Milo Yiannopoulos brings conservative university tour to Dartmouth

by Peter Charalambous | 11/3/16 12:35am


Conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos spoke Tuesday night about Greek life, political correctness and gender at an event co-hosted by The Dartmouth Review and College Libertarians.

by Peter Charalambous / The Dartmouth

Milo Yiannopoulos, a technology editor for Breitbart News and conservative speaker whose appearances have been cancelled by other universities citing concerns over a hostile environment and safety, spoke to a Cook Auditorium on Tuesday as part of a stop on his tour. Cosponsored by the College Libertarians and The Dartmouth Review, the lecture was titled “In Defense of Hazing.”

Yiannopoulos’ views on issues such as free speech and feminism as well as his embrace of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump have led to cancellations. Villanova University, University of Miami, the University of Maryland and Florida Atlantic University have all canceled his appearances due to high security costs and concerns. Furthermore, stops of the tour at DePaul University, Rutgers University, the University of Minnesota and University of California at Los Angeles have been met with protests.

With the exception of a free speech activist who agreed with many of Yiannopoulos’ views, Tuesday’s event at the College saw no large-scale protests against Yiannopoulos.

Sandor Farkas ’17, the editor-in-chief of The Dartmouth Review, and Brian Chen ’17, president of College Libertarians, opened the event.

“The purpose of college is the pursuit of truth,” said Farkas, explaining that voices like Yiannopoulos’ help create a political dialogue on campus.

The cosponsors of the event clarified that The Dartmouth Review and the College Libertarians neither endorse nor condemn the views and positions expressed by Yiannopoulos.

Following the introduction, a short video documenting some of the protests that have occurred at Yiannopoulos’ events as well as a soundbite of Hillary Clinton was played. As the video ended, Yiannopoulos entered the auditorium to applause. Dressed partially in black football gear and sporting gold-rimmed aviators as well as thick eyeblack, Yiannopoulos greeted the crowd with comments and jokes about the current election.

Calling Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton a “walking corpse,” Yiannopoulos noted the possibility of Donald Trump, who he often referred to as “daddy,” winning the election.

Yiannopoulos used Trump’s masculine characteristics as a springboard to the lecture’s focus on hazing.

During his lecture, Yiannopoulos praised Greek life on campus, noting how Greek life instills a sense of masculinity in students. He stressed the importance of this masculinity by quoting author and social critic Camille Paglia, who said “If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.”

Yiannopoulos criticized the feminist movement, which he described as a “nasty, man-hating cult.”

Yiannopoulos said that men have been and will continue to be responsible for the majority of hard labor in world.

“Finding a woman willing to be a construction worker is as likely as finding an attractive feminist,” he said.

Using the example of the new Ghostbusters movie which starred a predominately female cast, Yiannopoulos noted that the forced feminization of popular culture has harmed artistic development. Ghostbusters, which he described as “the most unfunny movie in the last 20 or 30 years” served an example of this issue, as it prioritized social changes such as a female cast over cinematic value. Yiannopoulos recently made international headlines and was removed from Twitter for his scolding criticism of Leslie Jones, a major actor in Ghostbusters. He noted that television and movies now portray men as “bumbling idiots.”

Hazing has been used to condition men in indigenous groups, Yiannopoulos said. Similar to how sports teams bond by being pushed to the limit in practice, members of Greek houses grow closer by enduring hazing.

“There is a very small window when men can be men,” said Yiannopoulos, adding that Greek life is integral to that manliness and blaming hazing bans on female college administrators. Yiannopoulos claimed that putting women in charge of policies regarding hazing “is like putting Hitler in charge of a museum of Jewish antiquities.”

Yiannopoulos also referred to Andrew Lohse ’12, who he referred to as “Andrew Loser.” Lohse, whose experiences were detailed in a 2012 Rolling Stone article entitled “Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy,” brought criticism to not only Dartmouth’s Greek system but also hazing processes in colleges across the county.

“Fraternities are one of the few male institutions that capture masculinity, and they deserve to be protected,” Yiannopoulos said.

Yiannopoulos then reenacted popular hazing rituals for the crowd, drinking a bottle of yellow liquid labeled as urine, enduring waterboarding, simulating being hit by a bat and being sprayed with a cream.

Yiannopoulos ended his lecture by displaying a picture of soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy in World War II captioned “College-age men leaving their safe spaces.”

After his lecture, he opened the floor for questions, addressing issues such as the possibility of Marxism in the form of political correctness, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock, the Second Amendment and the loosening of relations with Cuba.

After the event, members of the College Libertarians as well as The Dartmouth Review remained for a meet and greet with Yiannopoulos.

“As far as I know, everyone was safe and some people were exposed to some new ideas,” Farkas said.

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