A Woman’s Place
TW: Some images NSFW—Not Safe for Women.
Even knowing what had been going on in Milo’s Telegram chat for the last several months, I was not entirely prepared for what I found when I opened the app on Friday for the first time in a week. No longer Milo’s Finishing School,* the chat was now 𝕳𝖔𝖚𝖘𝖊 𝖔𝖋 𝖄𝖎𝖆𝖓𝖓𝖔𝖕𝖔𝖚𝖑𝖔𝖘 and the members were all changing their names to reflect their house loyalty. I had been promoted to Grandmother Yiannopoulos, while Milo was now Mother and the other admins were Brothers, Sisters, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. There is even a Big Gay Uncle, an eternal Karen, a Brother-in-law, and one Maid.
There were also some new rules, most notably a Death clause. (If declared dead by Mother, the chat member would become a ghost, and anyone who talked to him or her would be sent to the sanatorium for being crazy enough to talk with dead people.) There was also a rule against cursing—“unless you are a male Elder”—which the admins were busy enforcing with #GreenSoap.**** It all sounded quite wholesome. Perhaps the hellscape had all been in my head? I was reassured... until I opened the admin chat, and one of the admins was asking for certain images to be removed.
I clicked on the post link—and was immediately back in hell. There were four images. This was one of them:
I will spare you the other three. I thought about Rule Number 1: “No pornography,” and deciding that all four counted as porn (one included a double-headed dildo, which seemed to fit the “real or drawn” criterion we had been instructed to follow), I deleted them, which action I reported back to the admins. I was immediately told that Mother had already made a ruling that they could stand (“Alas this breaks no rules”), at which I apologized: “Sorry, missed that. My porn radar is off! Do we not worry about dildos any more?” Milo laughed: “hahahaha—I’ve broken mom.” I acknowledged: “Can confirm.”
I have yet to speak in the main chat, and it isn’t only because my chat husband (a.k.a. Joseph) has not given me leave.** There were more of these images posted later that night, a great cascade of cruelty to fruit. Most of the images were directed at a particular member of the chat—the young man whose face is superimposed over the woman’s face and breasts in the above photo—who has been the ongoing butt of jokes for months for his willingness to ::ahem:: make certain videos involving fruit in order to stay in the chat.*** Vaginas would count as porn, but ravished grapefruit do not. Nor, it seems, did any of the other images (some directed at certain of the older women), however offensive they might seem to me as Grandmother of the chat.
I am a woman of a certain age—55, to be precise, as of Wednesday this coming week. It is not as if I am a virgin who needs to be protected from images of dicks—or ravished grapefruit. I have books on my shelf that—at guess—would surprise even Milo. (He loved that I have a nearly complete set of Lone Wolf and Cub!) I have read Anne Rice, and not just her Jesus book in which she cites me. I know far more than I ever wanted to about the way men fall in love with strippers. (My father wrote a novel about it, based on his own experience. I really should find a publisher.) I have been in sex shops and seen dildos aplenty. I have been surrounded for decades with academic colleagues who would sexualize even God’s wounds.
But why was I having to look at such ugliness in Milo’s chat? “You can’t just keep deleting stuff,” Milo has warned me and some of the other admins. “It drives people away.” Oh, really? What about all the rage-quitting over being gagged for breaking the rules? How is that keeping people in the chat? Why is it my wanting to encourage people to concentrate on Goodness, Truth, and Beauty that—or so I am told—is driving people away? Exactly how am I the problem here when others in the chat are posting such cruel and degrading memes?!
In a word: because it is not my room, or even my house. It is Milo’s. And I have been behaving like every busybody woman ever, bursting in and starting to tidy up, rather than letting the boys have their fun. That Madrasa he set up last week?* It was as forceful a way he could think to say, “Mom, get out! You are messing up the game!” Those horrible memes that he encourages the chat to post? They are like flares signaling the young men that it is safe to come play; they will not be shamed or told to mind their manners because they might offend the girls. Once upon a time, or so I am told, there were no women on the internet; it was all boys all the time, enjoying themselves in chat rooms. “Tits or get the fuck out” was the standard rules for girls: “If you want us to treat you like a girl, show us your tits, but do not think that you can come into our space and start telling us what to do.”
But—wait a minute—what about Rule Number 10: “No profanity, unless you are a male Elder”? And what about all the times the young men (it is mostly young men in the chat, based on their avatars) rage-quit because they have been gagged? The admins keep an ongoing log, as per Rule Number 6: “Anyone foolish enough to leave the House can be re-admitted but can never acquire any enhanced status or benefits.” It is not only the moms (tbf there are a fair number of us) making things uncomfortable in the chat. Every time someone is gagged even for as little as 24-hours, the recording admins (there are two of them) get a flurry of DMs in protest. There are whole chats on Telegram devoted to complaining about the rules in Milo’s chat and how stupid they are. But it is my wanting to tidy the room up a bit that is the problem?
The admin chat (now called the Top Floor of the House) is for admin discussion only. It mainly involves the admins wondering whether this or that post has broken one of the rules. Most of the time (for me, at least) it is deadly boring, like listening to fencing referees going over the latest update to the FIE rules. For example, with the Death game: did responding to the ghost without hitting “reply” count as a conquest for the ghost? (Ten “hauntings” and—mirabile dictu—the dead could come back to life!) Whereas, in the rare times in which I have exercised my ability to gag someone, my inclination has been to make a decision on the spot, the other admins seem to enjoy hashing out the particulars of the rules. Nor do they seem to have any compunction in the chat itself at handing down the verdicts. The rules are the rules, and they are there to enforce them, however arbitrary and cruel they might seem.
Is it the rules that are cruel—or is it the license given the young men in the chat? I happen to think the rules are incredibly mild. I would be punishing people left, right, and center for being so mean! Which is, of course, the problem. Women and men need different lessons. (Different women need different lessons from other women, but work with me here.) Women need lessons in patience—witness my storming in and taking charge when I see something going wrong. Men need lessons in following orders regardless whether they like them. Milo is running a chat for training young men to be men. He wants to train them to stop being pussies and to take responsibility for their own lives so that they can grow up, get married, and have children. He also wants women to learn to be wives and mothers and stop being thots. For the women, this has meant learning to stay silent every Tuesday (and now Thursdays as well) as a corrective to our propensity to burst in and take charge. For the men, it has meant accepting the discipline of the rules. If that discipline—or lack of discipline—looks mean to some of the women, well, perhaps the old rule is the best rule: “Tits or get the fuck out.”
Meanwhile, there are far better things that we could be doing with fruit.
*It had a brief period while I was away as Mullah Milo’s All-Inclusive Madrasa, but it was a Christian Madrasa. As far as I know, there was no muezzin calling the chat to praise Allah and His prophet.
**It was very romantic! Milo gave him permission to choose a bride in the middle of the night when the whole chat was sleeping. And he chose me!
***The image of the grapefruit over the woman’s vagina was clipped from the first of these videos and has become something of a staple in the chat lore.
****Green soap, I am told, because the rule came into effect when the chat was a Madrasa, and green is the color of Islam.*****
*****Correction: #GreenSoap had nothing to do with Islam. It was the color of the soap that one of the admin’s grandfather used to use, the ordinary daily soap used for shampooing as well as stain removal. It would now be considered eco-friendly!
For Mother Milo’s continuing lessons in virtue, see The MILO Chronicles: Telegram Diaries (from August 2019). For my own lessons in imitating Milo, see Milo Chronicles: Devotions 2016-2019, available in hardcover from Amazon and direct from the publisher at Castalia House.
To find Milo’s House, go to his Telegram channel and watch for the link.
ENVOILast night in the chat, my husband called me, and I did return:
I love weddings! Don’t you?