Popular mass movements challenging liberal elitism have found an outlet for their expression - Brexit in the UK, and in the US the rise of Donald Trump. A younger and more educated popular movement is coalescing in Canada around Jordan Peterson, a top-drawer academic, but more importantly a man of iron-like integrity and piercing common sense.
A number of countries are guilty of developing pernicious forms of legislation. In the UK, for example, today men can be accused of rape if a woman has consumed a large amount of alcohol as she is deemed to have no capacity to consent regardless of her other behaviour as I have explained previously on this site.
The law not only leaves men very exposed to rape accusations but encourages a total lack of responsibility among women themselves. Sometimes it is not until someone stands up against them, or else is prosecuted by them that we properly grasp the full extent of how threatening some of these laws really are.
The most recent addition to Canada’s ideological armoury comes in the form of an amendment to the Canada Human Rights Act, Bill C-16. This has made it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of gender identity and gender expression. Discrimination is predictably defined so broadly that it is not too far-fetched to imagine that someone who felt they had experienced unintentional, subtle, in fact even hidden, negative treatment on account of their hairstyle could cause an alleged perpetrator to be fined.
However, it is over the use of ‘non-binary’ gender pronouns zee, hir and per that Jordan Peterson has drawn the line. In order to accommodate the discrimination laws Toronto University has mandated the use of pronouns for ‘transgender’ people. Professor Peterson has said publicly, through a YouTube video, that he refuses to use them. He sees being forced to use these words as incredibly intrusive, inhibiting freedom of speech and expression; it is one thing to not be allowed to say something but being made to say something is a different category of law.
For the University of Toronto, backed up by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, this constitutes discrimination, and is punishable by law. For taking this position Peterson has a very real risk of losing his job, having his licence to practice clinical psychology revoked, research funding withheld and being seriously fined.
However, he has studied political psychopathology and the way language and deception can corrupt societies into genocidal entities. He knows just how much is at stake.
While freedom of speech has been eroded for decades with equal opportunities statements and unconscious bias training – with these attempts to erode male and female, the fundamental categories of human existence that our critical faculties should really be woken up. The liberal authorities are trying to make the fact of biological sex an irrelevance, and replace it with gender identity. This exists on a spectrum, and in New York they have mandated for almost as many categories of gender as there are types of Heinz’s baked bean. ‘Binary’ has become a dirty word and there is a contempt for the objective existence of the male and female sex.
This is exactly what the advocates of the equality agenda need. Although equality of outcome has all but been completely accepted as a legitimate endgame, the shadow of sex difference threatens to derail it at any time. If it were commonly accepted that men and women were differently affected by having children, or that having testosterone coursing through your body rather than oestrogen actually made a difference – why then, the rot would really set in. This danger is reflected in the constant hum of articles whose aim appears to be to quash ideas of gender difference at source.
The fact is that the advocates of Heinz’s gender identity, are firmly a minority. It is just they know how to pull the strings. The feminists don’t like it because it subverts their concept of patriarchy which depends on inequalities of power based on the fact of biological sex. It also deprives women of physical safe spaces because a man can go into a toilet or changing facility on the basis that he identifies as the opposite sex.
And as Peterson points out, this legislation doesn’t do any favours for ‘non-binary’ people themselves. They now come with significant legislative baggage which means that those who work, live or play with them may feel anxious that if they get their pronoun wrong they could seriously be fined.
However, it is Peterson who is accused of making it more difficult to be a transgender person. If this is true, Peterson is doing a good deed. We are forever reminded about how difficult and emotionally painful it is to be transgender. If this is the case, why encourage young people down this path? We know that record numbers of young people are coming forward with gender dysphoria, there will no doubt be more gender reassignment, more mental health problems and self-harming further down the line.
Sexual identity is to a certain extent malleable and by providing our young with social structures and roles they can fit into we spare them the burden of self-definition. Being male and female, single or married, childless or a mother or father - these are basic building blocks of life, and to render them problematic will deprive children and young people of a springboard from which they can go and explore.
But the damage goes deeper. Being male or female carries huge potentiality, is gloriously varied – and valued. To put all this variation in a separate transgender bucket risks leaving manhood or womanhood as two dimensional stereotypes, cardboard cut-outs, reinforcing the more rigid gender identities of by-gone times.
Professor Peterson draws our attention to an even more important reason why we should fight this type of gender ideology and this is because it messes with the truth. We are all male and female; the existence of a tiny minority of exceptions simply prove the rule.
We have to go with our perception of reality, which does not mean males can’t play at or even become females and vice-a-versa. If we start to subordinate what we perceive to be true to what someone else tells us to believe, we enter an Orwellian world where two plus two equals five. This destroys the warp and weft of reality, ultimately weakening us as we will doubt our minds and our own common sense.