UChicago Prof Calls Milo Yiannopoulos Critics 'Spineless C**ts' In Blog Post
By Rachel Cromidas in News on Feb 22, 2017 3:10PM
Milo Yiannopoulos, via Getty Images, and Rachel Fulton Brown, via University of Chicago faculty page.
A University of Chicago professor has decried the recent institutional backlash against alt-right, bigoted public figure Milo Yiannopoulos, calling his critics "spineless cunts."
Yiannopoulos, long known for his misogynist, transphobic rhetoric, just lost a six-figure book deal with Simon & Schuster and a public speaking opportunity with a conservative group because a video surfaced of him seemingly defending pedophilia.
University of Chicago Associate Professor Rachel Fulton Brown has frequently argued that Yiannopoulos is misunderstood, and can be viewed positively through a religious studies lens, in posts on her own blog and on Breitbart, where Yiannopoulos himself was a writer before resigning yesterday amid the video scandal. In a blog post written Feb. 21, Fulton Brown argues that Yiannopoulos has been bullied by the media for speaking out against certain cultural "lies" (that don't all sound exactly like lies to us, but YMMV). She then signs off her blog post "Shame on all of you. You spineless cunts. The bullies are YOU."
Fulton Brown, a tenured professor, also shared a post on Facebook as Yiannopoulos's scandal unfolded, comparing the outcry against the bigoted public figure to Jesus's crucifixion, according to a screenshot tweeted by her Medieval Studies colleague Jeffrey Cohen:
Posted by medieval historian Rachel Brown of U Chicago in defense of Milo Yiannopoulos, whom she has defended on Beitbart, her blog, etc pic.twitter.com/nV7R4qrUBw— Jeffrey J Cohen (@jeffreyjcohen) February 21, 2017
Fulton Brown recently updated the Tuesday blog post to clarify that her use of the phrase "spineless cunts" was meant to quote Yiannopoulos, and not something she was saying herself, even though she wrote it in without quotation marks in a manner that suggested she also held that view:
[NOTE: The phrase "spineless cunts" was Milo's. He used it specifically as a description of conservatives in his speech at Albuquerque. I had quoted from that speech in an earlier post, and wrongly assumed that readers would be able to recognize the quotation. I am writing in Milo's defense when the whole world has turned on him. It was conservatives (whatever that means anymore) who decided to slander him with the "advocates pedophilia" label so as to prevent his speaking at CPAC. The insult was meant to express my anger at the bullying coming from both sides.]
The full blog post is here, where Fulton Brown writes "Musings of an Entish Presbyterian medievalist on life, liberty, and love in the postmodern West." In summary, she argues that Yiannopoulos is a victim who has been targeted because he has been so willing to speak publicly to young women and men "About the lies that grown-ups had told them for decades," i.e. "that women don't need men. That all men are potential rapists. That women should aspires to something other than motherhood or they are wasting their lives. That women should like casual sex with strangers, hooking up just for the sake of the orgasm. That children will be fine if their parents divorce. That abortion is morally good." "Everyone knows these are lies," she writes, seemingly unaware that she has created a straw man argument.
She also appears to laud Yiannopoulos for speaking frankly about pedophilia, as opposed to pretending it does not exist.
The New Republic asked University of Chicago history faculty chair Emilio Kourí whether Fulton Brown’s blog post could be considered part of her body of scholarship. Kourí commented that Fulton Brown is “entitled to express her opinions and to publish them,” explaining that “blogs are not part of any performance or promotion reviews in the History Department.”