Calling Jordan Peterson controversial is redundant; it’s like saying human beings require air to breathe. Everybody familiar with him knows this. As a liberal myself, I am entrenched in groups of people who call him everything from a misogynist to a Nazi and I, ashamedly believed all of this to be true for a time.
What I am learning as I not only age but as my brain continues to rebuild itself after decades of alcohol abuse, is that whenever a mob of people loudly proclaim something about a person, the opposite is generally true. Not only is Jordan Peterson neither a misogynist or a Nazi but I find him to be quite rational and correct about much of what he says. That said there are still a few things that I disagree with him on, which makes sense as I am of the belief that nobody is ever one-hundred-percent correct. It’s just not humanly possible to be that unbiased.
Peterson’s opinion on prejudice is that everybody has prejudices; it’s part of being human. I wholeheartedly agree with this notion. It’s like yin and yang… if you don’t have prejudices against certain things then you can’t like other things. He is criticized by those on the far-left for saying that not wanting to have sex with transgender people is a prejudice that is perfectly rational and normal. Of course this is correct. If we were to not have prejudice in our sexual partners then every man and woman would have sex with anyone who approached them. That is a preposterous idea.
On Patriarchal Tyranny
“The Patriarchy” is a hot topic among my female friends and colleagues and has been for a number of years. If you aren’t familiar, the idea is that men rule the world and have an unfair advantage and have also been oppressing women for all of human history. All men. In my mind this is similar to the radical feminist idea that all men are rapists by nature. Peterson argues that while it is certainly true that a handful of men (and women) have controlled the course of human civilization, lumping every man who has ever lived into this category is an atrocity. The vast majority of men were oppressed right along side their female counterparts and actively worked to alleviate this oppression. Peterson also argues that income disparity among men and women is because many women prefer jobs that pay less than the jobs men prefer. He states that men are interested in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) whereas women are interested in fields that concern caring for other people (teaching, nursing, etc.) It is true that the STEM field will always pay more than these other careers because of the amount of education required and the fact that they are infinitely scaleable whereas there is only so much a nurse or teacher can do. Peterson isn’t saying that all women prefer jobs oriented toward other people, but the vast majority do and when you’re speaking of salary statistics this is relevant. I am unsure of my opinion on this point currently but he provides some food for thought.
On White Privilege
Jordan Peterson and I diverge on his opinion of white privilege (that it is a myth) as I have studied the subject rather thoroughly and have found it to be a verifiable syndrome. Peterson mainly attacks the income disparity aspect which I think he is also wrong on but for me the primary evidence for white privilege is how often minorities are targeted by police and how often they are incarcerated for crimes that white people are let off of with a slap on the wrist. This is so provable and well documented that I don’t know how anybody could deny it without having an agenda.
What Does Attract me to Jordan Peterson
Is that he preaches radical responsibility which is a movement that is becoming increasingly popular and I think has the opportunity to correct a lot of issues with societies around the world. The idea that you are responsible for how you react to everything that happens to you is a slap in the face to the far-left victim culture that has sprung up in the last decade. He has an extremely positive message, particularly for young men but also for women, on how life should be lived and what the causes of depression and mental illness are. As a clinical psychologist a lot of his theories are backed up by a mountain of scientific evidence which gives me the confidence to act upon them. Basically, we should be constantly on the threshold between pushing ourselves too far and relaxing so that we are always growing. Be responsible for yourself, your family, and your community in a positive way that fosters growth and education, and don’t be afraid to tell other people that you appreciate them and that they’re doing the right thing. People need to be affirmed by others on a very basic level and people just don’t do that for each other. I try to do it with my coworkers by telling thanking them for their work or telling them that they’ve done well today (even if I am sometimes stretching the truth!) and hopefully some day I’ll rebuild some friendships to do that in as well.
If I haven’t turned you off several paragraphs ago, just keep in mind that we (many of us, anyway) do live in a society that values free speech. Although I am very liberal I recognize that there is a far-left element that hates free speech and does its best to silence people. This is against the very foundations of Western Democracy and must be opposed whenever possible. Thanks for reading.