Militant feminism could be the subject of a talk if a controversial journalist is allowed on campus later this term.
Milo Yiannopoulos accepted an invitation from the UKIP Association to speak following the outrage surrounding the University’s decision to cancel its commemoration of International Men’s Day (IMD).
YUSU President Ben Leatham has said he will lobby the University to ban Yiannopoulos from campus if students wish him to do so, after a Facebook event protesting his appearance attracted nearly 200 attendees.
He said: “YUSU does not have a no platform policy and as a result, whether or not to welcome Milo Yiannopoulos to campus is not our decision to make.
“In the absence of a firm decision from the university myself and the YUSU officer team are preparing to conduct a short poll which will be open for a 24 hour period starting at 10am on Thursday.
“This will be a snapshot of student opinion, it is not a referendum and will not form policy but will be used as evidence to lobby the university based on student views.
“We are committed to free speech. We are also committed to respect.
“This poll won’t be about Milo’s views or the presentation of his agenda.
“It’s about whether York students wish to bring onto their campus a man who has made unpleasant and personal remarks direct to our students on social media and written journalistic accounts of events at York that have caused outrage within the student community.
“As always we want to accurately represent the views of students so urge readers and the wider student body to participate.”
Milo, the technology editor for divisive online news outlet Breitbart.com, wants to give a talk titled ‘Militant Feminism is Driving the Sexes Apart’.
Nearly 200 students have clicked attending on a Facebook event for a protest against the talk.
The event said: “A few days ago Mr Yiannopoulos used his right-wing media platform to blame the death of a student on a fellow student.”
The event, organised by the York Student Socialist Society, accuses Milo of hate speech and criticises him for, in their view, blaming feminism for a student’s death.
The protesters say “this is not a no-platforming event.”
On the event page one student wrote: “I’m furious. This man cannot be allowed to speak at our university after targeting York students.”
Another student on the same page defended Milo’s appearance in the name of free speech saying: “I don’t agree with protesting a person who is coming simply to speak, no matter what his previous crimes are.”
The contrarian wrote an article on November 18 linking the suicide of a male student to the University’s cancelling of IMD.
Although the piece criticised the University for not taking mental health seriously, an article written by Milo earlier this year called ‘I’m Worried Not Enough Teenagers are Self-Harming’ described self-harmers as “the most narcissistic people on the planet.”
The right-wing firebrand has also written articles on topics such as why women should get paid less than men because they don’t work as hard, why only the wealthy should be allowed to vote and the natural predisposition to violence of lesbians.
It is not only feminists that have been on the receiving end of Milo’s ire.
After the Paris attacks, Yiannopoulos wrote a controversial article titled “I’m a Gay Man and Mass Muslim Immigration Terrifies Me.”
Milo rose to prominence after his reporting on the GamerGate scandal, where he described video game critics as “sociopathic feminists”.