Milo Yiannopoulos plans to dress up as sexual assault survivor for Columbia University speech. Very chill.
In case you were wondering, Milo Yiannopoulos is still a piece of human garbage racing to the bottom of the human garbage pile. It’s a hotly contested race, what with Donald Trump running for president and everything. But the news that Yiannopoulos is dressing up as a sexual assault survivor to give a speech at Columbia University should push everyone’s least favorite alt-right asshole back towards the lead.
The survivor in question is Emma Sulkowicz, who carried a mattress around campus to protest Columbia’s failure to handle her rape allegation against fellow student Paul Nungesser. Since Yiannopoulos doesn’t believe rape culture exists and has compared feminism to cancer, the next logical step is to mock the trauma of sexual assault for shock value. “I can’t think of a more perfect outfit for Columbia than a mattress and a fake rape claim,” he told Politico via email. “See you soon!” His appearance at Columbia is facilitated by the Columbia University College Republicans group, whose previous events include an anti-trigger-warning/anti-safe-spaces talk called “Victims, Victims Everywhere.”
Sulkowicz handled this news with an impressive amount of grace. In an email to the same outlet, she wrote, “He is dressing in drag as me? And carrying a mattress? He’ll get a sense of how it feels. That’s fantastic. I hope he carries a real one, and doesn’t cop out with an air mattress.”
Yiannopoulos’ Columbia engagement is just one stop on a months-long speaking tour which has already seen numerous cancellations and been banned from universities across the country; students at other educational institutions have also said he should only be allowed to visit if he refrains from spreading hate speech. For Yiannopoulos, all of these instances are due to his opponents wanting to shut down free speech. Yeah, that must be it. It couldn’t possibly be that these institutions foresaw potential problems with allowing a professional hatemonger on their campuses and/or were worried about their students’ well-being.
As is par for the course with Yiannopoulos, the questions raised by this attempt to shock have little to do with actual examinations of social norms. Instead, they’re a combination of “so what was the going rate for your soul?” and “how old are you?” His treatment of sexual assault isn’t far off from teenagers telling “dead baby” jokes to prove how edgy they are and how they don’t play by society’s rules, man. By resorting to sub-adolescent tactics to make his point, he further confirms that his relevance only extends as far as his ability to incite hatred of marginalized people.