Could the internet please figure out what “free speech” means or STFU about it?

by renegademama

Did you see what I did there? I talked about free speech then asked people not to talk so I violated their First-Amendment free speech rights.

No, I fucking did not.

BECAUSE THAT IS NOT WHAT “FREE SPEECH” MEANS.

I know this may be rough and wild in the world of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” where apparently everybody goes around inventing information at random to suit political aspirations, but outside that special vortex, people try to use words according to their actual definitions.

In fact, some of us get super frisky and use the Google to research what a word means if somebody informs us we are using it incorrectly.

But you don’t. This is what you do, Candy. (I named you Candy.)

Candy: “Milo Yiannopoulos losing his book deal is a violation of free speech! Dangerous! Sad!”

Somebody on the internet: “Hey, hi. That’s not what free speech means.”

Candy: “Hillary Clinton is a crook!”

Somebody: “Okay but that’s still not what free speech means. Please look it up.”

Candy: “Politically correct snowflake liberals love to silence people like Milo!”

Somebody: “That’s probably true, but Milo’s free speech rights are intact nonetheless. Google it.”

But you don’t. Ever. I am convinced you’re not even trying.

But no worries. I am here for you. I googled “freedom of speech” (because that’s the official terminology –I’m not trying to be sneaky), and here is what I found for its definition (incidentally, all dictionaries say the same thing, which is how definitions work):

“the right of people to express their opinions publicly without governmental interference, subject to the laws against libel, incitement to violence or rebellion, etc.” (source)

Another: “the right to speak without censorship or restraint by the government. Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.” (source)

Okay so this is not complicated, right? The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects our right to say virtually whatever the hell we want without fear of legally enacted censorship (although some speech acts are in fact illegal), meaning we can speak without fear of being thrown in prison, or killed by the government (although one may wonder what happened to some of those black Civil Rights activists of the 1960s and 70s who disappeared into thin air, but I digress.)

I can’t be thrown in jail for saying: “Our President acts like Caillou.”

Or “Gee I wish that Nazi was clocked 50 times instead of one.”

Americans get to burn flags, protest, rage, scream, sing, teach, write, and paint without getting chucked into the poky.

Melissa McCarthy gets to make fun of Spicey. Baldwin gets to mock Trump. Limbaugh gets to say women live longer because their lives are easier. Milo YiannoFuckYou gets to be the head gay spokesman for the racist, xenophobic, misogynistic “alt-right.” Bakeries get to gay-bash on Facebook.

IT DOES NOT MEAN THERE WON’T BE CONSEQUENCES FOR THOSE WORDS.

Please for the love of baby Jesus HEAR THIS:

It does not mean we won’t get fired, shunned, uninvited, criticized, kicked off Twitter, blocked, banned, dragged, mocked, and publicly ostracized. Why? Because other citizens get to exercise THEIR freedom of speech in response to ours, and those of us in the private sector get to fire or ban or drag your ass for being an asshole.

Once again just for fun: “Freedom of speech” does not mean “protection from the natural results of being a dick and/or sharing opinions the majority of Americans have progressed beyond because they result in the systematic dismantling of the civil rights of others.”

If I get mad at a coworker and yell that he’s a “washed-up piece of cow shit,” I can possibly get fired for violating a business policy of employing people with self-restraint and manners.

If I walk up to a gay bakery customer and start shouting: “You are evil in the eyes of Jesus and deserve no cake!” my boss can fire me because I am messing with business. Even beyond economics, businesses often have a mission statement, a corporate culture, and if my opinions are not in concert with that culture, I gotta go. 

It’s a condition of my employment. And whether you like it or not, if you believe gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry, or women should stick with the kitchen gig, or all Muslims are terrorists, you are holding archaic beliefs many Americans do not support, so if you share those ideas, there may be repercussions.

This is called, “Being an adult.”

Feel free to hold and yell and cuddle those ideas like your fleece Nascar blanket, but be prepared for what follows.

Societal progress is a motherfucker, ain’t it?

 

Milo YainannaDoucheNozzleButNicePearls can say whatever the hell he wants, and indeed he was invited to UC Davis and UC Berkeley, but protestors created an environment that the university (or HE) felt was unsafe, so he left. He said all kinds of racist and xenophobic and misogynistic neo-fascist shit, and still got invited places and published.

But then it came out that he stated pedophilia isn’t pedophilia if the kid has hit puberty, which apparently is JUST TOO FAR for Simon & Schuster and that Republican rally thing and Breitbart (who knew Breitbart had standards?!).

The rest though was no big deal for those guys, so not one deserves a cookie, not even stale ones with raisins in the back of grandma’s cupboard.

In short, Milo shares a message that many American citizens believe does not deserve a platform. So they did their best to assemble, and deny him that platform. We can argue over the goodness and sanctity of that act, but his freedom of speech is intact. We know this because he’s still walking around being blathering on as a washed-up piece of cow shit.

 

Boycotts are not a violation of freedom of speech.

Protests are not a violation of freedom of speech.

Losing a book deal is not a violation of free speech.

Being uninvited from a speaking engagement is not a violation of free speech.

Milo’s career is smashed because of the choices he’s made within the context of the world he’s living in. Undoubtedly he will maintain a cult-following of alt-right worshippers, but the rest of us have no time for his bullshit, and kindly ask that you exit your unique snowflake word-definition vortex and figure out what “free speech” means, or shut the ever-loving fuck up.

Alright, not so kindly.

But this is America. Milo and I (I just threw up) and you and duck dynasty homophobe guy get to say what we want, and then, we get to deal with the consequences.

THAT IS OUR RIGHT.

 

Here. I made a handy guide the intended audience will never use.

It’s called “Is my right to free speech being violated: A STARTING POINT”

 

***

Speaking of saying whatever the hell we want,

you should join my April online writing workshop so we can

DO THAT TOGETHER.

“Write Anyway” begins April 5.

more stuff I shouldn't have said out loud:

108 Comments | Posted in nothing to do with parenting., politics | February 22, 2017
  • annette

    I love this and I love you. Don’t ever stop. Seriously.
    And thank you.

  • Isabel

    I love it all. I love you. Let’s have a beer one day. 🙂

  • Monica Taft

    You rock. We need you!

  • Liz G

    awesome! thank you!

  • LawDawg

    In First Amendment law, we call this principle the principle of state action. The state (local, state or federal) must ACT to somehow infringe on your right of free speech in order to claim your FA right. Private actors may censor each other and have for a long time. The problem, of course, is that the Internet is our new public forum (our new Hyde Park, new Times Square, pick your metaphor). BUT the Internet is predominately privately run, privately owned. Therefore, censorship from ISPs, websites, etc. = permissible. A drag sometimes, yes. Permissible, yes. The terms of service have become our defacto societal guide to speech rights for good or bad.

  • Courtney Evans

    Aww, poor Milo Snuffalufagus (sorry, Snuffy) got schooled… for awhile there I thought he was blind because he was always wearing sunglasses and I couldn’t figure out how an ethnic, gay, blind man fit into the alt-right model…I guess he doesn’t…

  • Rachel Romano

    You’re my best friend and I don’t even know you in real life 🙂 (not in a stalker-y kind of way, but hopefully you understand what I mean)…

  • Linda Schade

    Umm…wait for it . . . yay! damn right. spot on. and other such sayings to indicate approval and agreement.

    one question: call a “lawyer man”???? or, “call a lawyer, Man!” or, Call a lawyer . . . cause I think they come in female, also.

    other than that, love this post!

    • renegademama

      It’s for sure “call a lawyer, man.” Missing a comma because I wanted it to run together, as in CALLALAWYERMAN. But that’s the problem with punctation deviations only I understand: only I understand them.

    • Angie

      First time I read that sentence I thought it was odd too. But I’ve been reading this blog for a while and it only took a second to know that it wasn’t meant to single out male lawyers. Damn written words for not being able to always convey an exact meaning!

      • renegademama

        I fixed the comma typo on the graphic. Finally.

  • Jess

    Best post ever. Amen.

  • Carrot

    AMEN!

  • Rachel

    Real ‘free speech’ advocates that are defending Milo and his right are actually referring to the violence and intimidation and harassment perpetuated by the left in order to attempt to silence anyone dissenting from the left’s dogmatic opinions. i.e the violent rioting at Berkeley. Milo, whilst not perfect, is quite reasonably engaging in debate and discussion about topics the left do not want questioned. His freedom to do so is being quashed and/or hindered. I’m sure the left would prefer to kill, maim or intimidate him enough that he not turn up at events… but they can’t… so instead they aim for his supporters and others who would choose to listen to his arguments. This is dispicable AND is what the right is complaining about. Not this wishywashy bs you’ve tried to paint it as. Cheers.

    • renegademama

      Ha. I shall say it again: Is he in prison for his words?

      No?

      Then his freedom of speech is neither squashed nor hindered.

      It is fascinating to me how many mental gymnastics people will do to avoid accepting that they are simply on the wrong side of history and the rest of the world is moving on without them.

      • Rachel

        You are insisting on making it a ‘legal’ issue only… the fact is that Milo wishes to have a discussion and violent leftists are doing anything they can to disrupt him, even going so far as to brutally beat those who want to listen to his discussion in order to end the discussion. You can enable them however you want, but at least admit that’s precisely what you are doing… all because you also don’t believe he deserves a platform. Not to mention the police/security enabling the violent protesters to continue with their violence and intimidation because the left-leaning authorities that control them have told them to stand down – there’s your government endorsed suppression, by the way.
        I can guarantee you that leftists would be screaming from the rooftops if the shoe was on the other foot and the right was violently threatening those merely wishing to listen to the arguments by someone on the left. It would be different then, I guarantee.

        • Laura

          Well said.

        • Dani

          Thank you, Mama. And I’m a lefty.

        • Joanne

          Hi Rachel! You forgot to add the condescending little “cheers” at the end of your diatribe missing the entire point of everything.

        • Stephanie cooper

          Hey Rach, you are missing the point. Completely. Milo can say whatever dumb shit he wants. As long as the state, or the government, is not shutting him down(putting him in jail), his 1st A rights are intact. It’s pretty simple, people can spout whatever they want, pretty much, but is someone wants to risk assault charges and kick the shit out of them for saying stupid stuff, that’s on them. No government action? No violation. And that includes violence. If I don’t like what you say, and hit you with my kid’s lacrosse stick, no one is shutting down your free speech. But you can have me arrested if you want. Why is this so difficult to understand?

        • John

          God, I wish the right were half as concerned about the right of trans people to use the bathroom or leave the house without fear of violence, or black people to have churches or muslims to have mosques or Jews to have temples without violence.

          But nothing happens until it happens to you. The right is finally getting a small taste of the violence they’ve been dishing out since they landed on this blessed nation and genocided all over the place, and all of a sudden they see the need for safe spaces.

          • renegademama

            John, absolutely. The LGBTQ community and people of color can all go fuck themselves, but THAT MILO WE MUST PROTECT! I have no idea how these people sleep at night. Plus, how shocking to me that Milo had to just stop short of condoning the rape of children to piss off those backing him. The only light is that most of those motherfuckers will die off along with their archaic ideas. The resistance is rising and won’t quit until we’ve won.

      • Dano48

        You forgot to take into account that leftists who use violence to shutdown free speech are violating the speaker’s civil rights. Your freedom of speech does not include physical violence. If the protestors stick to mean words and boycotts, they are fine. When they use violence they are in fact shutting down free speech.

        • renegademama

          Well, they aren’t. Because they aren’t the government. But, as you may have guessed, I believe people should say whatever the hell they want, which I stated, but I also believe people should respond as they wish. And I will never be convinced that individual acts against single speakers and protesters is the same as state sanctioned systematic laws that result in the oppression and dismantling of civil rights. Those are not the same thing. Individuals are assholes. When our state enacts laws that result in death and discrimination, we have, in my opinion a much larger problem.

          • Ihavenoname

            Are these idiots seriously not getting it? How brainless does one have to be to not understand a simple concept?

            See Jane.
            See Jane run.
            See Jane call Dick a buttwad.
            See Jane get socked in the face.

            Simple as that. No government interference. If the government was involved, that would be different. Since I am neither left nor right, because I’m balanced and facepalm at all the left and right bashing, I can see this from a neutral perspective. I’ve seen both party followers get the same treatment regardless of what it is for.

            “Free speech” is only, I repeat, only protecting you from the government, not the people you decide to tick off. Ticking anyone else off and suffering the consequences won’t go over in court because it’s nothing to do with freedom of speech. Cussing in an office environment is not a freedom, and nor is giving out biased opinions on a whim. These things have the consequences of others practicing their own freedom of speech, which includes removing teeth with their fists.

            This is actually showing that Milo was infringing others, because the protesters who rioted did it because of what he did, the same as yelling “fire” in a theater.

            Also, I looked that guy up. Anyone defending a misogynistic, pedophiliac troll like that is obviously the same as that waste of space. That guy deserves worse than what he got. I can’t believe there are psychopaths defending him and his supposed “freedom of speech” that never got infringed. The government hasn’t even gotten involved, this guy incites violence and discord and he’s being infringed? No, I don’t think so.

            Go back to school, you guys. Mama is correct on this one.

            But, I know that certain individuals make rocks look intelligent and will continue to argue with Mama and everyone else who can actually read a book.

            • Angie

              It’s sad that you basically had to restate the entire post here. They aren’t going to get it, they don’t want to. I love the “special snowflake” argument from the right also while they sit here and cry about fictional infringements to rights. In Rachel’s reply she says, “You are insisting on making it a ‘legal’ issue only”. Well, Rachel, what other kind of issue is it if not a legal one? We’re talking about our rights as citizens, about the Constitution, and about what both of those allow you to do and also what they don’t cover at all. She’s making it a legal issue because that’s exactly what it is. The fact that you could read the definition and glean any other meaning is your problem, please stop making it everyone’s problem by spewing your passive aggressive protection of a pedophile all over the internet.

              To drive the point home, let’s talk about protestors at Planned Parenthood. You know the ones I mean. The self-righteous, “god-fearing”, pro-lifers carrying graphic signs of mutilated babies that likely wasn’t even related to an abortion. The ones that yell at women, and doctors, and nurses as they go into or leave these clinics. They insult and shame them, intimidate and bully them, and often the altercations become physical, some clinics have even been vandalized, bombed, or otherwise forced to turn away patients. Where is your outrage for their freedom of speech? This guy says pedophilia is a-ok as long as the hormones have kicked in and you blindly support him and whine about his free speech rights and the mean, old leftists?

              I usually try to reserve this kind of language for private but, COME THE ACTUAL FUCK ON, RACHEL. How much more disgusting do these men have to get in order for you to be repulsed and not lap up their conservative drool? I can only pray that if you truly wanted to be one of the people listening to this man’s opinions and ideas, that you don’t have children of your own. It horrifies me to no end that anyone could stand up for someone that would willingly abuse a child (cause fuck you if you think puberty makes a child ready for sex) and say, “hey, let’s at least give this guy a chance and hear him out”. Is it because you are just so privileged that something like sexual abuse of child has never touched your life so your lack of experience has made you unsympathetic? Whatever the reason, please take a step back, Rachel, and examine the kind of thinking that would make you defend this guy. Whether any of us are on the right, left, middle, or Mars, we should all at least possess the intelligence to decide on a case by case basis which messages are worth listening to. I’d say Cheers to you also but I hate that passive aggressive bullshit.

              • Rachel

                It’s like talking to a brick wall. I never said any of the things you accuse me of… i.e nowhere did I say I supported Milo and all of his views… my grievance is the violence perpetrated by the left on people who wanted to listen to his arguments and the condoning of such behaviour by the sheep here. Where is your outrage for the violence? I absolutely condemn violence in ALL occasions… that’s MY stance… not yours, ironically. You apparently support violence against Milo and his supporters (including innocent people who may not be supporters but only wished to hear his arguments) PURELY BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT MILO TO BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK. Absolute hypocrites!
                I’m furious that people like you cannot see the moral issue at stake here. Yes, it’s more than just legal. The legal issue IS NOT EVEN BEING DISCUSSED BY THE RIGHT!!!! How many times must I say it. Mama made that issue up to virtue signal. Milo’s legal rights to free speech were not hampered (except for the security and police being told to stand down and not protect anyone at the Berkerley event – which is disgusting in itself) with the demise of his book deal – he has several other publishers willing to publish his book – its going to come out, so nobody is crying over it like she insists. It’s a bullshit argument. Instead she should be condemning the violence from the left. That’s not the way to argue against someone you disagree with… where are the left’s counter arguments against Milo’s opinions? I bet you don’t even know what his arguments even are, because you’re a sheep who gets your information from mainstream media and only in anecdotal form, no need for critical thought. You don’t have to agree with Milo to understand he’s only creating discussion about ideas and has every right to do so. Milo is a victim of sexual abuse as a minor… he isn’t a pedophile. He’s never committed a crime related to pedophilia, never expressed desire to commit pedophilia, and was ONLY discussing his personal view that he believed he was old enough to give consent about his sexual encounters when he was 13/14 years old. I disagree with him… but he’s talking about himself, not some other child. He agrees with the law as it stands. He’s coloured by his experiences of life and sex (abuse) but with calm, reasoned discussion somebody might actually be able to change his mind on his own circumstances. At the end of the day reasonable people should be able to understand that Milo was a victim and realise that his views on THIS issue definitely need more development. This does not discount his right to discuss his views, however. It might even be beneficial as a whole to have a public discussion and help Milo (and other child abuse victims – especially those who also felt they personally gave consent) see a different perspective and work through the pros and cons of his current viewpoints. Discussion helps people. It does not hurt people. Choose discussion over violence.. and stop being a hypocrite.

                • Scott

                  See, here’s the thing. Milo is casting himself as the victim of violence. You’re able to condemn the protestors for their violence. But *he’s the one suppressing people’s expression* by doxxing at-risk people (trans* persons). And it was *one of his supporters* who shot a protestor in the stomach in Oregon.

                  So spare me your projection around “virtue signalling”. Because there is ZERO outrage on the right over someone bringing a gun to a protest *and using it* to injure a protestor. And doxxing people GETS THEM KILLED. Just ask Dr George Tiller. Or Dr David Gunn.

                  Oh, wait. You can’t. You’ll have to ask their surviving family.

                  Civil people in a civil society are acting *ethically* when they deny a platform to a person who wants to disrupt the norms of that society, especially when that person encourages violence against its most vulnerable members.

                  Nor was the hands-off approach to the protest a “suppression of speech,” it was something that prevented further violence. Six minor injuries and $100,000 in property damage is significant, true, but cops wading in to an active protest and arresting people would have led to much more of both. And $100,000 in property damage, in Berkeley, is like two burned cars and a broken shop window, all of which are insured. Milo *was* protected: he was removed from a dangerous situation by professionals, he was wearing a bulletproof vest, and the next time he came up for air he was in Fresno, a hundred miles away.

                  Does Milo need help for being a child sexual abuse survivor? Possibly: only he and his therapist know for sure. Does he deserve it? Absolutely. But his own injuries do not give him the right to a platform where he can condone injury to others.

                  • renegademama

                    THANK YOU, SCOTT! Particularly thanking you for pointing out that a bit of property damage is, um, not that big of a deal. Sorry. But it’s just not, particularly when considering the death and destruction to human life caused by Milo’s rhetoric. Cheers.

                  • Rachel

                    Riot… let’s give it its proper term. This was a riot, not a protest.

                    Disrupting (challenging) the norms of the society is precisely the point of protected speech. Just because they are norms, does not make them right. And speech that does not challenge those ‘norms’ does not require protections. So… if you unwrap that logically, then the constitution’s intent by ‘protecting speech’ was aimed specifically at people like Milo who wish to create discussion that challenges the current accepted thoughts on a social issue. The left’s attempted restriction of that is anti-constitutional.

                    • Katie

                      Rachel, maybe try thinking of it this way- if someone came into your house and starting telling you that you’re a dumb fuck or that your mom is an asshole or something, you’d tell them to get the fuck out, right? Because I’m assuming you don’t hold those beliefs and you wouldn’t tolerate that sort of talk in your environment. Are you violating their free speech by kicking them out of your house? Do you feel obligated to discuss their views that you’re a dumb fuck because otherwise you would be denying their right to say those things? If you still don’t get it, now extrapolate that to Milo trying to go speak at colleges that are mostly full of people who don’t share his beliefs. They tell him to fuck off and take his bullshit elsewhere. It’s not unconstitutional, it’s not violating his free speech (read the excellent original post if you’re still not sure), it’s just that no one there tolerates the shit that comes out of his mouth and they don’t want to hear it.

              • renegademama

                Well said, Angie.

                • Angie

                  Thank you, it’s maddening that it doesn’t ever sink in with the intended party but it won’t stop me from saying it.

            • renegademama

              Hey “IHaveNoName:” I wish you had a name so I could find you and kiss you in an entirely non-threatening way.

    • Ellie

      “quite reasonably engaging in debate and discussion about topics the left do not want questioned” Reasonable? What? And yeah, it totally sucks when we question someone on their choice of topic when that topic is homophobic mysoginistic racist bigoted bile. HOW DARE WE.
      And how about if you replace “the left” (so vile in your eyes! so easy to label!) with empathetic concerned humans who give a shit. Try that.

      • renegademama

        Exactly, Ellie. When a person’s words result in the annihilation of another’s human rights – for example the removal of safety rights for trans children, which is happening now – that person’s voice MUST BE SHOT DOWN AND FOUGHT RUTHLESSLY. It’s shocking to me how people speak of this rhetoric as if it’s neutral. It’s sad grasping of dying mentalities. And they know it. That’s why they’re kicking and screaming so hard, and clinging pathetically to invented definitions of “free speech violations.”

        • Rachel

          He’s not a politician, and has zero power to enact any changes at all – he’s creating discussion, that’s all. It’s just WORDS. You remember that saying from our childhood – sticks and stones may break my bones (lefty violence) but words will never hurt me (conservative voices). That’s pathetic to chose violence over debate, and not to recognise your own hypocrisy when it comes to fascism!

          • James L.

            Just words, huh? So words mean nothing? That means millions of people who support Donald Trump because he isn’t afraid to say anything are really saying “he’s doing nothing special because words are harmless”? Words are not harmless, and to think so is folly. That is why there are laws against inciting riot or violence. You can only use words and not sling a single stone, yet be held accountable for an entire riot because of those words.

            • Rachel

              Inciting violence is a very specific thing to say. Like encouraging your audience/people who listen to you to go out and violently injure those who wish to hear the arguments of somebody you despise for their opinions. Which, not surprisingly enough, was exactly what leftist celebrities and bloggers did which resulted in the attacks on Milo’s audience members.
              Name one instance Milo did this… can you? Nope.
              But the left is swarming with people who have done exactly that. Condoning such behaviour, by not referring to it as the issue people have with the attacks on Milo’s events, while concurrently pretending people are merely up in arms with ‘government sanctioned violation of free speech’ instead (i.e Milo isn’t in jail for his words) is pretty condescending – for it is not even the issue – nobody is saying that to begin with, it’s fake news! People care about the violence perpetrated in the name of ‘protest’ being seen as a legitimate and valid way for the left to act. It isn’t, it’s disgusting… and why aren’t there more people her condemning it instead of cheering the protesters on? I couldn’t give a shit if you think Milo is gross, righteous or neutral… but to allow violence against his audience purely to blackmail him into shutting up and not to address the issue is hypocritical and deplorable. Only one person here has condemned the act of violence… and it wasn’t Renegademama, which I find alarming.

              • Dani

                Thank you, Rachel. And it’s not even just a moral question; it’s bad strategy. If a book is banned I think, “Wow, what is so bad that I, an a grown-up American, am not allowed to read? I didn’t care about this before, but now I want to know!” Same with speech. Banning does the opposite of the intent; it makes something more popular. Bad speech is best countered with good, smart speech. Silencing speech with threats and violence is just…dumb.

                • Dal

                  His book has not been banned. It has simply lost support from the publisher. The difference is between “you’re not allowed to write or read this book; if you do, you’ll be penalized” and “I’m not going to print this book.”

                  He can still self-publish, if he wants to. He can look for a different publisher. He can release his book for free or behind a paywall on the internet. He has options. His book has not been banned.

                  Same with his speech. It has not been banned. He can buy commercial airtime if he wants to, he can book engagements elsewhere, he can film his speech and put it on the internet for free or for a price. He is free to speak.

                  • renegademama

                    Oh my God, Dal, thank you. It’s refreshing as hell to read comments such as yours.

                • Rachel

                  Thanks, Dani. I agree – they aren’t being very smart. Sadly, the sheep can’t see the trees for the forest. The right will win ultimately, because if the left want to continue to use violence to stomp their opinions into the faces of the right they will soon remember that they don’t have any weapons other than sticks and stones, whilst the right retained their guns. Very dumb people with no forethought. Very bad strategy.

                  • John

                    If you think none of us lefties have guns….

                    The difference is, we use them as tools, not viagra substitutes. So you won’t know which of us is carrying what.

                    The irony, though, of you going “Choose peace!” and in the next breath “I’ll shoot you snowflakes!” is exactly why we’re making fun of you.

                    Milo has publicly released the home addresses of transgendered students. One on THE VERY CAMPUS he wanted to speak at. Inviting harm to that individual.

                    You threaten my friends, you’re getting your ass whipped. And you bring a gun, well, I got mine, too, Mr. Eastwood. You feel lucky?

                  • Angie

                    Holy shit, Rachel. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? You spent all this time typing out your morally superior bullshit, calling all of us that don’t agree with you “sheep”, and giving your opinion, ad nauseam, about the violence on the left. The rioting on the left. The intolerance, the stupidity, and the willingness to harm others, on the left. BUT THEN YOU RESORT TO TALKING BAOUT THE RIGHT BRINGING GUNS TO THE PARTY!?!?!?!?! Not that you had any before but that lost you any credibility your argument ever had. Not a single one of the lefties here threatened you, advocated for the violence of others, or encouraged violence against the right. But we’re the hypocrites, Rachel??? When you’re losing the battle of words and wit you show up with a gun? And also incorrectly assume that people on the left don’t have their own arsenals? And then you wonder why no one on the left wants to listen to the garbage that comes from the brains of the right, the elitists that have a huge sense of schadenfreude watching the lives of immigrants and refugees fall apart with Il Duche’s travel bans. Rachel, I’m sorry for you honestly. The life you must have had so far in order for you to think and speak in the way you do must have been very devoid of real experiences that would have given you empathy for the logical and compassionate arguments that make up 99.5% of Left’s ideas. I could go on about other things, and how very wrong your thinking is, but it’s not my intent to threaten anyone here with a gun fight, or try to intimidate anyone by saying my side has more guns. Thankfully my side has more brains, regardless of the guns, and we also have more numbers. Remember that popular vote? The one that beat Trump by 3million? Please, go back to Breitbart where you belong.

                  • Spenser

                    I do believe the phrase is “…can’t see the forest for the trees.” In other words, can’t see the big picture because too concerned with myriad details.

                    • Rachel

                      Whoops – yep… well and truly fucked that analogy up. I do know the correct way… in my haste I wrote it backwards. Thank you for the correction, you are definitely right. LOL!

              • kim

                The left isn’t usually violent. Most of the left is more on the non-violent side. When a bunch of people wearing masks start violence at a gathering you have to wonder who they really are. Sometimes, when someone pulls off a mask, they recognize local police officers trying to get the lefties blamed for being violent.
                Remember, it’s the lefties who don’t like guns. That’s because they don’t like violence.

              • Luke

                Thanks Rachel, you are smart and articulate the point very nicely. We live in such an upside down world today, where people acting like violent fascists get to call the people they are beating up fascists! I appreciate your excellent responses.

                • John

                  Luke, you might not know this, but lots of people who resisted fascism did so with great violence. It’s the only language some people understand.

                  Viva la resistance!

              • Heidi

                So when he outed a trans student to his followers and harassed her, making her a target for further harassment and violence until she had to leave school, those words did not constitute harm? Or is it just that you don’t consider her humanity worth caring about because she doesn’t matter to you?

          • Angie

            Remember Hitler? His propaganda was just words. And his words raised an army of Nazis willing to commit genocide. The sticks and stones argument wasn’t meant to apply to every situation, it’s something we tell children when we don’t want them to pay attention to bullies. I don’t know about you, Rachel, but I’m an adult. I can tell you for sure that words mean something. I know that if I walk into my bosses office right now and call her a giant bitch she’s not going to say to herself, “sticks and stones…”, and go on her way. I’m going to lose my job. What about the countless officials now that have resigned because of things they have said in public, in emails, etc. If you honestly don’t think words have consequences then again I believe you to be an extremely privileged person who has never had to deal with real world consequences.

      • Rachel

        Right… so the pair of you believe it perfectly ok to beat the living shit out of people who merely came to listen to his arguments (WORDS!)… THAT’S WHAT IS BEING OBJECTED TO – violence!!!!!

        You are fascist if this is your stance. Precisely the thing you pretend to stand against. Open your eyes!

        • Joanne

          It’s interesting to watch you try very hard to frame this according to the narrative that you want others to “hear” from this, but I’d like to just share with you that to third parties? It isn’t working. You aren’t coming across as a rational conservative voice shedding light on what these horrible “leftist” types are actually doing. You come across as someone who is trying to use loaded words and charged phrases to spin the view of something that everyone is perfectly capable of seeing clearly for themselves.

          Milo is neither a hero nor a victim. He is an unpleasant, rude little shit whose behavior has come back to bite him on the ass.

          • Rachel

            No… his audience were the victims of violent leftists who believe they have the right to try to silence Milo by physically hurting others in order to blackmail Milo… are you going to acknowledge that? That’s fascism. The behaviour you condone is fascism.

        • Ihavenoname

          Want to know who was crafty with words? Adolf Hitler.

          By using words and never lifting one finger, this man’s provocative platform led to the genocide of the Jewish community. This man did not throw sticks or stones. This man used words. Words are hundreds of times more detrimental than mere objects. Yeah, it hurts to get smacked by an object, but you recover and your body actually forms a stronger bond in the cells (unless you are a vegetarian or are on a grain-based diet, then your cellular structure is weakened from malnutrition and you’re pretty much screwed) and you become more resilient to harsher damage. Unless we’re talking about actual stoning, you are just flinging out a terrible phrase that causes suicide. This is a phrase that was invented to tell kids that the adults didn’t want to care about what others said to hurt the bullied child. This is the phrase that is so opposite of what happens in reality that real psychology majors can’t figure out how people learned to accept such a shoddy and untrue statement.

          Words cause more damage than sticks and stones combined. You can destroy a person with mere words. You can conquer a people with words. You can cause an entire culture of obese, cancerous, diabetic people using words alone – and they would never believe the facts once they were revealed. You can cause the downfall of a nation with words. You can destroy a company with words. You can cause the murder or oppression of a single individual with mere words.

          Milo caused violence against a woman on Twitter…with words.

          Sociopathic bullies cause the suicide – technically murder since they caused it – of individuals by using words to harass teens, and actually pretty much anyone, into a sense of helplessness and self-loathing.

          Certain ethnic group “activists” used words to incite a huge rise in racism, and subsequently caused mass murder sprees to break out across the nation, by using words.

          Stop defending this heinous and outdated way of thinking. These people you are backing up are not using their words for discussion or responsible debate. These people are using their words to cause physical harm…by making their followers into weapons they can manipulate, the same way Hitler did. These people can legally be detained and imprisoned for inciting these riots, but instead, their slaves are punished for believing their forked tongues. The rioters are being punished because of “freedom of speech” protecting WORDS. The same words that caused the violence, did not physically hit anyone, and thus people are allowed to kill, maim, and other such actions, and the people who are the root cause cannot be touched because of your irrational “sticks and stones” argument.

          Your opinion is highly flawed when we bring people with actual psychology and science under their belt.

          • Rachel

            Wow – Lefty logic…

            Actual violence inflicted by the left on innocent people = not violence.
            Words that get interpreted as potential violence by lefties = actual violence.

            ^^ NOT LOGICAL

            Words do not physically harm people. That is a bullshit theory. Point to any actual thing Milo said that incited violence and you may take a point. However, actual violence has been perpetrated on innocent people that aren’t Milo… just to get Milo to stop talking. Forget if you think his words are right or wrong… it’s irrelevant… what part of US law makes it okay to beat and bash innocent people – ever?
            You people are so indoctrinated with hateful Marxism to the point of sickness… ie. so called ‘new way of thinking’. Don’t be daft… you’ve been brainwashed with marxism and socialism since birth – stop for a second and recognise where it is leading you… to condoning actual violence, but objecting to ideas and discussion. Discussion never hurt anyone. You can object to the ideas… but the idea cannot hurt you until it is implemented. It’s strange that you object to any violence in your opinion Milo’s ideas might possibly trigger if implemented, but are perfectly fine with actual violence implemented from the idea that it’s okay to perpetrate violence to prevent the discussion you don’t like. It’s one big nightmare loop – Wake the fuck up!

            Oh… and the Ghostbusters star (filthy rich privileged person, I might add) was never physically attacked – so there was never any violence perpetrated against her – you are lying, or making things up. Some may have said mean things… and I don’t condone it, I wouldn’t have done so myself, but Milo is only responsible for what he says. If he didn’t specifically order any verbal or written attacks on this woman (he didn’t), then he’s not culpable for anything.

            Suicide is a self-inflicted act. It doesn’t have a cause external to the individual’s body/mind. Suicide could be associated with a specific event, or no event at all… so correlation does not equal causation. The only person to blame for suicide is the person who killed themselves.

            Words have NEVER directly harmed or killed anyone. Violence however, HAS. Stop condoning Leftist Violence against innocent people!

            • kim

              I think it’s time for you to read Marx. He didn’t condone violence, he was talking about economics. You are thinking of Lenin. Socialism is an economic system, and has nothing directly to do with violence — only that some people who rule using the word “Socialist” but not the actual thing, have been violent. Your own arguments apply to this — Marx just used words, mostly written rather than spoken. By your reasoning that couldn’t possibly have caused violence.

              • renegademama

                I can promise you she will not actually read Marx. But thank you for bringing him up here. It’s like grad school again for a minute. Haha

    • James L.

      Who here is defending violence against people who were trying to listen to Milo speak? That violence was illegal and absolutely terrible, and those who perpetrated it should be arrested. And absolutely none of it was a violation of Milo’s freedom of speech. Violations of other laws, sure. But not a violation of freedom of speech. In all your comments you’re making this attempt to justify one person’s behavior by the bad behavior of someone else, or you’re making some other similar hypocritical argument. Hypocrisy isn’t logic. If it is wrong then it is wrong. Milo has no inherent right to speak at UC Berkeley. Students had every right to protest him and block him from speaking there. The fires and violence were illegal. Do you get it now? Stop trying to make Milo a victim. He’s a piece of shit who has said more than enough for people to never want to listen to him again, and clearly that goes for the left, the right, and all the people in between you seem to be ignoring exist.

    • Mike Soigne

      “Comment policy: try not to be a dick.”

      Rachel is :'( because a pedophile’s ‘Right To Be a D!CK at a public forum’ was ‘violated,’ because Rachel is a Right-y who is wrong-y about her societal privileges being trampled upon because others, who are not Rachel, or who may not be at all like Rachel, what equal access to political power, too — and THAT is what makes Rachel truly :'( and “Scared!” for ‘Murica! If you’re not like Rachel, with her Very Reasonable Decrees, which are very easy for Rachel to proclaim, because she is not negatively affected, then obviously you’re a “Libtard!” because ONLY Rachel and other Right-ies like her know what is Best For ‘Murica! All hail Mango Mussolini!

  • Shannon

    I think there’s a different word for attraction to pubescents…hebephilia? But that’s beside the point. I used to moderate discussion forums and would often be accused of violating somebody’s FA rights when what I was usually doing was reprimanding them for being jerks. Funny how I never heard that when I removed posts *they* happened not to like…

    Anyway, awesome post. It needs to be said…

  • IC mom

    Love, love your blog. Do not stop writing. We need more voices like yours. You make the state of things not quite so scary right now.

  • Rachael

    LOVE THIS!!

  • Annabel

    This. Exactly. Thank you!

  • Jennifer

    I love this, of course. But especially the fleece NASCAR blanket. I for real laughed out loud.

  • James L.

    First, I love this article and have already shared it.

    Second, I recommend editing your flow chart for correctness. There are many ways that the government can abridge your first amendment right to freedom of speech without putting you in jail. A lawyer friend gave the/e examples: A public employee being fired for a candidate’s sticker on their car; a mayor’s office approving a permit for one demonstration but not another; failure to give equal time to candidates; and there’s so many more. Basically, getting jailed for something you say is an extreme abridgment of freedom of speech. Most of the time it happens in other very real ways that don’t involve jail at all.

    Third, thank you so much for marking a difference between “free speech” and “freedom of speech”. It is subtle, but so very important.

    • renegademama

      Hi James. Thank you for all of your thoughtful and eloquent comments. I have enjoyed reading them. And yes, my little graphic is totally an oversimplification and mostly was to make people chuckle. I’m curious though, if an individual mayor denies the right to protest, isn’t he acting as a single defier of the law? As in, if he is sworn not to do so, and does so anyway, is that still the state?

      • James L.

        It certainly made me chuckle. 🙂

        So I’m not a lawyer, and I can’t say for sure if and when an elected official, or any government employee for that matter, may be held responsible for abridging someone’s first amendment rights. But I did a quick search, and found at least one example where one was.

        Hague v. CIO was a 1939 SCOTUS case where the CIO sued Jersey City mayor Frank Hague for preventing labor meetings in public places. The court ruled that the mayor had abridged the CIO members’ right to freedom of assembly.

        It seems logical to expect that someone acting on behalf of the state would be considered as the state doing the act, or else “the government” could never be held accountable for abudgement of rights, since government is just people doing work on behalf of the people. Of course, when it comes to law, what seems logical isn’t necessarily what is accurate. So I can only surmise.

      • Dan

        Pretty spot-on argument IMHO. A couple of quick points though. First, jail is the rarest form of suppression of First Amendment rights. Prior restraint is much more common – meaning preventing someone from speaking, as opposed to punishing them after they speak. And government imposition of civil penalties (fines, say) are also forbidden as a punishment for First Amendment speech exercise. Second point: the government always acts via an official taking action through authority stemming from their role as an official. So what a mayor does at home with her husband off duty while watching TV is probably not government action, but barring public employees from using a space in a public building based on being able as mayor to approve or deny the request is government action. This does add a twist to the Milo / Berkeley situation, because Berkeley is an agency of the state of California. Under the 14th Amendment (Equal Protection), California cannot deny a person rights that are guaranteed by the First Amendment. I suspect the action of Berkeley was OK because it was a public safety action, but to the extent canceling the event was a prior restraint intended to suppress the content of Milo’s speech, the First Amendment is implicated.

        • renegademama

          Thank you, Dan. I’m guessing it was the university at all that cancelled his speaking. My gut says that Milo announces he doesn’t want to speak when there are large-scale protests so he can frame himself as a victim and the “left” as crazy violent assholes. I am IN Davis and can tell you 100% there was NO violence or threat of violence. That was all show on his part. In Berkeley, the rioting started after he left; my understanding was also that the protesters there were largely peaceful – except for a couple fights amongst themselves. Milo seems to use this as a way to REALLY draw sympathy and fuel ire, though.

          And if UCB were trying to block his speaking, wouldn’t they have said he couldn’t come in the first place? That seems like a clear violation.

          And this seems in line with what you were saying (a statement from the Chancellor at UCB): http://news.berkeley.edu/2017/01/26/chancellor-statement-on-yiannopoulos/

          • Rachel

            You are either exceptionally misinformed or lying. There most definitely were threats of violence against Milo… and in fact he was evacuated from the university because conditions became too dangerous. There was also ACTUAL violence perpetrated against his audience, there are plenty of videos of it all over youtube.
            There have also been similar threats and violence against other speakers on other occasions… such as Gavin McInnus, Ben Shapiro, etc. I won’t let you outright lie without challenge.
            See… I couldn’t care less if you criticise Milo or any other right speaker… but I am for the truth. Your morality and credibility is bankrupt if you refuse to stick with the truth. That’s precisely why the MSM is being so roundly crucified right now – fake news is merely being loose with the facts – don’t be one of them. Get it right.

            • renegademama

              Rachel, LOLLLLLLL. I live in Davis. Milo was not in danger. You’ve been reading too much Breitbart and Infowars. For real though. Read something else.

              • Rachel

                I read you… you qualify as ‘something else’, right? (Not that I even read Brietbart – I do however watch Infowars on youtube sometimes) I disagree with your political stance… but you’re still funny as fuck when spinning off a rendition of some daily life event as a mother.
                My only grievance is that this time you were loose with the truth… and I value truth.

                • renegademama

                  For your news, obviously. I am not a news source.

                • Angie

                  I like that you completely ignored the fact that Janelle lives there and has facts truer than any you could have heard. Where do you get your news from, Rachel, if it’s not MSM? I’m honestly curious. I hear that argument all the time but where are YOU going for this truth you claim to value so much? Are they not all MSM? I personally follow NPR and BBC America. These are two of the media stations that have been deemed the most politically neutral and just relay facts without spin to one side or the other. But I’m all ears if you have a legitimate news source that isn’t mainstream. Only caveat, the name can’t include Fox or Conservative in the title. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

                  P.S. Fucking classic that you are insisting Milo was in danger because of the threats of the protestors (JUST WORDS REMEMBER) but the lefties are the problem. Please remember that if not for Milo’s words, none of this would be up for discussion because none of it would have happened. Did that ever occur to you? Without his words there wouldn’t have been protests at all.

  • Lisa

    Yes! Love!

  • Kerry

    Thank you for saying the things we all think, but aren’t eloquent enough to put into words. There are always shades of gray in any topic, but you’ve cut to the core and given us a foundation to start from. Should there be physical violence against people just because we don’t agree with them? No, duh, of course not. However, like you said, if you’re going to be a jerk and put it out in public that you’re a jerk, there’s going to be repercussions. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is thank you for writing.

  • MetaB

    Seems that the state of Arizona (their state senate) have just approved a bill that would systematically dismantle civil rights. How can this be constitutional? State rights do not trump (will never think of this verb in the same way again) the First Amendment. This is really terrifying.

  • Russ

    Yes. So very much yes. Also, I feel the need to point people at this xkcd comic, which is relevant:
    https://xkcd.com/1357/

    I particularly like the mouse-over text, which I’ll copy here: “I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.”

  • Bernadett Suski-Harding

    Holy shit, you are fucking AWESOME!

  • Kaybee

    You explained it so clearly and so well. And people STILL struggle to understand. Well, thank you for trying…

  • Spenser

    Janelle, LOVE your blog. LOVE your latest entry about free speech. Just wanted to make sure that you know about Google Advanced. It provides more reliable web sources than just plain Google.

    Go to Google and enter “Google Advanced” It will come up. Then put in your search term. Scroll down to where it says “site or domain.” Enter the domain that you want to keep your search in such as edu for educational sites (everything from preschool to post doc levels). gov for United States government (everything from local to federal government sites). org for nonprofit organizations (great for getting different factions’ opinions).

    Example: if you put in “definition of free speech” as your search term and then limit to edu the type of sites that you are interested in, you will get definitions from such sources as the law schools of Duke University and Cornell University.

    Have fun!

    • kerry

      My brilliant, brave, internet friend,

      I’m tired. I’m tired of “pc”, I”m tired of “your right, I”m wrong”. I’m tired of trying to outsmart my neighbor, I”m tired of people being so fucking mean. Where’s the decorum? Where’s the kindness? Where’s the fucking decency? (I know, this is usually where the gas lighting begins… look it up, it’s great, very appropriate term)

      I’m nice. I’m decent. I have a fucking spiritual radio show (for Christ’s sake). I’m looking into fostering kids who’s parents are deported. I’m not an asshole. (most days)

      But this bitching and moaning has got to STOP. This is our window of opportunity for real change. (wait… before you guys judge… hear me out)

      No one likes Trump. He’s a douche. That said, Clinton would have been more of the same… grid lock, political posturing as usual, big business, etc. I know people close to her… she’s a douche, too.

      If you think about it: in the 60’s TONS of people may not have agreed with how the black (that’s what a black friend told me it was pc to say… I’m white) population was treated, but they looked away, until it was so horrific, they didn’t have a choice but to stand up and act. I think this is where we are… we have to UNITE, STAND UP AND ACT. We NEED to be talking about educating people, (did you know the largest growing group is the hispanic population? Did you know they are the least educated?) we need to arm people with a way to support themselves.

      It seems like we’re all focused on the drama, the he said, she said bs. What if we looked up, took stock of the bigger picture and actually laid out a plan that could effect real change? Let them busy themselves with gossipy squabbling. Keep them focused on that while we create the country that helps everyone?

      I love you all. You all have reasons for believing the way you do. When we stop and listen, really listen we’ll learn that MOST of us aren’t total assholes. ( I asked a friend of mine why she hated Trump, turns out he reminded her of her cheating father… totally agreed)

      Anyway, I said what I came here to say.
      I love your spirit. I”m just tired of people’s anger. In my resolve, I feel the need to act.

      Love and peace to you all.
      Kerry

    • renegademama

      THANK YOU!

  • Cokie

    This isn’t so much political, but I take this stance with my child. People freak out when kids say curse words. But I don’t. You know why? Because I allow my child to create consequences for herself. If she wants to be rude, disrespectful, scream profanity at people, she has the right, but she better damn well be prepared to face the consequences. That’s where the slot for empathy opens up. People like Milo and people who support him lack empathy. That’s the difference between the way I raise my child and these people. My daughter is fully aware that if she calls someone a cock sucking fat bitch cunt, she must also be reminded that she hurt someone, offended someone, or made someone feel sad. Naturally, my child, bless her toddler heart, makes a very important choice not to hurt others. Words matter. They make a difference. You can say what you want, but beware of what’s to follow. Good share.

  • Jody Firneno

    Damn straight! You nailed it!

  • Barbara Reding

    I love you, man.

  • Sarah

    I liked this piece so much, I just signed up for your workshop. So there. See you (online) in June! – Sarah

    • renegademama

      I look forward to writing with you. Thank you!

  • Darth_meow_504

    Wait, people are upset because he said it’s not pedophilia if the person is past puberty? That’s actually correct. The proper and correct term for lust for a post-pubescent minor is ephebophilia. That doesn’t make it less illegal nor is that a defense of the crime, but it isn’t pedophilia by definition if the minor victim is not prepubescent. Words have meanings, use the proper ones please. Ephebophilia is not pedophilia and vice versa. Look it up.

    • renegademama

      You are arguing semantics? Holy shit what is wrong with you? He was saying it’s not wrong to fuck a kid past puberty (and puberty can start at age EIGHT), so he and I both used the wrong word. But truly THAT is what bothers you? My god you are disgusting. GET SOME HELP.

      • Rachel

        That’s NOT what he said. He SAID: Some post-pubescent children can give consent. He believed that HE was capable of consent when HE first became sexually active at 13.
        He is probably technically right… some children under the age of 16 can give informed consent… but, both MILO and I agree that the line has to be drawn somewhere for legal purposes to protect children – especially the ones who cannot give informed consent. Milo perhaps was a bit clumsy with his language the first time he discussed this, but THIS IS what he said. You have read a perversion into it to suit your narrative because ideologically you are against allowing speech for those that you disagree with and this gives your more ammunition – but it is simply untrue.

        • renegademama

          Um, Rachel. You sure comment A LOT! I admire your persistence.

          The entire point of the age of consent is that children younger than the set age CANNOT give “informed consent” to somebody older. Of course we all know this is a bit flexible, right? I mean, a 17 year old having sex with an 18 year old. But that’s not what Milo is saying. He’s saying “Some kids at 14 are capable of giving consent to OLDER MEN.” THIS IS FUCKING SICK. Do people defending him not understand how rape/molestation/manipulation and power work? THERE IS NOT EQUAL POWER BETWEEN A 13-year-old AND A GROWN MAN OR WOMAN.

          Do you not know that teenagers don’t have fully developed brains? Jesus Christ it’s depressing that you don’t see what he’s saying as highly problematic. NO A 13 YEAR OLD CANNOT GIVE CONSENT TO AN OLDER MAN. A 13 YEAR OLD CANNOT BE “SEXUALLY MATURE.” YES THAT IS ALWAYS RAPE. YES THIS IS ALWAYS THE CASE. I can’t believe I’m even having to say this.

          Annnnddd then Milo goes on to romanticize the rape of boys for how it’s “super nurturing!” Please for the love of god think hard about who you’re defending here. Because GROSS. Also, Rachel. You are contradicting yourself and so is your man Milo: He said he was raped at 14. So how was he able to give consent AND be raped at the same time? You’re getting snowed. Anyway, for the world to decide for themselves, here is the full transcript:

          Milo: “This is a controversial point of view I accept. We get hung up on this kind of child abuse stuff to the point where we’re heavily policing even relationships between consenting adults, you know grad students and professors at universities.”

          The men in the joint video interview then discuss Milo’s experience at age 14.

          Another man says: “The 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…”

          The man says, “The reason these age of consent laws exist is because we have to set some kind of a barometer here, we’ve got to pick some kind of an age…”

          Milo: “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. In many cases actually those relationships with older men…This is one reason I hate the left. This stupid one size fits all policing of culture. (People speak over each other). This sort of arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent, which totally destroys you know understanding that many of us have. The complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex. In the homosexual world particularly. Some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort 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 reliable and sort of a rock where they can’t speak to their parents. Some of those relationships are the most -”

          It sounds like Catholic priest molestation to me, another man says, interrupting Milo.

          Milo: “And you know what, I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.”

          Other people talk. Oh my God, I can’t handle it, one man says. The next thing in line is going to be pedophilia…says another man.

          Milo: “You’re misunderstanding what pedophilia means. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13-years-old who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty. Pedophilia is attraction to people who don’t have functioning sex organs yet. Who have not gone through puberty. Who are too young to be able (unclear and cut off by others)…That’s not what we are talking about. You don’t understand what pedophilia is if you are saying I’m defending it because I’m certainly not.”

          Another man said, “You are advocating for cross generational relationships here, can we be honest about that?”

          Milo: “Yeah, I don’t mind admitting that. 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 young boys, from desolation, from suicide (people talk over each other)… providing they’re consensual.”

          • Rachel

            Read my comment back again – you pretty much repeated exactly what I said. We agree… yet, for some reason you still argue. You, me and Milo all agree about the age of legal consent, for the reason that it protects the majority.
            What you may not acknowledge, but probably agree, is that ‘age of brain maturity enough to give informed consent’ probably varies quite a lot. And in fact a 13 year old (rare, I agree) might be able to give consent if they were to mature early. Your argument hinges on the logic that the day before their 16th birthday (which is legal age in my country) they cannot under any circumstances give informed consent due to their age, but the next day they are capable. That is absurd. So… what we all agree on is that, whilst ability to give informed consent age could vary, for legal reasons and general child protection it needs to be standardised. Where Milo might need more development is his own case – he believed he was an exception, but was he really? Did the circumstances fit? Could he look back on it with a different perspective and still feel he was fully in control? I don’t believe he was… but it’s impossible to tell for us.
            The greatest point was consent. IF consent can be given (which is the debatable point) then the relationships Milo refers to should not be a problem. That was all he was saying. Consent, however, was essential… and as the law stands, and everyone agrees it’s correct as it stands, consent can’t be given, so it’s purely a theoretical discussion.

            • renegademama

              Rachel, we decidedly do not agree on this or the interpretation of Milo’s words or, I’m guessing pretty much anything else in the world (judging by your comments at least). I am 100% saying that it is impossible that a 13 year old can give consent to an older adult. Period. End of fucking story. BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT MILO CLAIMED AND ROMANTICIZED. You can try to twist my words and his until the cows come home – and your little “one day” thing is adorable – but my point remains.

              I can’t figure out if you’re truly as dense as your comments indicate or you’re simply trolling. But either way, I’m bored.

            • renegademama

              Wait a minute. I just realized you’re not even in our fucking country. Hahahahahhahahaa. You’re pontificating about the political climate and events IN ANOTHER COUNTRY by saying “I only watch raw video” as if that paints a whole picture, and I’m telling you “I LIVE HERE” – literally in one of the towns where milo claimed “riots” occurred, but you don’t like what i’m saying, so you ignore me. I’m dying laughing. You’re a master troll! Nicely done. Goodnight.

  • jstanley01

    STFU.

  • Brandon Jones

    “Milo YainannaDoucheNozzleButNicePearls can say whatever the hell he wants, and indeed he was invited to UC Davis and UC Berkeley, but protestors created an environment that the university felt was unsafe, so he left.”

    Shutting down someone’s speech through VIOLENT ACTION/THREATS is absolutely a violation of free speech federal law. That’s why there’s FBI investigations into Black Bloc, teachers and students at Berkeley and supposedly the mayor (no solid word on that yet). Because federal law. Whoops.

    Threats of Violence Against Individuals (SCOTUS) “reasons why threats of violence are outside the First Amendment”
    http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/amendment-01/43-threats-of-violence.html

    Do some research.

    • renegademama

      Nobody threatened violence against Milo in Davis or Berkeley. I fucking LIVE HERE. There was ONE arrest at Berkeley because a dude wouldn’t leave. And one arrest at Davis. The students at Berkeley planned a GAY DANCE PARTY. At Davis, students were literally standing around. Wait. No. Somebody threw a cup of coffee, but at another student. WEIRD. The Black Bloc arrived AFTER Milo left, and btdubs, the information surrounding the FBI investigation is all extremely vague at best, varying widely depending on which news source you’re reading. I bet I can guess which ones you read. Nonetheless, I am DELIGHTED that the FBI is investigating, and I hope they widely publish their findings. Maybe Milo’s followers will start to understand that protesting is not inherently a violation of free speech, which is what many of them claim, and is the mentality I am addressing here.

  • Ben

    I linked to this post from http://wasitfreespeech.com 🙂

  • Sam

    I can’t even count the number of times I’ve tried to explain freedom of speech to people. I’m exhausted. Reading your post was almost cathartic. I just cannot understand what is so difficult to grasp about this. It’s so simple (relatively). And yet, I read through these comments and the mental disconnect is just astounding.

    Violence is wrong. It’s also a crime. If a person physically assaults a person for speaking, that is a crime (“assault” in some variation, usually), and they should be arrested. The person attacked was a victim of that individual crime NOT freedom of speech. And that is just such an important difference.

    Also crying at the people who say “Words are just Words and don’t harm anybody”. In rebuttal to the “sticks and stones” line, how about “the pen is mightier than the sword”? Words are incredibly powerful, which those in power have always known (which is how books get banned and why POTUS despises the press so much).

  • Ex-Liberal Academic

    I love your blog and find it hilarious! I just wanted to share another perspective on this issue.

    https://exliberalacademic.com/2017/03/02/on-the-consequences-of-free-speech/

  • Will Shetterly

    When the consequences you support include firing people, you’re no different than the McCarthyites who fired people suspected of communism. Where the rich can deprive people of work for what they say, there’s no free speech.

  • JTBundym

    May I please steal that flow-chart graphic so I can slap it in the comments of a lot of people on FB who claim their free speech rights are being violated? Please please please? ^_^

  • Robert Serna

    well Renegademama while I do agree with almost everything you said you are only giving part of the story. because while the government nor the administration of UC Berkley did anything to violate Milos right to free speech, neither did they help anything or anyone when the cops were told to stand down and do nothing about the rioters. and about that when a “protest” becomes a riot it is no longer a protest it is a crime. and when police do not react to nor fight crime they are derelict in their duty. if they were ordered by superiors to do nothing then the onus falls on those superiors. and if ultimately the order came from the chief of police or the mayor then yes the government is in fact complicit.

    also if there is any crossover between someone who ordered a police stand down and whoever organized the riot, oh excuse me the “protest” that became a riot. I truly don’t think even you can believe it just happened all by itself.

    also I do like the flow chart it works but only if you are honest with yourself. and that is certainly not a hallmark of the Antifa thugs who have been arrested for rioting and inciting to riot. they are equally claiming their rights have somehow been violated and that they did nothing wrong even in the face of strong evidence against them. and while the media doesn’t want to cover it not even to let them whine about how they were just following orders because truly anything they say just makes the case against them.

    all in all I rather liked your piece if not the tone. because you used logic and common sense. I would simply ask that you apply it fairly and equally to your own side as well and call out the double standard and hypocrisy of the left.

  • FuriousGreg

    Something to consider in regards to freedom of speech and Government interference. The US is a Representative Democracy, that is we govern ourselves by electing others to represent us and promulgate our views. The important thing most people forget is that we are the government, we are not necessarily part of the bureaucracy but we are foundation of all the power of that bureaucracy. So when we as individuals bully, threaten, or use violence to keep someone from speaking in the public square or from speaking at another’s private function we are violating their rights if not always against the law then against the spirit of it.

    The main concern for those of us who believe that freedom of expression is a necessary absolute is that it is the foundation of all other freedoms and its the only alternative to violence to resolve our differences. If you disagree with what the speaker says then argue against their ideas, ridicule them, shame them, do not materially support them, counter their bad speech with your better speech. No-platforming and shutting down speaking engagements doesn’t win the war of ideas it just ratchets up the conflict and creates unnecessary allies/enemies. I do not want to defend people like Milo or Culture, I don’t agree with the vast majority what these people say, but some of you force me too. Not because I agree with what they say but because if we take away their right to speak we abdicate our rights as well.

    Further, keeping the opposition from being able to speak adds to their resolve and makes it an argument about tactics rather than the ideas. Milo, as our example, can now claim that the protesters can’t challenge his ideas so the aim to shut him up instead. And for a lot of you he’s right, you can’t challenge his ideas because you actually haven’t fully listened to them.

    But there is more to this than just the rights and freedoms issue and is it’s an issue of intellectual honesty and responsibility. Hearing the opposition’s argument gives us the ability to defeat their ideas, it shows us the problem so we can come up with the solution. Limiting the opposition’s ability to make their argument limits our ability to make an effective counter argument. Debate isn’t as glamorous or heroic feeling as being part of a righteous mob, or as exciting as a brick through a window, but it is how lasting change comes. All the social advancements we as a culture have achieved in the last century have come through debate, the better idea, the more convincing argument that eventually persuades, or at least defeats, the bad idea. It’s not always quick and we will have to defend those ideas again occasionally, but the progress made is solid. Marriage Equality took 20 years as a political issue with both sides arguing in public and private and now it’s the law of the land. Most of this battle happened before social media and none of it required shutting down the opposition’s ability to speak. The argument won the day because it is a better argument. Some of you will say that 20 years is too long and I agree but now with social media we can move faster because we can organize better and develop better arguments. However each time we succumb to the mob mentality and shut down the opposition’s right to speak we only lengthen the process and weaken the result.