Brontë Schmit — feminist friend or foe?

Yesterday, Brontë Schmit posted a piece on the Daily Orange decrying the “complacency” of millennial college students for failing to stand up to that dreadful monster, Milo Yiannopoulos, and the consequential sustenance of his loathsome anti-feminist tour of the US.

Or did she pull the wool over everybody’s eyes? Might Ms Schmit, in fact, be every bit as anti-feminist as Milo? I felt inspired to speculate in a comment posted there, which I reproduce here.

So, let me see if I get this straight correctly:

Milo has no journalistic credibility whatsoever despite writing for the moderately high-profile, alternative news outlet Breitbart London and, against all the odds (being a gay man), managing to become rather popular amongst its conservative audience.

He clearly suffers from a bad case of internalised homophobia and worse, he’s not very good at it given that he persistently cherishes and celebrates his sexuality, wearing ‘gay’ like a badge of honour. How ungrateful he is, not to acknowledge that his ability to prosper in 21st Century Western culture was made possible only by his feminist and LGBT would-be comrades and how grievous that he misunderstands their selfless struggles. Sharper than a serpent’s tooth is the ingratitude of an ungrateful gay who doesn’t know his place.

He is such a monster, in fact, that he frightens intelligent, young adults so badly that they need a safe space by reason of exposure to challenging (not to say alien and unnatural) ideas in a university setting, so much so that they are far too intimidated to actually confront his hate which overflows inward and outward. One presumes he must have laser eyes, or can, quite literally, physically cut them down with but a word. If so, then I quite sympathise with these hapless scholars.

Meanwhile, Milo’s been going around challenging political correctness — calling it out for the catastrophic damage to freedom of speech Brontë agrees it does and which, according to Brontë, is solely responsible for socially conscious millennials’ silence and failure to challenge said hate — and the source of political correctness, feminism.

Is that about it?

Oh, dear. Brontë, try walking a mile in Milo’s oh-so fashionable shoes: you might just find that it’s a great deal harder to say unpopular things than you think because in the deafening silence created by PC culture, there are always those who, in the background, seek to sabotage and tear down that soapbox which you covet so.

What has university come to, when unpopular, counter-orthodox ideas are considered so “frigtening” and dangerous that they must be shut down at all costs? As others have pointed out [in the comments section there], there are no safe spaces in the workforce and I really don’t know how these students will survive even a PhD viva, much less outside the bubble-wrapped college cloisters.

What’s striking about Brontë’s excuse for “journalism” is the stark lack of introspection, either into the origins of PC culture, who its greatest proponents are or that her views are not so much minority as establishment (in universities, anyway). Equally striking is her clarion call for opposition to both Milo and PCness, without apparent irony.

As for misunderstanding feminism: a thing may be defined by words, but it is rather better defined by what it does — in which case, Milo (and the 60–80% of American women who reject feminism) haven’t misunderstood a thing. And as for “immoralistic” (good grief), evidently the shoe is on the other foot for feminists’ reaction to dispensation of moral standards of dress was directly the incarnation of “slut walks”. Apparently they can dish it (morality), but can’t take it.

Or perhaps I really have misunderstood Brontë: perhaps she’s as much anti-feminist as Milo and this is really a piece of grand satire, designed precisely to prove Milo’s thesis. If so, then that may explain the incoherent and self-contradictory thinking along with the liberal linking to pieces that, with a critical eye, may just support Milo’s perspective.

Brava, Brontë, brava! You’ve certainly outfoxed us all.

On the other hand, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

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