Across the West, especially on campuses, identity politics has become a defining world view. The political Left, which has become dominant in academia, seeks for equality and a flattening of any disproportion or oppression.
Gender Studies classes have sought to redefine the binary model (as seen above in a painting), by placing gender identity and expression a spectrum. The transgender and queer movement has gained immense popularity and is a hot discussion point for many in Canada and the United States.
To question the scientific basis and political implications on this topic proves to be a brave and potentially consequential act for professor Jordan B. Peterson, who publishes all of his lectures on psychology and philosophy via YouTube.
Peterson came out against a particular bill, C-16 in Canada, which proposes to put in law gender expression terminology, as well as the newly mandatory anti-racism and anti-bias training.
He argued in series of videos that the new laws codify un-scientific ideas, which will tear at the cohesion of society. As for the mandatory training, he says that just by the act of attending he will in effect be admitting to requiring such re-education, and therefore in fact being prejudice!
My Public Letter
Below is my letter to the students who demand that Professor Peterson make a public apology and retract all his statements made in a YouTube series on political correctness and gender identity, particularly in regard to the policy implications of the progressives in Canada.
I would like to point out that diversity in terms of race and gender is important, but so is intellectual diversity. What some may find offensive according to their ideology, others may find interesting and up for debate.
Jordan Peterson is one of the most brilliant professors I have ever come across. I have learned a great deal from him. There are few of his caliber in the world today; to disavow him from the University would be a terrible error.
I want to point out that intolerance for contrarian ideas is a form of totalitarianism that everyone in society, outside of the campus "safe zones" finds strange and even silly.
Toronto University should tolerate Peterson's views, which are based in his own reason, not unfounded prejudice. Students don't have to attend his classes, but they should let him do his work!
I watched both of his lectures that were found to be racist and transphobic by the student committees; there was nothing racist in them -- that allegation is untrue.
In terms of the transphobic issue: although gender studies classes have come to a determined end on the matter, policy implications that surrounding gender identity matters are still contentious and should be up for public discussion!
Below is one of the videos that has brought Peterson into question.
The backlash from student committees epitomizes the attitude of the regressive left: if the professor doesn't agree with the ultra-progressive world view, then label them a racist and bigot in order to ruin his reputation.
The demands by student groups, in response to Peterson's public statements are as follows:
"Public apology; retraction of his statements; removal of transphobic and racist lectures from Youtube" and finally a town hall where he is shamefully educated on these matters.
On principal, I believe people should be allowed to explore and speak about ideas that they are concerned with; whether or not it is offesnsive, open discussion is essential to a liberal and functioning society.
Below is the comment thread in the politics sub-reddit:
Below is the comment thread from the psychology sub-reddit:
Below is the comment thread from the professors sub-reddit: