University of Bristol still to host controversial journalist Milo Yiannopoulos this November, despite UoB Feminist Society’s protest.
Milo Yiannopoulos will get to express his opinion on gender politics in front of the UoB Journalist Society on November 27. However, his talk will be turned into a debate due to a compromise with the Feminist Society.
UoB FemSoc’s original appeal was to ban the journalist claiming that Yiannopoulos’ opinion would jeopardize the University’s Safe Space Policy, which ensures “an accessible environment in which every student is comfortable, safe and able to get involved in all aspects of the organisation […] free from intimidation or judgment”.
Yiannopoulos, notorious for denying culture of rape and his opinions on gender equality, had already been banned earlier this year from Manchester University.
The Journalist Society appealed to the freedom of speech and a statement on their Facebook said: “If you so strongly disagree with his views, we encourage you to come to the talk and challenge his views through a question and answer session.” Ben Kew, head of the Journalism Society, also added: “I’m very willing to turn this into a debate, if FemSoc are interested.”
The two parties seem to have come to an agreement by turning the one-sided talk into a vibrant debate between two opinionated speakers. Rebecca Reid, UoB grad and journalist for The Daily Telegraph, who had previously supported the boycott of the talk with her tweet: “When you give someone, like Milo, a platform you condone their behaviour”, has recently accepted an invitation by Yiannopoulos on the social platform to make it a debate and will appear as his counterpart at the upcoming event.
James Moseley, from UWE Feminist Society agreed that it would be a great opportunity for debate. He says, “The idea of any person is a ‘bad influence’ on university students is patronising as the idea of university is to explore different ideas and adjust your opinion accordingly. You can’t do that in an echo chamber”.
By Giulia Stella