, 12.30.2018 04:22 PM

Jordan Peterson in his own words

I’ve been spending the past many years writing about – and fighting with – actual neo-Nazis, so I haven’t had much time for fringe cases like Jordan Peterson and Faith Goldy fan Lindsay Shepherd.

But I’ve certainly noted that the far Right – the hardcore neo-Nazis and white supremacists – sure like to reference Peterson and Shepherd a lot.  To them, these fringe types are the intellectualized version of their expressed prejudices.  (And, it hasn’t helped that otherwise-intelligent media/academic people have been sucked in by Peterson and Shepherd.)

So, I did a few minutes of research on Peterson.  This is what I found, with sources.  There will be more to come, as I find (or get sent) more.  Almost immediately, I didn’t see him as transphobic as much as he’s a misogynist.

  • Peterson on women: “[Society is] increasingly dominated by a view of masculinity that’s mostly characteristic of women who have terrible personality disorders and who are unable to have healthy relationships with men.” (Slate)
  • Peterson on femininity: “[That] terrible femininity…is undermining the masculine power of the culture in a way that’s, I think, fatal.” (Slate)
  • Peterson on misogyny: “The idea that women were oppressed throughout history is an appalling theory.” (Toronto Life)
  • Peterson on abortion: “Abortion is clearly wrong. I don’t think anyone debates that. You wouldn’t recommend that someone you love have one.” (Bridgehead)
  • Peterson on inclusion: “It’s not the role of society to make people feel included. That’s not the role of society.” (CBC)
  • Peterson on protecting people from gender discrimination: “[It is an] assault on biology and an implicit assault on the idea of the objective world.” (C2C)
  • Peterson on how women are neurotic: “Women are higher when it comes to Agreeableness — wanting everyone to get along…and Neuroticism — higher in negative emotion…” (The Spectator)
  • Peterson on LGBT people: “They’re power-mad people who use compassion as a disguise.” (The Star)
  • Peterson on being impolite: “There’s this strong compulsion to be polite. And not to purposefully offend someone. And I think that polite compulsion is being hijacked by power-mad leftists. In fact I’m certain of it.” (The Star)
  • Peterson on not caring if he’s offending anyone: “I think that people need to be able to say whatever they want no matter how outrageous.” (The Globe)
  • Peterson on why everyone would’ve likely supported Hitler at the time: “If you think that you wouldn’t be tempted by having 20 million people worship you, then you don’t know yourself at all.” (Forward)
  • Peterson on why he can’t use violence against women, but would apparently like to: “I’m defenceless against that kind of female insanity because the techniques that I would use against a man who was employing those tactics are forbidden to me.” (The Varsity)

52 Comments

  1. Marduk says:

    This is an egregious hit piece. It takes his words completely out of context and twists it to fit your narrative. The context is important. Dr. Peterson is neither transphobic nor misogynist. A perfect example is about women being more neurotic. Peterson is a clinical psychologist and has done extensive research on the Big 5 Personality traits, one of which is neuroticism or negative emotion. Women are statistically higher in that measure. That is a fact. That is not misogynist. Post the entire context and you’ll see the message is different.

    • Warren says:

      Screw you. The link is beside each quote.

    • INakso says:

      Facts CAN be sexist or racist. If you haven’t figured that out yet you are in for a lot of trouble. Truth can be upsetting. This goes against men too. The fact is we are not all the same sex, gender, race, culture, and we all have to live together so if we say something is true but still comes off as negative, it will be seen as negative. It’s not rocket science.

  2. Marduk says:

    That’s not context. These articles you’re posting are all guilty of the same thing, using contextless clips of what he says to fit their narrative. Post the lecture or talk or video that these sentences come from and I’ll take that seriously.

  3. ROGAN says:

    “Society is increasingly dominated by a view of masculinity that’s mostly characteristic of women who have terrible personality disorders and who are unable to have healthy relationships with men”

    Let’s not forget that this quote also applies to half-a-man males like Warren who share this disordered view of masculinity (as demonstrated by his shitty attempts at character assassination by conveniently pulling quotes out of context, after framing them negatively). Men like Warren are pathetic and feminized and think that by signalling he’s one of the good ones that it’ll get him pussy. Being a white knight gets you nowhere, it just makes you… pathetic.

    You’re clearly too stupid to source because all you’ve done is provide quotes from other hit-pieces. Again, which takes them out of context.

    I bet you’re miserable Warren, writing sub-par hit-pieces. Seriously, pathetic. This is a seriously terrible attempt at journalism. You might as well write gossip columns for TMZ or Cosmo.

    You are not a real man. “Good!” you probably think in response, but deep down you know you’re pathetic

    • Jenny says:

      Soo…. rephrasing “men like warren are pathetic and feminized”…… in other words: “it’s not just women that are the problem, men that are anything like women are the problem” . Pathtic and feminine don’t belong in the same sentence together, anymore than “toxic” and “masculine” — but at least “toxic masculinity” is explained as an attitude, not what men actually are.

      You’re sexist.

    • LOL says:

      Damn, this dude is so fragile. Someone calls out his beloved lobster daddy, and he desperately scrambles to tear down Warren’s masuclinity. Talk about insecure and pathetic, lol.

      • Another Armchair Analyst says:

        Ha ha. I agree. I have never understood why some men are so threatened by women or gays. Here’s some advice: get a penis extension or last longer in bed

    • Tom McMorrow says:

      This is typical of Peterson cultists, they seriously can’t handle any criticism of him. He’s a dinosaur. My experience of him in all the lectures and books I’ve read by him support Warren’s conclusions. He’s a pseudo-intellectual. A Jungian for a start! How outdated is Jungian psychology???

  4. Peterson Cultist says:

    Taken directly and unedited from your source on what is supposedly a comment directed at ‘LGBT people’:

    “They’re power-mad people who use compassion as a
    disguise.”

    When asked who those “people” are, he points the
    finger at U of T’s human resources and equity vice-
    president.

    The first part is Peterson’s comment, the second part explains the context and who the comment is actually directed at. The answer is right there for you, all you had to do was read the next sentence. Unsurprisingly, the rest of your ‘research’ seems to be equally as rigorous.

  5. Miles Lunn says:

    Looks like posts like these bring out a lot of the intolerants. I agree we sometimes go too far with political correctness like not being able to say Merry Christmas, not being able to name a pub after our first prime-minister (In Kingston they are renaming for this), but I feel a lot of the bigots use free speech as a crutch to promote their bigotry. Free speech simply means the right not to be imprisoned, it does not mean that others don’t have the right to criticize your viewpoints. Those who wish to spew bigotry should be treated as such and condemned. Also any employer should have the right to fire someone who is a bigot. Now I don’t think that Jordan Peterson and certainly Lindsay Shepherd are necessarily bigots, but if they are trying to fight against being silenced on campus, they would be best to tell all the haters out there to get lost and they want nothing to do with them, not remain silent when they start holding them up as heroes. So yes I support free speech and agree the SJWs trying to silence those with different viewpoints does more harm than good as it makes many of these bigots martyrs. But I also think that free speech gives those of us who oppose bigotry just as much a right to condemn them. Free speech is a two way street, it is not a one way street where you can spew your hatred and not expect others to react negatively.

    • Drew Allan says:

      I agree with your comments that free speach is a two way street and if I’ve listened correctly, so does Jordan Peterson. He is perfectly open to debating anyone with any opinion on almost any subject. He welcomes open dialogue.

  6. Pedant says:

    Some rebuttals have already been made here.

    The alleged comment on LGBT people was nothing of the sort. And really, who could argue that some HR staff are power-hungry and display fake compassion? 🙂

    “Neuroticism” is used in that quote in a clinical/psychological sense. It’s Psych 101. Basically what he’s saying is that men and women are wired differently. An obvious statement, but there is an anti-science fringe that believes a human is a blank slate at birth.

    Most of the other comments do not appear terribly objectionable when in context, in my view. They do demonstrate that Peterson is somewhat of a provocateur but, dare I say, the university system in Canada could use some intellectual provocation and iconoclasm these days.

  7. Helga Ross says:

    I don’t know what happened to that man who used to impress me. For example, the man who, in 2010, gave a wonderful lecture on The Necessity of Virtue, which I
    found profoundly positive and helpful. He’s taken on a hard edge, I hardly recognize.

    • Warren says:

      The far Right have given him the celebrity he clearly craved. It is an association he will come to profoundly regret.

      • Daniel Vallieres says:

        I meant to post this a while ago because it really is an interesting subject, but I figure better late than never.

        Warren, while I think your disdain for the alt-right is obviously well aimed and delivered, I believe you and Dr. Peterson are more alike than you might care to admit- you both despise extremists, but each just focus attention on the opposite spectrum.

        More importantly, and in relation to your comment, to assume the alt-right is responsible for Jordan’s rise is to ignore where he got his audience from in the first place, and that source is the extreme left. After all, with regards to Helga’s question about what happened to the man she used to know, there’s an old saying that goes a conservative is just a liberal who got mugged, and if you want to see where the extreme left has attempted to politically mug Peterson and other similarly minded thinkers, I suggest watching the clips below.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1P_1mLlJik (McMaster University Event shutdown)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcDKCmC9gWU&t=1s
        (Where a gender studies professor tries to tell Peterson he is guilty of “gendered violence” by speaking out against “legislated” speech)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZP3mSamRbYA (Where SJW’s use an infinite amount of straw man arguments to unfairly call him a Nazi sympathizer, a racist, transphobe, etc, despite his years of work warning people against the dangers of such extremism)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tsgc0k594Js (Where Yale students cry, pontificate, and scream at Professor Nicholas Christakis for trying to have a respectful debate with them)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO1agIlLlhg
        (students at Evergreen State College show what they consider to be respectful dialogue and debate, at one point even locking the president of their college in his office with them and demanding that he hold his pee or at least be escorted to the bathroom and that they get an extension on their homework at the same time).

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cMYfxOFBBM (Evergreen State College where students yell and scream like children at moderate progressives such Bret Weinstein and President George Bridges for micro aggressions like moving ones hands and trigger warnings, and then instead of taking responsibility for their emotionally illogical temper tantrums, decide to blame their targets for the backlash they received publicly)

        After watching all of these the first time and ruminating on them, especially as someone who classifies themselves as a left leaning moderate, it has been interesting to reflect on what drew me to Peterson in the first place. The more I thought about it, it wasn’t that I agreed with a lot of his political beliefs (even though I think he’s a great psychologist and philosopher) or that I even disagreed with the political beliefs of those on the left who were challenging him. It was because I was simply repulsed by the arrogance, righteousness, dogma, and stupidity those far left individuals in the videos above where they venomously, histrionically, and melodramatically argued his freedom of free speech (and others like him) had to be repressed at all costs. The arguments regurgitated time after time- that Peterson’s and Bret Weinstein’s free speech led to threats against them- was/are at best a deflection of the real issue: the fact that their inability to control the expression of their emotionally illogical arguments is what leads to the backlash against them in the first place (which I am not defending when it comes to the few people who did/do make threats of violence which is never acceptable or even useful).

        To clarify, I am not one of his supporters because I am a right wing ideologue (far from it), but because I am so utterly disgusted by the attitude and logic of the extreme left that says if you believe in honest debate you are guilty of hate speech and racism. That is so unreservedly nonsensical and counter intuitive to the goals the left is actually trying to achieve it is honestly mind boggling. Worse though is it pushes a narrative that encourages people not to take responsibility for their own actions and instead blame it on others.

        As the old saying goes, it’s not always WHAT you’re saying as much as it is HOW you’re saying it. I may not agree with all of what Peterson has to say, but he says it with so friggen much more elegance, class, respect and intelligence than most of his challengers could ever muster.

        Now of course there are those on the alt-right who agree with him because he is in most ways (though not all) a conservative at heart (just as there are those in the alt-right who like Andrew Sheer too, despite him not being a sympathizer of the alt-right). However, that doesn’t make Peterson a supporter of the alt-right any more than Marxists supporting some of your statements makes you in turn a supporter of Marxism. The logic in trying to claim otherwise is nothing more than strawman logic.

        At the end of the day, based on my own reflections, I’d argue most people support Peterson not because they agree with everything he says, or because they sympathize with the alt-right, but because he was/is one of only a handful of people willing to stand up against the insanely disrespectful and arrogantly stupid way the extreme left tries to demonize and bully“anyone” who disagrees with them.

        And I’ll say this just in closing as one last line of thought: I have a lot of respect for you. From your work getting Chretien into power back in the 90s, your fight against the far right/alt-right spanning over the last 20 years, and your advocacy for/pushing of the #metoo movement in Canadian politics, you’ve done, and continue to do, some really fine work in this country. However, if you truly want to diminish the amount of support Jordan Peterson gets, and seem a little more rounded yourself, I’d suggest one thing: rather than writing overly simplistic and weak attempts to link people like Peterson and Shepard to the alt-right (attempts which are below you to begin with), instead call out extremists in your own camp for their stupidity when it arises. I’m honestly not sure if it’s just political blindness or an actual conscious refusal due to an over blown fear of hurting the left as a whole, but there is sometimes a bizarre lack of intellectual consideration from you on issues where the left is clearly out to lunch (such as the Lindsay Shepard case) and I find that puzzling for someone as smart as you clearly are. So, if you truly do think Peterson is wrong for calling out people unfairly, then don’t do what you’re accusing him of by calling him out using context comments. That kind of thing will only swell his ranks and get you push back as you’ve seen in these comments.

        You’re better than that.

        • Tom McMorrow says:

          You lost me at ‘I think he’s a great philosopher and psychologist’. Everything you wrote before that and after has now lost all credibility. He is neither, and those who think he is are clearly not that intelligent or well-read.

          • John Smith says:

            Einstein was also wrong in his opinion that the Chinese were “filthy and obtuse”. But his poor OPINION does not make all the facts that he has stated over his lifetime lose credibility. People can be wrong about one thing (especially an opinion) without “everything losing credibility”. To me, people who cannot separate one idea/opinion from an overall body of work are perhaps not that intelligent or well-read.

          • Fred from BC says:

            In your humble opinion, you mean?

      • Fred from BC says:

        Ironically, he was a nobody until the SJW’s at his university initiated an ill-conceived campaign to get him fired. It blew up in their faces, instead resulting in him becoming a celebrity who has now sold 30 million books and and has over one million Twitter followers.

    • Another Armchair Analyst says:

      I think Peterson knows exactly what he’s doing. He knew he had a prospective audience if he turned controversial. He’s a verbal capitalist, if you will. (that’s my term, don’t use it without giving me credit…lolo. Kidding) Who is Ann Coulter? She’s another nobody who got herself a name by pandering to the same crowd.

      • Pedant says:

        Technically every human who becomes famous was a “nobody” before he or she became famous. If the pre-fame Dr. Peterson was a nobody – PhD, professor at one of the most prestigious universities in Canada, authored or co-authored hundreds of research studies and papers, 10,000+ academic citations, and all from very humble rural Alberta roots – then what does make you?

  8. Eric Weiss says:

    No surprise here. Most of the alt-right started out as 4chan MRAs and PUA wannabes who hate women because they can’t get laid. They’re just sad, pathetic little men who need to blame women, minorities and “sjws” for their own failings.

    • Mancheeze says:

      Indeed. Peterson is a well known adherent to the silly men’s rights activists here in Canada.

      There’s an old interview with himself and Justin Trottier, the leader of the men’s rights group in Canada.

      Peterson is a woman hating hack.

  9. Marcus says:

    (It’s an) assault on biology and an implicit assault on the idea of the objective world.

    I’m assuming by assault, he means that subjectively. LOL.

    An assault… on biology. Protecting transgender people from discrimination is an assault… on biology. Think about that for a second. What does that even mean? I’m going to assume he’s afraid he’s going to get a first date sausage surprise one day and that he’ll be forced to go through with it because he bases his objective reality on the Charter. Scary stuff indeed for the manly man, “Dr. p”. And that’s an objectively small p on purpose.

    The Charter protects people’s right to opinion and expression. Pretty subjective things, most people’s opinions and expressions. This guys’ writing is an assault on hyperbole. We will have to create a new word… megaperbole? Anyone?

    Some pretty subjective things in there:

    (a) freedom of conscience and religion;

    (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

    (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

    (d) freedom of association.

    Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

    So since Jordan insists that transgender people are mentally disabled, they are already included in the charter protections. Since most don’t, including relevant experts, (of which he is not) they deserve mention. Stop hyperventilating Jordan. It’s not about you.

  10. Annie says:

    Let’s not forget the way he refers to feminists as “screaming feminists” among other things. I’m very worried about the support this man is getting. I’ve read several articles written by professors and other clever people who claim he’s not accurate when he talks about philosophical ideas, especially about post-modernism. Unfortunately, many people believe what he says because they don’t have the education to see through his flimsy notions. I’m convinced he wants to go into politics – why else would he end his lectures with political rants? http://mixedmentalarts.co/jordan-peterson-doesnt-understand-the-relevant-philosophy/.

  11. sarina singh says:

    I’m responding late to this article, but I am troubled with the characterization of Dr. Peterson as a sexist or transphobic[person. If people on the alt -right like his ideas or are interested in them its a mystery that I cannot fully comprehend. Because he condemns the alt – right and the alt – left and has no patience for either. He does not want the political correct culture controlling discourse in our universities and colleges which is happening at an alarming rate. He believes in free speech and debating and arguing ideas, not silencing them.

    • The Doctor says:

      If he condemns the alt-right, then it’s awfully odd that he is regularly and favourably cited in articles on Breitbart. He’s basically a hero on that site. If he really doesn’t like the alt-right, then has he actually publicly told Breitbart and its readers to PFO? I’m not aware that he has.

  12. Catherine B. says:

    Peterson is another example of a mediocre white man who exploits any opportunity to expand his platform, become amplified and gain acolytes (esp combative aggrieved young white men on the right), all while whining that he is being “silenced”. If he’s so damned silenced, why is he everywhere? No original ideas, no original contributions. It’s hard to take him seriously.

  13. Marz Nova says:

    The more I read and listen to Peterson, they more twisted I come to realize he is. Great story Mr. Kinsella.

  14. Kevin Bartlett says:

    The point about “why everyone would’ve likely supported Hitler at the time” didn’t make any sense.

    The quote (“If you think that you wouldn’t be tempted by having 20 million people worship you, then you don’t know yourself at all”) makes much more sense if you follow the link and see that Peterson said it to support his contention that “anyone has it within them to be Hitler if given enough power.”

    A good illustration of what happens if you do “a few minutes of research” (Kinsella’s words) before publishing an article on a topic.

  15. Nick says:

    I’m an avid reader of Mr. Kinsella, but I think he’s got this one wrong. His research for this article is based on second sources after “minutes” of research and therefore incomplete. JPs thinking has been better expressed through hours-long podcasts and interviews, especially the four wide ranging podcasts he’s done with Joe Rogan. His views on sex and gender are much more nuanced and I expect would seem far less sinister if the whole source paragraph were reproduced.

    Mr. Kinsella says he’s not well familiar with JP, so I will be interested to read a future piece that comments on The 12 Rules, the Cathy Newman and GQ interviews, and 4 Rogan podcasts. That said, I’ve always appreciated Mr. Kinsella’s work against the racist right /misogynist groups in Canada and have bought Web of Hate; just think he’s missed his mark here.
    Cheers
    Nick

  16. Matt from Ottawa says:

    Warren,
    I find the way Dr. Peterson has become the hero of the “alt-right” kind of sad. As (from what I have seen he is against much of their thoughts) All in all it seems people from all sides pick snippets of what he says to use in a manner that fits a narrative. Personally speaking, I think giving anyone a pedestal is a bad thing as I find things get lost in the mix. Overall, I am not for or against him, but enjoy hearing out views that differ from my own so that I can get an understanding of anothers perspective. I find many of the Peterson clips on youtube that are titled “Peterson destroys feminist” or “Activist destroys Peterson”, both of them seem to fill a narrative and offer no balance.

    However, I do suggest if you have some time, check out any of the Joe Rogan Podcasts with Peterson on it. I generally find he comes off more expressive than a quick interview / snippet. Although I don’t agree with many of his views, I do find it interesting to hear him on JRE as atleast there is a bit more depth and substance to his positions.

    Cheers,

  17. Charles says:

    Well it seems he has hit something that people are turning too, calling him names sure hasn’t stopped him so time to try a different way

  18. Steve says:

    Hmmm. You can grab random quotes from anyone and make them appear odious. Peterson has been a consistent target of the politically correct crowd for years for refusing to be brow beat into complying with censorship on free speech. I don’t really get the impression that he dislikes women but if that’s your opinion, so be it. Shepherd was bullied by faculty who basically fabricated a case against her. When the lies were exposed the faculty apologized publicly but the damage was done. It might be hard to hear but in my opinion Peterson has a bit of an intellectual punk rock attitude. He is always pushing the limits of acceptable norms. You may not agree with him but I would have thought someone with your punk rock background and attitude might be a little more understanding of someone willing to put themselves out there and push back on political correctness run amok in our universities.

  19. Ed says:

    Peterson is not a “hero of the alt-right”. While Peterson has focused more on the radical left, he has also condemned the far right. He is about the same on the ideological spectrum as your hero (and mine) Jean Chretien and has described himself as a “British Liberal”. The fact that classical liberals and the alt-right both dislike left-wing political correctness does not mean they are in the same category.

    Also, keep in mind that your guy, Doug Ford, won the PC nomination by pandering to social conservatives who are much more extreme than Peterson.

    If you are going to play guilt by association, we are all guilty.

    • Pedant says:

      The next time a cultural marxist tells you that JP must be far right because a handful of his supporters are (impeccable logic from the left), ask the cultural marxist why it doesn’t follow that JP is a middle-road classical liberal because MANY of his supporters are.

      Why do they believe he is defined by the tiny minority of extremists but isn’t defined by the large majority of exasperated classical liberals who simply want open and honest discussion about issues?

      • doconnor says:

        Many people consider thier views to be more mainstream then they actually are.

      • The Doctor says:

        It’s more than a “handful” of his supporters. Peterson is a rock star on Breitbart FFS. You know, the most popular alt-right website on the planet.

      • Karl-Milton Marx-Friedman says:

        Just to be clear, Peterson isn’t running for public office, right? So here we are in 2019, we’re trying to categorize the “It Boy” academic’s statements into a monolithic political camp? Warren knows how to sensationalize. And why; because we want to generalize, simplify complex arguments and discard that complexity rather than address those arguments BECAUSE it’s funny to watch people squirm about abstract concepts.

        On balance, there is usually a logic that is inconvenient for a political partisan goal. Politicians need to supply all the answers on a convoluted ideological spectrum that doesn’t really work. In terms of power and politics, Peterson and the Competing Views need to validate their hypothesis, test those hypotheses BEFORE we create public policy that inadvertently sucks.

        Most of the discussion above is detached from practical consequence, however. Real consequences of Peterson’s attention acquisition is that men and women have counter-arguments to various monolithic perspectives for example, the Gender Pay Gap, some of those arguments are pretty sound. For example, women (on average) tend to not work in industries where there is overtime pay, women (on average) are less willing to sacrifice their health by taking a 3am client call to sort out a powerpoint presentation due at 10am, etc. ON AVERAGE, in other words, generally. Tons of counter-arguments to THAT perspective, but there shouldn’t be a “no-talk-zone” if we want to represent true diversity of thought.

  20. Keith Fountain says:

    Warren, I think you’re a smart, sensible guy, and I’ve read a lot of your stuff (including your book “The War Room”).

    I also think Jordan Peterson is a smart, sensible guy, and I’ve read a lot of his stuff (including his book “12 Rules for Life”).

    Give the guy a chance. Read his book, see what you think.

  21. lance says:

    “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”

  22. Richard says:

    The idea that a silly narcissistic airhead like Warren Kinsella is going to go “toe to toe” in a debate with brilliant Jordan Peterson is ludicrous! You better stay in your lane Warren, otherwise you’re going to end up looking more like a silly fool than you already do! Better to stick with your talentless rock band and your moronic drivel on Hate Speech!!

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