Jordan Peterson, Jack off of all trades, Master of none

I don’t envy proponents of genetically modified organisms, as a technology. On the one hand they have to grapple with heinously unethical corporate greed as large businesses try to patent something that doesn’t always follow the logic of possession; on the other they have to deal with scientifically illiterate antis who conflate corporate ownership and the actual research.

Like many topics, it’s something you ought to sit down with for a while and get acquainted with the issues. A lot of wires are crossed in this conversation, so doing your homework is a prerequisite for not looking like an asshole.

That, of course, will never deter Jordan B. Peterson.

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I henceforth declare Jordan Peterson beyond parody

Bill C-16 came and passed, and now that Jordan Peterson has no steam for his conspiratorial ramblings about trans people, he’s taken a totally and completely unexpected turn to advocating for domestic violence.

University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson went on a “little tirade” about “female insanity” and what he thinks is “undermining the masculine power of the culture” in a “fatal” way.

Peterson is a controversial U of T psychologist who has been making headlines for the last year over his refusal to recognize students’ use of gender-neutral pronouns.

Since then, Peterson has become a cult figure in corners of Canada’s conservative movement and the online alt-right, making an appearance at last year’s Manning Centre conference in Ottawa where he celebrated disgraced Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulous, as well as crowdsourcing funds with the help of Rebel Media’s Ezra Levant, testifying at a Senate committee on human rights legislation and even inspiring policies adopted by Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

A pedophile apologist, a thrice-libelous leaking ass-pimple, and a reboot of Harper’s software in marginally younger hardware. What unbiased company he keeps.

We’re going to disgest Peterson in brief nuggets here:

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Who needs enemies with “allies” like these?

Imagine a world where the virulently misogynist words of Phyllis Schlafly were held up by feminists as representative of the opinions of all women. Imagine a world where the discrimination-denialist positions of Christina Hoff Sommers were held up as the pinnacle of women’s advocacy by feminists. Imagine a world where hundreds of feminists surfaced from the crevices of the internet to hail me as some kind of valiant free speech defender after campaigning for women to be banned from public life because one time, this woman threw hot coffee at me and no, I don’t have an independent link for you to verify that but I promise I’m trustworthy *pinky swear* smiley-face emoji :)

I don’t live in this world because it is, sadly, limited to cis feminists. A feminist publication called Athena Talks, whose mission is “to help young women mature, [to help] budding professionals become leaders and [to help] leaders become advocates for equality,” decided that all of the above absurdities were suddenly worthy of their editorial attention, strictly because it was re-purposed for animus against trans women.

To be clear, I don’t consider it a bad thing that my feminist works are usually held up to a higher standard. If I were to deploy the venom-spitting baffelgab passing for “reasonable dialogue” in the start of this post, I would be rightly shredded as a derivative thinker and deemed an asshole with an axe to grind. Instead I want to draw attention to cis feminism’s problem with shoddy double standards: If the topic is trans women, y’all start giving the “deer in headlights” look as if you’ve never encountered a logical fallacy before. (#NotAllCisFeminists, of course, but enough of you).

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the latest candy-glossed hate piece to make waves in feminist discourse: “I am not a ‘cis’ Woman, I am a Woman and that Matters.

Content Notice for trans-antagonism, in case it wasn’t already obvious from the title.

The author opens thusly:

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Poor Persecuted Peterson

Quick! The conservative persecution media circuit has gone like, an entire month without mentioning Jordan Peterson! WE NEED TO FIX THIS!

Jordan Peterson–who, by the way, is making close to $250,000 per year on his Patreon–immediately went to the news to whinge about his latest grant funding application, which was recently denied.

TORONTO — University of Toronto psychology professor Dr. Jordan Peterson has had a federal research grant application denied for the first time in his long and distinguished academic career.

And he’s certain that the rejection from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the government agency that supports post-secondary research, is linked to the controversy surrounding his stand on gender-neutral pronouns such as “zie” and “zher,” and the modern notion of gender as being fluid.

That his application was also rated so poorly is telling, he said, meaning that if the proposal had just missed the mark, it might have been a credible critique, but the proposal failed abysmally.

Julia Gualtieri, spokeswoman for the council, said in an email Monday that grants are awarded through a merit review process, and that “past funding is not a guarantee of further funding.” Names of the peer review committee members will be publicly posted once all applicants have been fully notified, she said.

Were this any other academic, they would likely be disappointed, take a few moments to rant to their peers before rallying, and move the fuck on.

But Poor Persecuted Peterson isn’t just any academic.

“I think that it’s (the controversy) provided someone with a convenient opportunity to make their displeasure with what I’m doing known,” he told Postmedia in a recent phone interview. “I can’t shake the suspicion.”

Just to remind you–this man is a personality psychologist, not exactly a field renown for its watertight methodology. I mean, a reasonable person might just assume that they’ve swung and missed–it’s fine, we’re all human, it happens to all of us. But NO! It’s all part of the ebul freeze peach hatin librultard conspiracy!!! because the only reason anyone could object to his argument is that they’re ess jay double yoo beta cucks and not because he’s literally pulling it from his nether quarters.

Maybe I should consider a career in nailing myself to the cross for profit.



When Transphobia Trumps Statistics

As a transgender Canadian, I’ve been hawkishly poring over the many debates on Bill C-16, a human rights bill that would add “public incitements of violence,” “willful promotion of hatred,” and “advocacy for genocide” as activities outside of “acceptable speech” concerning gender identity and expression. It would also add bias against a victim’s gender identity or expression as an aggravating circumstance for criminal sentencing. Any business under federal jurisdiction — including the postal service, telecommunications, banks, and airlines — that discriminates against an employee or hiree on the basis of their gender identity and expression would be penalized.

In short, Bill C-16 a good step for trans equality in Canada, strengthening our legal protections. And the data shows they’re much needed.

In 2011, the National Task Force for Transgender Equality published one of the most comprehensive reviews of discrimination against trans folk that finally paints our picture in detail. A brief snapshot: 90% of us experienced workplace harassment or discrimination. 26% of us lost our jobs and careers when we came out. 19% of us have been homeless, and another 29% have been turned away at homeless shelters specifically because of our identity. 19% of us had been refused service in health care, and 57% of us experienced some kind of significant family rejection. Those statistics were based on the responses from trans people of every race; it should be noted that every single outcome is worse if you’re also black and trans.

These are the facts, and though they are nothing new for trans people, they demonstrate that Bill C-16 is necessary to explicitly protect Canadian trans people who have largely been relegated to patchwork federal case law and legal gray areas until very recently.

When the results from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) were released, I naively hoped these statistics would offer a chance for those who didn’t know them to get a big-picture view of some of our crises, amd that the NTDS would enter the conversation on public policy.

After all, legislators are passing policy for everyone, so they’d want the full picture, right?

Apparently not. The necessity of a human rights bill like C-16 ought to be self-evident given the outcomes of the trans community, simply because of the appalling frequency and degree of discrimination that trans Canadians continue to face — but you do need to be aware of that fact first for it to be obvious. The law has been passed in Parliament but awaits further voting in the Senate, and during these debates, the data is seldom, if ever, mentioned.

Read more on The Establishment.

Quoting Jordan Peterson is “muckraking” now

I don’t know if Jordan Peterson is a Christian or not, but by George has he ever mastered their breathless cries of “perseeecuuuutiiiooooon.”

The Varsity noted that Dr. Peterson’s Patreon is now pulling in a few pennies shy of $8,200/month, at least as of December 5th. Shortly after they asked him to elaborate on his Patreon goals, he shot back a rather nasty response:

An hour after the initial statement was sent to The Varsity, Peterson expressed frustration at this newspaper’s pursuit of this article. “Here’s an idea, why don’t you do a story on the fact that my YouTube channel, prior to this political firestorm, had already attracted a million viewers? That means I brought advanced psychology knowledge to a million people – free,” he said in the email.

He continued: “But you can’t do that, because you are so blinded by your damnable ideology that you muckrake instead. Why do good, when you can advance your ideological presumptions, and find someone to hate?”

Dr. Peterson’s irony has presumably been surgically removed.

He references, of course, the fact that The Varsity has been a breath of No, Both Sides Don’t Do It fresh air. Perhaps he doesn’t appreciate that the editor has correctly identified that Peterson’s free speech vs. ess jay double yoos is a false equivalency.

Those who came to the rally advocating for social justice engaged in a range of protest activities, which included blasting white noise over the sound of rally speakers. While the tactics this group employed are not beyond scrutiny — in a free society, almost nothing is — it is essential to recognize that the cause of this group is legitimate in a way that the cause of those propagating hate speech will never be. Those who would have The Varsity present the former’s cause on equal footing with the latter’s will be disappointed.

How to be PERSECUUUUTIIOOOOOOON’d like Jordan Peterson in six easy steps, according to Glad Hand:

Fuck, Peterson, if this is your idea of persecution, then hand me a nail and a cross. I’ll crucify myself for eight grand a month.


(Silver lining: As long as Dr. Peterson is still a professor, his combined yearly income puts him in the new tax brackets that were recently increased.)

Peter Boghossian: “Critical thinking” apparently means “pretend this field of study doesn’t exist”

Hands up:  Who thought atheism needed another arrogant atheist douchebro who cloaks himself in rationality and then proceeds in a spit-flecked rant rife with fallacious reasoning to tell us we are irrational about stuff?

Peter Boghossian raves about “Gender studies professors” who “are pumping out complete bullshit” in Areo Magazine, producing something resembling less of an argument and more of a rancid onion. And for some fucking reason, I’m feeling masochistic enough to peel back the layers of entitled manbaby whinging. Tears to ensue.

One would think that an example of critical thinking would explicitly identify the premises of a presented argument, compare peer-reviewed literature to see whether the premises are accurate, and use formal logic to determine if the conclusion is sound. But Boghossian’s rant is devoid of any particular specifics–aside from quoting one of Jordan Peterson’s critics–and on top of that he has the gall to represent himself as some kind of model freethinker. The problem is that the sort of freethought that lacks any resemblance to reality is the sort of “freethought” we’d expect to see from mushroom-tripping hippies reacting to psychedelic phantoms rather than what’s in front of them.

Compare, for instance, how Boghossian opens up his interview with some pontificating on critical thinking:

Malhar Mali: What in your opinion is the best way of fostering critical thinking when it comes to religious and supernatural beliefs?

Peter Boghossian: I think the whole way we’ve taught critical thinking is wrong from day one. We’ve taught, “Formulate your beliefs on the basis of evidence.” But the problem with that is people already believe they’ve formulated their beliefs on evidence — that’s why they believe what they believe. Instead, what we should focus on is teaching people to seek out and identify defeaters.

What is a defeater? A defeater is:


All of which is sound epistemology…

Then, minutes later, Boghossian expels this adorable piece of absolute claptrap:

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We need to talk about tolerance

All throughout Dr. Peterson’s extended temper tantrum his defenders characterized his critics as “The Intolerant Left.” Not only does this reduce his critics to a monolithic, unified entity, but it misapprehends the implications of what tolerance is to begin with.

The first snare here is to address the “argument by definition” problem. It’s a weak strategy because if a word has many meanings (as tolerance does), then it leaves a theoretical opponent an opening to dismiss it out of hand by pointing out the alternate uses of said word. I have done this myself. If an argument is easy to make, it’s typically easy to refute. Despite the temptation to set a definition from which to argue, I am reluctant to engage in the tactic at all. So I figure that my solution is actually to go on the offence: Rather than dispute that The Left™ is intolerant, I am going to accept that premise and argue how intolerance is an entirely ordinary consequence of being alive. After all, if The Right were perfectly tolerant, there would be no disagreement between them and The Left.

We’re all intolerant of something, the question is merely what those “somethings” are.

Ever walk past a homeless man despite having disposable income that month? You tolerated homelessness.

Ever watch a guy meticulously plan his entire stay at the bar getting a woman loaded on alcohol, and did nothing about it? You tolerated sexual predation.

Ever watch yet another video of a black person being assaulted by police, then carried on to do nothing about it? You tolerated anti-black police brutality.

Now pointing this out doesn’t really net someone a lot of friends. I do not mean to guilt trip anyone into feeling bad because they have finite spoons. We all have finite spoons. It’s in our nature to tolerate stuff because we cannot possibly fix everything. We tolerate broken shower heads or smelly apartments or limping cars or noisy roommates. Simply because there is more to fix than can possibly be fixed in 24 hours, we must out of necessity pick and choose things to tolerate. That’s why we might let things slide even when they’re arguably important.

Now I have a lot of complex thoughts about the nature of human apathy but I think it’s safe to say that it is universal regardless of our origin or beliefs. To accuse someone of therefore being occasionally intolerant of something is a bit like accusing someone of having skin. The probability that someone well and truly cares about nothing is so staggeringly low that surely a vast majority of humanity is intolerant at least some of the time about some of the things.

Maybe we can recognize that this is yet another rhetorical pool noodle designed to detract from, rather than contribute to, a discussion. Maybe we can instead concern ourselves with what someone doesn’t tolerate instead of filling the air with vacuous bullshit.