Bigots like Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychology professor and lobster-loving life coach who came to public attention after refusing to use the preferred pronouns of transgender people, has a new book coming out, and some staff at Penguin Random House Canada, were reportedly not pleased with the company’s decision to publish it…

…We should hope for more revolts like the one against Peterson, and the one that occurred when Simon & Schuster dropped racist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. Of course, there are strategic calculations, because a huge part of the conservative “brand” is the feigning of persecution. If book contracts are canceled, rightwingers will claim that they are being silenced for expressing “disagreement”, when the truth is that private parties are simply declining to financially reward noxious views… More here.

I like The Guardian, I always have, but this is an uneasy read for me. Feel free to correct me, but when did Peterson refuse to use preferred pronouns categorically? He is against mandating it and not just because of what they are, but because of where that may lead.

During one talk, Peterson is asked exactly that: “If I came up to you in class and asked you to refer to me as a certain pronoun, would you ignore my request?”

Peterson’s response was short and simple: “It would depend on how you asked.



Categories: Politics

4 replies

  1. I agree with you Shaun. I don’t like many of Peterson’s views as I’ve stated in your previous post about him. How much of that is the way he presents them, I don’t know. But I do agree that we shouldn’t mandate how we refer to people within the boundaries of hate laws, as we have in Canada. And the key word here is mandate as in make it criminal not to do so.

    I also am uneasy whenever someone, especially carrying the weight of a publication like The Guardian, effectively pushes for censorship.

    • It was more the fact they used the ‘after refusing to use the preferred pronouns of transgender people’ phrase. That is a reach at best and untruthful at worst.

      • Though to be fair, THEY didn’t say “categorically”, you did.

        “It would depend on how you asked.” is certainly a weasle-y phrase! It’s failure to say anything more likely affirmative than “it depends” And that “how you asked” is wide open as hell for refusal. “Oh, you didn’t come asking as a personal favor, but the way you asked implied that I accept trans folks as being fully human? nope, sorry, fuck you, I get to decide more about your identity than you do”. It might not be a definitive refusal but it certainly isn’t NOT a refusal.

        • I think he is saying that if someone asks politely, or normally, he would. His wording is wrong though because I suspect he is trying to say that ‘if you tell me to say it’ then he would refuse.

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