it’s as simple as saying he is a self-hating gay man. He specifically said that he wasn’t. However, to interpret what he wrote as self-hating gay talk is understandable. I think an alternative interpretation – which he was attempting to communicate is that being gay can lead to alienation in our societal context, and so he wouldn’t want to do anything that would increase a child’s likelihood of growing up to be gay – because it would be inviting suffering upon the kid. He was also critical of very flamboyant gays. Many will interpret this as gay-bashing. But I think tehre’s a difference. He wasn’t gay-bashing. He was bashing a particular sub-set of gay people based on their chosen ways of conducting themselves. He even said that they reinforce negative stereotypes that make “regular” gays look bad by association.

    Milo’s school of thought appears to be that being a gay guy in a predominantly straight culture invites suffering. So why would a person want to enter into that if they could help it? And it makes sense from a moral perspective to, if possible, do things to lower the chances of a person growing up to be gay. Many will interpret this as hatred. And enacted by some people – e.g., the kind of person who would want to beat up a gay person – it would be.

    But I’m gonig to do another post because given this writing and his other statements – e.g., that he’d be the biggest homophobe if he were straight – interpreting him as a self-hating homosexual is, at the minimum, defensible.

  6. Thank you for your considered response.

    I don’t consider it remotely relevant whether someone calls themselves self-loathing or not. “Self-loathing” as a label describes someone’s views, beliefs and opinions about themselves or a quality of themselves. If Milo has those characteristics, then he is self-loathing, even if he says he isn’t. If someone says they are self-loathing, but they exhibit none of the beliefs, opinions or views necessary to self-loathing, they aren’t. That is another point I disagree with you on – someone saying they are self-loathing is completely immaterial.

    He is also inconsistent, since he in the Rubin interview lauds being outrageous, but then also condemns being outrageous.

    Your argument about social circumstances only slightly alters the problem – then it becomes an issue of being self-loathing due to social stigma. For example, hating being left-handed in a world that stigmatises being left-handed. The hatred of being left-handed may have a somewhat utilitarian rationality behind it, but it remains self-loathing. I would also point out his logic would apply to Christians in Muslim countries, yet I have not heard him decry raising children as Christians in the Middle East. His selective application of this principle I find suspicious. Also, if you are going to follow that logic, it would be more moral to ensure no one ever challenged the dominant view in society.

    I would even go as far as saying that being self-loathing is not, of itself, bad. I think it would be entirely appropriate for a paedophile to be self-loathing, to loathe that portion of themselves that is sexually attracted to children.

    If you don’t think that calling being gay wrong and an inferior lifestyle is homophobic then we just fundamentally have different ideas about homophobia. A person doesnt have to want to beat up gay people to be homophobic. If you think being short is wrong and an inferior way of living then I am sorry you feel that way about yourself and hope you find peace.

  7. I can see where you’re coming from.

    I maintain that a person can not self-loath but think it’d be better not to be gay given the context and how that context can make life more difficult.

    IT wasn’t just him saying he wasn’t self-loathing, but him offering all the pragmatic reasons. If he had simply said I’m not self loathing, and then gone on to say that I hate that I’m gay, homosexuality is an immoral practice, I can’t stand other gay people, I’d do anything to not be gay because I find my proclivities to be abhorrent, etc., yeah, he woudl have disproven his prior statement immediately. I think what he has done is much more nuanced than that.

    However, I can see what you’re saying about him not being consistent – on the one hand lauding the freedom to be outrageous (I saw the Rubin interview, too – I’m loving what Rubin is doing, btw), and then castigating “preening poofs” in his prior blog post. Now, it’s possible that on the one hand he enjoys SOME types of the excesses of gay culture and not others. It’s also possible that some of his opinions have changed since he wrote that blog article 4 years ago. But really, I’m reaching right now. If I were someone reading what you’re writing and what I”m writing, I’d think that what I’m doing here is just motivated grasping for something to redeem him. So yeah, I’m going to do a follow up in the next week, I will post a link to it in this blog post and the YouTube video info. I maaaay do a YouTube video, but that depends on my time situation and how much I want to invest on this topic.

    Thanks for your pleasantness.

  8. Pingback: Follow up Post: Is Milo Yiannopoulos a “self-hating homosexual”? | Death By Trolley

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