Dr. Jordan Peterson, is a university professor who says he won’t adopt the faddish new non-binary gender pronouns.
Having, as New York City has now recognized, 31 gender identities and expressions — from “bi-gendered to “agender” to “gender-gifted” and “gender-bender” and “gender-fluid,” all protected from discrimination — is “just not tenable.”
“We use ‘he’ and ‘she,’ and we use ‘they’ when there’s more than one person, and we do that for purposes of simplicity of interaction.
“And for you to come to say, ‘You have to mark me out as singularly special in the manner that I require and you have to remember it,’ no, it’s like, no, you can’t ask that of me, because you’re actually not singularly special.”
As the man at the centre of a freedom-of-speech battle at the University of Toronto says, “the people who made those words are possessed by ideology and not to be trusted anyway.”
“Because the logic underlying the arguments is that … biological sex, gender identity and gender expression vary independently,” and is “absolutely contradicted by the data,” which shows 98% of people have the same gender identity as their biological sex.
“It has become unmoored from the underlying reality” and is “all interpretation.”
“Well, if it’s all interpretation it’s not distinguishable from fashion.”
Last month, Peterson, a psychologist, author and intellectual heavyweight whose life’s work has been the study of authoritarianism posted three new videos to his YouTube channel on the dangers of the looming federal Bill C-16 (designed to enshrine the rights of transgender people by adding gender identity and expression).
It was during one of these videos that Peterson criticized the use of gender-neutral pronouns and drew the ire of self-appointed “social justice warriors” both at the school and outside it.
That led, in swift succession, to two warning letters from the university — one dated Oct. 18 from the dean of the faculty of arts and science, Peterson correctly calls “an exemplar of Orwellian doublespeak” — a free-speech rally and counter-protests and complaints against him.
He’s amused that by its warning letters to him, the university has proved he was right when he said on the videos that even raising the issue of gender neutrality is probably illegal, since gender identity and expression both are protected classes in the human rights code.
That letter from the arts dean, by the way, begins as Peterson says “with a ringing defence of the university’s stance on free speech, only in the next page to impose a limitation on that speech for me.”
Language hugely matters to him.
“One of the things I’ve come to understand is that the central functional axiom of Western civilization is that language … is the process that keeps chaos and order in balance … and that when (language is) corrupted, we careen into chaos or pathological order.”
“We’re going to have 31 different classes of pronouns? No, we’re not. It’s just not possible. People can’t do that. Our language doesn’t allow for that; we can’t remember that; and (apart from the un-tenability of it) you actually don’t have the right to demand that of someone.”
“You know that every individual is surrounded by the mass of humanity and the mass of humanity is to be categorized in the fastest and simplest manner possible because you can’t do it any other way.”
I conclude this article as Professor Peterson closes his own video; with this chilling statement:
“To my fellow Canadian citizens, you guys needs to wake up. The true north is no longer strong nor free. Our rights to free speech are under assault. It’s not pretty and it’s not good and its happening a lot faster than you think.”