Video grab of Professor Peterson attempting to discuss and explain his position to an agitated crowd of  protestors

Video grab of Professor Peterson attempting to discuss and explain his position to an agitated crowd of protestors.
Photo Credit: YouTube

The English language, gender rights, free speech laws, a professor under siege

It is to say the least, a complicated and controversial situation.

Gender activists who are transgender or who identify as neither male nor female (“non-binary”) or who otherwise identify themselves as being somewhere along the gender continuum, want to be identified by new words they say are gender neutral.

Instead of the English pronouns he, she, him her, some say the individual should be addressed as the plural “they”, or new words like “ze, xu, hir,zim, zer, thon, zhe, ve” and others.

A new federal bill (C-16) making its way through Parliament would seem to enshrine gender rights and such language into law.

Clinical psychologist Professor Jordan Peterson,is now at the center of the storm for choosing not to use such words. He is a recognized expert on personality and the psychology of religion at the University of Toronto. He has also spent decades studying the psychology of totalitarian regimes.

Listen
Youtube grab. Professor Peterson attempts to talk about free speech at U of T protest, Oct 2016 at which unruly protesters broke the sound system and continually tried to shout him down.
Youtube grab. Professor Peterson attempts to talk about free speech at U of T protest, Oct 2016 at which protesters broke the sound system then continually tried to shout him down. © Youtube- genuinewiity

Professor Peterson says he chooses not to be obliged to use pronouns invented by “ideologues”. What’s more he says, is his objection to the liklihood of being forced by law into using such words with the threat of severe, possibly life-damaging consequences and penalties.

He says the whole issue is taking society down a very divisive path and a very dangerous legal one as well.

According to Peterson, Ontario’s so-called “social justice tribunals” will operate in a quasi-judicial manner but have granted themselves sweeping powers and which he says will ignore or bypass fundamental principles of our common law legal system.

At present he has been sent two warning letters by the University saying he is in contravention of their policies for making the video saying he wouldn’t use the invented pronouns.

University of Toronto physics professor A.W Peet, wants to be addressed as *they*. He says professor Peterson is being abusive *pushing these opinions on students*.
University of Toronto physics professor A.W Peet says he is *non-binary* and wants to be addressed as *they*. He says professor Peterson is being abusive *pushing these opinions on students*. © Chistopher Dew via CBC

He also said that in doing so, the university seems to have forgotten about their policy on free speech.

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6 comments on “The English language, gender rights, free speech laws, a professor under siege
  1. Wordy Smith says:

    I will not use made-up gender pronouns. As you recognize, and if we can not tell by looking at you or you will not embarrass us.

  2. Adrienne Young says:

    I will not use made-up gender pronouns. Be who you identify as and if we can’t tell by looking we will not embarrass ourselves or you.

  3. Richard Silliker says:

    Seeing as how we all are abstracted from our sexuality why is it important, other than for narcissistic reasons, to require others to acknowledge that abstraction. Personally I not care or need to know your bend. Everyone has kinky bends. Are we going invent new words for those. From now on I shall be addressed as 904u0[jeqioroi0-3489=5-08polkjsjsekd. Hope you got that.

  4. Bernard Lesperance says:

    Professor Jordan Peterson’s stated worst fears about the intentions behind, and likely consequences of, bill C-16 are neither unfounded nor exaggerated. Nor do his public pronouncements that he will not use so-called gender neutral pronouns constitute meanness, bullying, discrimination, bigotry, or any number of other abuses he has been accused of perpetrating.

    Lets be clear about this, Professor Peterson is very particular in his objection: He objects to being forced, under legal sanction, to speak words that fall outside conventional nomenclature (especially when those words are arbitrarily invented). That is a very different thing than being legally required to NOT speak certain words – as with hate speech laws, for example.

    Forced speech (of this kind) enshrined in law constitutes a new direction for our society – headlong towards totalitarianism and the loss of all manner of free speech. This is not scaremongering. To quote the professor: “Free speech is not a value, like mercy or justice: it’s the fundamental problem-solving mechanism of humanity.”

    Welcome back to the future. 1984.

  5. Moi says:

    If Alexandra Peet thinks Jordan Peterson is abusive, you should see her Twitter feed. Just saying.