Psychology professor Dr. Jordan B. Peterson discussed gender pronouns, Harvard’s proposed frat ban, and personality differences between conservatives and liberals with Rob Shimshock on “The Shimshock Show” Thursday.
Peterson first tackled C-16, which bans discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender identity or expression in Canada. The professor suggested that the legislation could open the floodgates for prosecuting people for not using the correct gender pronouns.
“The provincial legislation is extremely wide ranging and seems to mandate, for example, the use of the pronouns that a person chooses as a required part of human discourse, normative discourse, with the possibility of penalties if you fail to do so,” said Peterson. “Now the activists who’ve been pushing for this legislation claim that there would be no prosecutions for such things but when, in the Canadian senate, an amendment was proposed to make that clear, the federal Minister of Justice refused to entertain the amendment.”
Teaching In Progressive Academia
Peterson asserted that, although he is not progressive, students and professors do not discriminate against or mistreat him.
“My courses were regularly rated as among the highest,” noted the professor. “The University of Toronto is not a particularly politically correct institute. So most of the students are there to receive an education, to work hard.”
Peterson stated that while the University of Toronto sent him 2 “warning letters” regarding his very vocal opposition to gender-neutral pronouns, the school “came around pretty quickly” after public outrage.
“The university reacted reasonably intelligently, I would say, because they allowed me to have a debate with my opponents and we publicized that on YouTube,” said the professor. “I would say that my relationships with the administration at the University of Toronto and certainly with my fellow faculty members is at least amicable … and the students are fine.”
Relationship Between Diversity And Productivity
Peterson objected to the left-wing assertion that diversity increases productivity and even revenue in the workplace, insisting that there was no scientific analysis that proved these theories.
“[HR departments are] often full of postmodern neo-Marxist types who are equity and diversity oriented beyond all reasonableness,” said Peterson. “And they make the assumption that diversity — this is a VERY offensive assumption — that diversity in opinion and performance is a consequence of diversity of race and ethnicity.”
“You’d think that that would be an argument that’s absolutely abhorrent to [post-modernists], but the post-modern neo-Marxists are not known for their coherence.”
Proposed Harvard Frat Ban
“Harvard seems perfectly willing to sacrifice freedom of association to their hypothetical commitment to equity and so forth,” said Peterson, referring to the university faculty committee’s recommendation to ban single-gender groups. “I think it’s absolutely reprehensible…there’s just no excuse for the universities to adopt that sort of stance with regard to the private lives of their students and if Harvard continues to do such things, they’re going to tarnish their brand irreparably.”
His New Website Detecting Neo-Marxist Course Syllabi
The professor discussed his new project, which will allow students to copy-paste course syllabi into a website and learn how neo-Marxist the course content will be.
“[It will] give you a thumbs-up if it’s a course you should take because it actually has educational content or a thumbs-down if it’s just a matter of postmodern indoctrination,” said Peterson. “We’re hoping that if we inform consumers, you know, incoming university students and their parents, then perhaps we could drive the enrollment down in these disciplines by 75% over the next five years.”
Scoring Universities By Dedication To Truth Vs. Social Justice
The professor said that ranking universities by dedication to truth vs. social justice could help consumers make the right decisions.
“[New York University professor] Jonathan Haidt has done some of that with his Heterodox Academy,” said Peterson, noting that the University of Chicago received 1st-place for its dedication to truth whereas Brown University scored highest for commitment to social justice. “
“The problem is, people might say ‘who cares about what happens in universities?’ continued the professor. “But that’s a very short-sighted perspective because for better or worse the universities train the people who run organizations and if the universities are indoctrinating people and also the lower echelons of the education system, increasingly, then there’s going to be spillover into the general population very, very rapidly.”
Political Spectrum In Canada
Peterson described political parties in Canada as generally existing to the left of their United States counterparts.
“The Liberal party in Canada has tilted very strongly to the left, which isn’t what the electorate expected, because they would’ve voted for the NDP – the socialist party – if they wanted the left-leaning party,” said Peterson. “So they got a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Personality Differences Between Liberals And Conservatives
The University of Toronto professor asserted that liberals display the personality trait of “openness,” which he linked to an affinity for abstraction and aesthetics. Meanwhile, he posited that conservatives demonstrate “conscientiousness,” which makes them good at administrating but not creating.
“A lot of what determines your political orientation is biological temperament,” said Peterson, outlining liberal “openness” and conservative “conscientiousness.” “Each of those different temperamental types needs the other type so economically speaking, for example, we need liberals to start businesses and we need conservatives to run them.”
“The whole point of a democracy is to continue the dialogue between people of different temperamental types so that we don’t move so far to the right that everything becomes encapsulated in stone and doesn’t move, or so far to the left that everything dissolves in [a] kind of mealy-mouthed chaos,” said the professor. “The only way that you can navigate between those two shoals is through discussion, which is why free speech is such an important value.”