Free speech, but only if you aren’t rude to Jordan Peterson


Lindsay Shepherd is suing Wilfrid Laurier University for causing her emotional distress and making her unemployable by criticizing her use of a Jordan Peterson clip in a classroom. I can sort of see both sides in that argument: it is stressful for a TA to receive a rebuke for their teaching style, and the faculty committee was a bit heavy handed. But on the other hand, the faculty also have a responsibility to regulate what’s taught in lab and discussion sections, so they were well within their rights to tell her that was inappropriate.

It’s a stretch to claim it affects her future employment, though, because it was Lindsay Shepherd herself who recorded and released the contents of a private meeting. If these faculty were contacting prospective employers and telling them “don’t hire her, she likes Peterson”, that would be a different thing…did they do that? No? Then what’s made her unemployable is her release of the recording.

But OK, this does sound like something that should be settled in court.

What doesn’t, though, is that now Jordan Peterson is suing Wilfrid Laurier for defamation…for statements made in private, that were made public by Lindsay Shepherd. He is not suing Shepherd.

Comments in the meeting included a comparison of Peterson’s speech to Hitler, and a comparison of his opinion to that of an anti-trans, anti-gay, anti-women white supremacist. They also called him “academically suspect” and said he exhibited “charlatanism,” according to the unproven Statement of Claim.

Despite the fact that the meeting was private, Peterson and his lawyers allege the faculty should have known the content of the meeting could have lasting consequences.

“Although the individual Defendants did not personally disseminate and broadcast it further… they could have reasonably anticipated that … [Shepherd] would inform others of what had occurred,” the statement reads.

I don’t get it. I’ve said that Peterson is a charlatan, both publicly and privately. Is everyone on the planet who has pointed out that he is an incompetent fraud now liable to be sued? Is this how Peterson’s version of free speech works?

Comments

  1. rietpluim says

    Is this how Peterson’s version of free speech works?

    Yes.

    In an ideal world, it wouldn’t matter, because everybody – including Peterson – has the right to go to court to settle any difference, and the judge will tell him he can go fuck himself. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world. The judge will most likely tell him he can go fuck himself, but being sued is costly, both financially and emotionally.

    Short version: Peterson is an asshole.

  2. says

    Can now every person who respects trans peoples’ pronouns and says that others should do so as well sue Peterson for comparing them to Mao?
    Also, why isn’t he suing Shepherd, who publicised this?
    I think “you should have known that somebody would illegally tape and publicise this conversation” is quite a stretch.

    BTW, if anything makes her unemployable it’s that little tidbit right there: secretly recording closed meetings and then publishing the contents.

  3. brucej says

    Also, why isn’t he suing Shepherd, who publicised this?

    Because, in what must be the most stunningly, amazingly, whoocoodoaknowed coincidence in all of recorded history…Sheperd’s lawyer is the same person as Peterson’s. Mind-boggling, isn’t it?

    This has got to be a sweet gig if he prevails in court.

  4. raven says

    Is everyone on the planet who has pointed out that he is an incompetent fraud now liable to be sued?

    1. I’ve been calling Jordan Peterson a conperson who reflects his troll base’s hate and bigotry back to them for money.
    2. I’ve also been calling Peterson a hate merchant, selling hate for women, atheists, trans, nonwhites, education, the educated, Progressives, and Social Justice Warriors.
    3. He is also a liar, an unoriginal thinker, and is frequently wrong on what he claims are facts.

    And have been hoping he would sue me but don’t expect it.
    If it sounds too good to be true, then it is unlikely to be true.
    All of those descriptions have a good defense.
    The truth is an absolute defense!!!
    I could back them up in court easily and win a SLAAP suit easily.

  5. raven says

    Comments in the meeting included a comparison of Peterson’s speech to Hitler, and a comparison of his opinion to that of an anti-trans, anti-gay, anti-women white supremacist. They also called him “academically suspect” and said he exhibited “charlatanism,” according to the unproven Statement of Claim.

    I don’t see the problem here at all.
    The truth is an absolute defense!!!
    The faculty didn’t put it the way I do, but they should be able to prove their claims in court without much trouble.
    Peterson has left a huge paper and video trail behind him and it makes him look ugly.

    There is another problem as well.
    He will have a hard time showing those statements in a closed meeting have hurt him.
    The guy is now giving speeches for his book tour to cheering crowds of trolls.
    His book is selling well.
    He’s also making $1 million a year from his demagogue account.

  6. raven says

    He is not suing Shepherd.

    Why would he.
    AFAICT from Google, Lindsay Shepherd is an alt right crackpot and hater of some sort.
    Her fan base are white supremacists, misogynists, and other far right wingnuts.
    She seems to be a huge fan of…Jordan Peterson.

    7 Things You Need To Know About Lindsay Shepherd, LSOI, and the …
    https://medium.com/…/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-lindsay-shepherd-lsoi-and-t…
    2. Whatever Lindsay Shepherd claims to believe, the demographic her rhetoric attracts is telling.

    Lindsay Shepherd claims not to agree with Faith Goldy or the alt-right, but take a look at Lindsay’s following: in attendance are proud boys, soldiers of odin, and other such groups. At the peaceful counter-event on campus, which featured poets, artists, and students, Lindsay Shepherd’s followers attempted to storm the stage, risking escalation. When white supremacists, including individuals who have been known to hospitalize protesters, attend your events, and support your views, maybe it’s worth it to really come to terms with what that means. Maybe it’s worth evaluating why your views align with theirs, and understanding that the guise of free speech might not be enough to absolve you of responsibility for their actions at your event.

  7. kome says

    It amuses me to no end that Peterson’s cult of personality is chock full of the most sensitive and hysterical crybabies on the planet. It scares me how violent they get when their tantrums aren’t taken seriously though.

  8. raven says

    Lindsay Shepherd on Twitter: “Excellent. An updated list of professors …
    https://twitter.com/newworldhominin/status/934985040404013062?lang=en
    Nov 26, 2017 – An updated list of professors to avoid at Wilfrid Laurier University (if you aren’t already … Lindsay Shepherd @NewWorldHominin 26 Nov 2017.

    I can see why Lindsay Shepherd should be unemployable.

    She has been causing trouble and attacking her employer.
    This is biting the hand that feeds.
    Just so you know, she has a list of professors to avoid at Wilfrid Laurier.
    In fact, it is implied, you might not want to even attend that university.
    And these are the people that pay her salary.

    But don’t worry.
    Right wingnut welfare is generous and some far right wingnut think tank or private college might well hire her in a heartbeat.
    In the US, she would be headed for Fox NoNews or similar.

  9. rgmani says

    I have (or should I say had) a great deal of sympathy for Lindsay Shepherd. Calling what she went through “a rebuke” is IMHO greatly downplaying what happened. She was a TA for a class called “Canadian Communication in Context” and the topic at hand was non-gendered pronouns. She had been given wide latitude by her supervisor regarding how to conduct the tutorials/discussion sections she was leading. In order to show how something as innocuous as pronouns could end up being controversial, she showed a 5 minute clip from a mainstream TV show (The Agenda with Steve Paikin) of Jordan Peterson and Nicholas Matte (also of the University of Toronto) arguing about Canadian Bill C16.

    For the crime of showing that 5 minute clip, she was called in to this inquisition (frankly, there is no better word I can think of) and raked over the coals. In fact, the presence of someone from the Office of Gendered and Sexual Violence is what gave her the idea of recording the proceedings. This should never have happened – particularly since there were no complaints about this clip whatsoever. I can think of at least two better ways her superiors could have handled it. They could have ignored the whole incident or her supervisor could have called her into his office and told her that in the future she should run any clips she was planning to show by him. Problem solved and Lindsay Shepherd goes back to being an anonymous TA.

    Of course, since then she has gotten the idea that she is some kind of free-speech martyr, started a student group dedicated to free speech and decided to bring in all sorts of controversial people to Laurier in order to promote “open discussion”. In fairness to her, I should add that her student group has also brought in people who represented the opposite points of view. Still, I think it is these actions and not the original recording that have rendered her unemployable. Had she accepted the University’s apology and gone back to being a student, she would not be in the position she is in.

    As regards Jordan Peterson, the less said the better.

    – RM

  10. lpetrich says

    So Jordan Peterson’s lawsuit is a SLAPP one? That’s “Strategic lawsuit against public participation”. There are several US states that have anti-SLAPP laws, but Wilfrid Laurier University and Jordan Peterson are both in Ontario, Canada, and that territory seems to have something of a SLAPP law.

  11. mnb0 says

    “I don’t get it. Is this how Peterson’s version of free speech works? ”
    You do get it. This is how rabid right sails.

  12. lotharloo says

    I don’t know too much about Lindsay Shepherd, except that Jerry Coyne fawns over her and for her alt-right supporters, she’s juts a pretty face. A quick look at the comments on any youtube video featuring her shows the vast majority of the discussion is about her looks. I would have felt bad for her, but that has been her choice. In fact, she can make a lot of money by churning videos for her alt-right loser base.

  13. says

    For the crime of showing that 5 minute clip, she was called in to this inquisition (frankly, there is no better word I can think of) and raked over the coals.

    Actually, I have listened to the recordings. I heard a rather patient professor try to explain to her why what she did was seen as hostile, why she kept interrupting him and then used White Girl Tears.
    If that’s “the inquisition” and “raking over the fire” I don’t know what a real nasty bullying is called.
    Of course, whatever sympathy I may have had with a young woman who made a mistake, it has long evaporated since.

  14. says

    @12 rgmani who said: ” This should never have happened – particularly since there were no complaints about this clip whatsoever.”

    The LGBT office on campus said there were complaints and that they took them forward so that is not at all factual. How do you think the complaint came to the university administration’s attention if there was no complaint? You don’t see who made the complaint because there is regulations about the privacy of students making complaints againt the universities here in Ontario to prevent such things as retaliation. The lack of a name behind the complaint does not mean there was not one.

  15. rgmani says

    @anna

    The university’s own investigation concluded that there were no complaints. This is the statement of the university president

    “No formal complaint, nor informal concern relative to a Laurier policy, was registered about the screening of the video,” she said.

    “This was confirmed in the fact-finding report.”

    @Giliell

    I listened to that clip too and I did not hear what you heard. What I heard was a student quite frightened and panicking. I would have been scared too if an innocent action of mine had resulted in my being hauled up before what felt like a disciplinary committee.

    Turns out that no one had in fact complained, and that these people lied that there were complaints. I’m sorry, but their actions were unconscionable.

    Anyway, don’t want to defend Shepherd too strongly. Sounds like she has swallowed Jordan Peterson’s views hook line and sinker.

    – RM

  16. cjcolucci says

    I know nothing about Canadian defamation law. In the U.S., the statements he’s complaining about are non-actionable opinion.

  17. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I have some sympathy for Shepherd. I’ve been in a meeting with supervisors receiving a critique and it’s never comfortable to be outnumbered in that situation. Anytime a supervisor brings someone else along to a meeting with a single supervisee there’s a strong risk that the supervisee will feel intimidated. If the supervisor didn’t want that, it should have been a one-on-one meeting.

    Shepherd was also clearly trolling, and what I read said that what she presented upon was unrelated to the class topic. I suppose if that’s true then “the topic at hand was non-gendered pronouns” means that it’s the topic on which she was presenting for her section, but not a specific topic of the larger class? Does that mean that “non-gendered pronouns” must have been something that she felt fit within a larger umbrella topic that was a focus that week? I’m honestly not clear.

    It’s also true that, as trolls go, this was mild trolling: she didn’t constrain the conversation about Peterson’s video statements in such a way that limited students’ conclusions about those statements. She also didn’t (overtly or explicitly) shut down criticism of Peterson’s statements, IIUC.

    I still think that there’s behavior here to criticize, but before the release of the audio any indication she was trolling rather than teaching would have been subtle and arguable. To me that means that the supervisor’s action was overkill and unwise – not for the content of the criticism offered, but for constructing an environment which presented such a clear risk of intimidation rather than collegial education expected between a prof and a grad student. Intimidation provokes defensiveness, not learning. Constructing an intimidating environment, then, is simply bad teaching.

    After the audio release, however, you get a true clusterfuck. Oy.

  18. raven says

    @rgmani
    Not buying your story for a second.
    As Anna just pointed out, how did the administration even know Shepherd had shown that clip. ESP, literal feathered stool pigeons, messages from the spirit world?
    Someone had to have told them!!!

    That isn’t what the media says either.

    The Chronicle of Higher Education
    https://www.chronicle.com/article/She-Showed-a-Video-in-Class/241976
    She was told that one, or perhaps more than one, student — they wouldn’t say how many — had complained.
    They wouldn’t let her see the complaint, or tell her what it said, or what exactly the student (or students) had found offensive or perhaps threatening. In the meeting, Ms. Joel informed Ms. Shepherd that she had possibly violated the Ontario human-rights code and the university’s policy on “gender-based violence.” She had potentially caused “harm to trans students,” Ms. Joel stated, by playing the clip.

    I do have to say that the university was a bit heavy handed here.
    They escalated what could have been a minor incident into a larger one.
    OTOH, Linday Shepherd has since gone full alt right wingnut.
    Her supporters are Nazis, white supremacists, assorted fascists, and misogynists.
    It’s ironic that her rabid and highly misogynistic fan base does have a place for her for sure.
    She can make sandwiches and be breeding stock pushing out white babies.

  19. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @cjcolucci:

    I know nothing about Canadian defamation law. In the U.S., the statements he’s complaining about are non-actionable opinion.

    I could look up the complaint and find the specific statements upon which Peterson bases his claim of defamation and then offer my take, but i gotta say the prospect of reading Peterson’s suit doesn’t thrill me.

  20. raven says

    Jordan Peterson is a raging misogynist who says things like:
    ..women have a subconscious wish for brutal male domination
    ..that it’s unfortunate that men can’t control women who say crazy things because they aren’t allowed to hit them
    ..young women are outraged because they don’t have a baby to suckle
    ..if a woman doesn’t want to have kids, there’s something wrong with her

    This is who Lindsay Shepherd ended up following.

  21. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    From the McClean’s article, relating to whether the video was on-topic and/or whether the class topic was “gender neutral pronouns” to anyone other than Shepherd:

    At one point, one student very much in support of Peterson “was implying that trans people wouldn’t necessarily be the people to look to for intelligence on the matter,” Leibold remembers. “I don’t think he was intending to be malicious. I just think that’s how it came off in the room.”

    Others saw it differently. “This video had absolutely nothing to do with what we were learning that day and it felt as if she showed the video to purposely start a discussion about something she had opinions on,” an unnamed student from her class told Her Campus, an online magazine on women’s issues at universities and colleges. “The video was showed and she asked the class for some of their thoughts. Some of the comments made for an interesting discussion, but mostly students used it as an excuse to make fun of trans identities.”

    If there’s trans* hating stereotypes coming out in discussion, then the moderator has an obligation to counteract those statements in order to ensure full participation. It’s not the showing the video that’s problematic, not on its own. It’s her willingness to tolerate discussion that demeans trans people in the name of free speech despite having moral and professional obligations as an educator.

  22. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    As for the President’s statement asserting no complaints – that was in reference to complaints to the university’s Equity & Diversity office. Through E&D you can file a complaint with your name attached (a “formal” complaint) or lodge a concern without your name attached, in the hope that E&D will have a discussion with that person that will prevent future problematic behaviors but without dragging you into it.

    It’s true that no one went to E&D. It’s not true that no one complained in any fashion, formal or informal:

    As for Shepherd, she called her boyfriend to say she thought everything went well and that the students were really engaged. Neither knew one student from the class would soon contact the Rainbow Centre, the campus LGBTQ support community, to complain about the discussion. Toby Finlay, an administrator at the Rainbow Centre, wouldn’t share the specifics of the conversation due to confidentiality reasons, but adds: “It was through us that they made the complaint that led to the situation that blew up in the media.”

  23. rgmani says

    @raven

    Not buying your story for a second.
    As Anna just pointed out, how did the administration even know Shepherd had shown that clip. ESP, literal feathered stool pigeons, messages from the spirit world?
    Someone had to have told them!!!

    This isn’t “my story.” The university hired someone to determine the facts and this is the conclusion they reached. The results of the inquiry are all over the web. Google it if you don’t believe me.

    How did the administration know about the video? As best as people have been able to determine, it was by word of mouth. Someone talked about it to someone else and it reached the ears of someone in the administration. In the words of the university president, there was “no formal complaint, nor informal concern relative to a Laurier policy.”

    @Crip Dyke, you write

    Shepherd was also clearly trolling, and what I read said that what she presented upon was unrelated to the class topic.

    Why should it be trolling? Granted, it was tangential to the subject she was supposed to be teaching but it isn’t exactly unheard-of for instructors and TAs to go off on tangents once in a while. These tangential discussions often tend to make the class more interesting and occasionally can end up being quite instructive. Why could it not have just been an innocent attempt to make a dull subject a little more interesting? Unless I see evidence that she deliberately did it to provoke a reaction, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

    Still, I don’t want to be spending too much time defending Lindsay Shepherd here – makes me sound like a Jordan Peterson fan :). I am also really disappointed that she has turned into a Jordan Peterson acolyte.

    – RM

  24. rgmani says

    @Crip Dyke

    It’s true that no one went to E&D. It’s not true that no one complained in any fashion, formal or informal:

    I believe the MacLeans article that you quote from was published before the results of the inquiry were released by the University. If the investigator had found that there was a complaint, formal or informal, that would have been in the report.

    – RM

  25. raven says

    How did the administration know about the video? As best as people have been able to determine, it was by word of mouth. Someone talked about it to someone else and it reached the ears of someone in the administration.

    Someone told the administration!!!
    These things don’t just happen.
    FFS, even a five year old can figure this out.

    In point of fact, Crip Dyke just explained it.
    No one complained directly to the campus E&D office.
    They did complain to a campus support group who then forwarded the information to the administration.

    This isn’t uncommon in these situations.
    These are students.
    They might well not know who to contact in what office in the university.
    My old university had a huge number of offices and procedures for everything. I never even knew half of them.
    They might not be sure that the administration won’t either retaliate against them or just ignore them.
    So yes someone told someone. Who told the administration.
    Who didn’t like it one bit.

  26. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    You’re missing the point where in context, the president is referring to complaints or concerns communicated to E&D.

    From the Globe and Mail:

    E-mails between Ms. Joel and Nathan Rambukkana, the professor for whom Ms. Shepherd was a teaching assistant, show that the two corresponded about “an issue is CS101,” the subject line of their e-mails, before asking Ms. Shepherd to speak with them. Members of the Rainbow Centre have said they spoke to Ms. Joel about concerns a student brought to them about Ms. Shepherd’s tutorial.

    This week, the university reiterated that any issue that was flagged was not a complaint. “It was not a complaint as the term is defined in the university’s Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy, which Mr. Centa reviewed in establishing his findings,” the university said in a statement in response to questions from The Globe.

    The issue was “flagged” but was not “a complaint, as the term is defined in the … Policy”.

    How was it flagged? Someone complained to the Rainbow Centre.

    Yes, there was a complaint. No, the complaint didn’t go through E&D, which is why administration wasn’t initially aware of it and helps them explain why administrators didn’t advice Shepherd’s supervisor to handle it differently. The fact that things went through the Rainbow Centre and not through E&D is an important part in explaining how things worked out. But the university president is making a more specific claim than you realize.

    If they like, the university can call it “flagging an issue” rather than “complaining about something that happened in a class” because of the policy and liability concerns over implying that the university received “a complaint”. It makes sense for the lawyer who drafted the report to pay attention to such legalities and it makes sense for the university president not to expose her university to more financial risk than is warranted by creating a public portrayal of the situation which might be confused with an admission that an E&D complaint was lodged. Both formal and informal E&D complaints carry with them legal consequences if a university doesn’t follow through. “Flagging an issue” by telling someone at the Rainbow Centre does not raise the same legal risks.

    Nonetheless, on some random blog on the internet, insisting that no one complained in any fashion, formal or informal is absurd. There was a complaint. There was not a “complaint as recognized by policy and which would impose certain requirements on the university”. If you’re trying to defend the idea that no one complained in any fashion (which it sure looks like you’re trying to do by objecting to me saying the opposite), you’re misleading your audience and possibly yourself.

  27. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @raven:

    So yes someone told someone. Who told the administration.

    Wilfrid Laurier would probably want you to say,

    So yes someone told someone. Who told the department and the course’s professor.

    They desperately want to keep “the administration” separate from that. Not that you’re entirely wrong, just that this is how a president’s statement becomes somehow incomprehensible to outsiders.

  28. rgmani says

    @raven

    The full statement of the university president after the fact finding inquiry turned in its findings can be found here. It concludes that no complaints of any kind were made, that Shepherd did nothing wrong and that her supervisors acted inappropriately. The inquiry took a lot of time and a large number of people were interviewed. When they say no informal complaints were made, I am assuming they are including complaints made to campus support groups. Maybe I am wrong in assuming that. Make of it what you will.

    – RM

  29. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    When they say no informal complaints were made, I am assuming they are including complaints made to campus support groups. Maybe I am wrong in assuming that. Make of it what you will.

    You are wrong about that, though I don’t think at all that you’re arguing in bad faith. We all agree that there was no complaint to E&D. We all agree that when one complains to E&D one can do so formally (with your name attached, so that any later considerations of redress, if appropriate, include redress directly to you) or informally (without your name, just hoping that the department or person implicated don’t do the same shit again so that redress does not consider you as an individual).

    There was no complaint – formal or informal – that was made according to policy.

    However, in standard english – not legalese – there was definitely a complaint to Rainbow Centre.

  30. rgmani says

    @Crip Dyke

    The issue was “flagged” but was not “a complaint, as the term is defined in the … Policy”.

    How was it flagged? Someone complained to the Rainbow Centre.

    Does that not count as an “informal concern”? As per the fact finding report, there were none. If there actually was such an informal concern raised to the Rainbow Center by someone in Shepherd’s class, why didn’t the fact finding report mention that? What does the University hope to gain by suppressing this? I would suspect that the “complaint” that the Rainbow Center got was second or third hand – from someone who was not actually taking that class. That is the only explanation I can think of for it not being in the fact finding report.

    Anyway, I am done taking about this.

    – RM

  31. raven says

    @rgmani
    1. Crip Dyke looked it up and explains it well.
    2. I don’t believe in magic communication.
    It’s clear the university found out about Lindsay Shepherd because humans communicate among themselves.
    3. It’s also clear there are multiple stories floating around about this incident.
    It looks to me like the university caved in big time and changed their story several times after the fact.
    They might have been afraid of getting sued.
    They already were getting overrun by fascists and assorted alt right wingnuts.
    They were and probably still are getting a lot of hate mail and likely, death threats.

    Globe and Mail April 2018
    “This is getting out of control,” one e-mail says. “I can’t believe Lindsay won’t let this go and continues to attack people on a daily basis,” another person writes in an e-mail of support to Adria Joel, the manager of gendered violence prevention and support, who was in the disciplinary meeting.

    Staff in the equity office also attempted to respond to requests for additional help from the Rainbow Centre, the campus support centre for LGBTQ students, which was the target of hateful messages during the episode in November.

  32. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @rgmani

    I recognize you’re done talking about this, I reply only for lurkers who might be confused by your statements:

    Does that not count as an “informal concern”?

    No, actually it doesn’t. Because the statement doesn’t only say “informal concern”. You have to read the whole sentence.

    The president’s statement actually says

    No formal complaint, nor informal concern relative to a Laurier policy, was registered about the screening of the video.

    (If you wanna be conspiratorial about it, there could even have been a complaint filed as defined in the WLU policy that referenced statements made by students or inadequate moderation of the discussion. I don’t think that’s true, but I want o call attention to just how highly qualified this statement actually is.)

    rgmani’s arguements ignore the part where the president says that her statement isn’t meaning to imply no one on campus ever said anything bad about the showing of the video to anyone else on campus. She’s quite clearly saying that whatever was said on campus, and to whomever it was said, what happened is not a formal “complaint” or informal “concern” under the policy.

    If there actually was such an informal concern raised to the Rainbow Center by someone in Shepherd’s class, why didn’t the fact finding report mention that?

    We don’t know if it did or not. rgmani is not citing the fact finding report (and can’t – but that’s not rgmani’s fault). rgmani is citing a statement that references the fact finding report. WLU has been clear that they will not release the report and we don’t know what’s not in it. We know a few things that are in it by virtue of the fact that WLU has asserted those things are in the report, but we cannot know what is not in it.

    What does the University hope to gain by suppressing this?

    Well, they’re not suppressing anything except the report. They’re certainly not suppressing the fact that a report was made to Rainbow Centre. The RC continues to state that a complaint was made through them and WLU has done nothing to refute that or to stop the RC from saying it.

    What they are doing is being hyper-literal about whether a complaint or concern – as defined in their policy – was made.

    What do they hope to gain?

    Control over their legal liability.

    The university admin didn’t order the meeting with Shepherd and they want to characterize this as employees misinterpreting their policies and acting without authorization. They can’t do that if the administration got a complaint as recognized by their policy, because then there would be official procedures and the E&D office should have informed the professor of what needs to happen next. E&D would have fallen down on the job if they passed this info on without clearly communicating what comes next. Then WLU’s legal exposure would have been greater. Likely their lawyer told them to stress that no complaint recognized by their policy had been received, and I have no reason to doubt that that is true.

    I would suspect that the “complaint” that the Rainbow Center got was second or third hand – from someone who was not actually taking that class. That is the only explanation I can think of for it not being in the fact finding report.

    That contradicts the report by the Rainbow Centre, and, to beat a dead horse, none of us on this blog know what’s not in the report. We do know that the report found no complaints as defined in their policy. We also know that FUCKING OBVIOUSLY people were complaining. That’s how the professor heard about it in the first place, since the professor doesn’t hang out in TA-taught sections.

    We don’t know the exact wording in the report, but we know that the president says that there was no complaint or concern as defined in the policy. This is exactly what we’d expect if the “complaint” being discussed was initially communicated to someone at the Rainbow Centre. The RC isn’t E&D. They are different offices. One is responsible for handling complaints under the policy, the other isn’t.

    Everything coming out is perfectly consistent, one just has to recognize that the president’s statement is qualified so as to discuss only complaints/concerns as defined by the policy.

    The rest of the world isn’t talking about complaints as defined in the policy because practically none of us have read the WLU policy in question.

    Anyway, I hope that any readers confused by the apparent discrepancy between rgmani’s quotes and everyone else’s statements can now be crystal clear that truncating the quote so as to remove the “policy” qualification is what’s causing the problem here.

  33. rgmani says

    @raven

    Globe and Mail April 2018
    “This is getting out of control,” one e-mail says. “I can’t believe Lindsay won’t let this go and continues to attack people on a daily basis,” another person writes in an e-mail of support to Adria Joel, the manager of gendered violence prevention and support, who was in the disciplinary meeting.

    Couldn’t agree more. I do not like the direction in which Lindsay Shepherd is going. She has become a full fledged Peterson acolyte and I think her lack of employability has more to do with her subsequent actions rather than anything that happened during the inquisition that she was subjected to.

    I had a lot of sympathy for her when all of this started. Not so much now.

    – RM

  34. alixmo says

    Here are my views on Peterson in general:

    I want to switch the blame – Peterson would be nothing without his fanboys. They are the “preexisting condition”: He is attracting people with issues (authoritarian personality, daddy problems – blaming their mommy for driving daddy away etc.). He voices loudly what goes on in their twisted little brains, giving their biases a pseudo-intellectual foundation and legitimisation. Short, he makes them feel all fuzzy and warm inside.

    (I am now provocative, no false equivalence intended:) What would have become of Hitler without his grotesque followers? An unsuccessful painter, frustrated, mumbling antisemitic opinions into his stein while sitting lonely in the Munich beer hall.

    Could another Pied Piper have taken Hitler`s place? Sure. Because there are always nasty people, ready to be the fanboys/followers of their own petty thoughts. Just look at Trump: disgusting as he is, he is just the symptom, not the disease. Trump bashing is useless, one has to get to the core of the problem. (Also, see the myriad of authoritarian leaders in the making that is cropping up: Orban, Erdogan, Duterte, Sisi, Le Pen etc.)

    Some Peterson fan boys are just young and dumb/delusional and will grow out of this phase. Their intellect actually might start developing and they will see the error of their ways. Others may become full blown psychos. The first category should get helped along the way, to speed up the process.

    But we have to throw the kid gloves away and call their “ideas” out for what they are: authoritarian, misogynistic bullshit, tailored to appeal to a sick brand of youth culture.

    There were much to many disgusting articles in the mainstream media, fawning over Peterson`s (his fan boys) “ideas” and “renegade thoughts”.

    Yeah, right, blaming women for everything that hurts a (young and/or disturbed) men`s ego is a deep and innovative thought. Following authorities and glorifying hierarchies is also groundbreaking. What could possibly go wrong with that? “I am just following orders!” Oh…

    People like those “hierarchy lovers” were possibly (!) the reason for thousands of years of feudal servitude, all kinds of oppression and general lack of progress.

    Btw, I am sick of hearing that “cleaning up their room is good advice”! Is there anyone here who really thinks that their mommies (aka “agents of chaos”) did not tell them a million times to do just that? Does it really take someone with testicles to get through those thick heads? Come on!

    Peterson`s fanboys are not popular at school, with the opposite gender etc.? Guess what, lots of people (including many, many girls) share that experience and do not act like lunatics because of it! Wow. Maybe we should give them the Noble Peace Award (the bar lies low anyway) for their achievement.

    This whole Peterson-farce is about some cry babies with “victimhood envy”. So. F-ing. Sick. Of. Them.

    Send them to live in a migrant camp, prison, a poor country, Palestine or something so that they can really experience some trauma. Maybe that will cure them, stop their obsessive navel gazing and teach them some empathy.

    And then we can finally tackle some real life problems, like wealth inequality, poverty, wars, Climate Change and other ecological time bombs.

  35. says

    why the fuck is there even an argument about whether someone complained or not. here’s the bit from the investigation’s conclusion again (emphasis mine):

    No formal complaint, nor informal concern relative to a Laurier policy, was registered about the screening of the video

    that doesn’t say no one made complaints. that’s not even a coherent thing to say in an investigation conclusion. one doesn’t conclude whether there were complaints or not, complaints is how an investigation starts. that says there were no complaints that were about something that the university actually has rules about in its policy. the conclusion here is that no one complained about anything the university would have to do anything about. which isn’t the same as “no one complained”

  36. says

    Why could it not have just been an innocent attempt to make a dull subject a little more interesting?

    indeed. why would anyone suspect a regressive anti-trans white supremacist of anything other than the most innocent motives here [/deadpannest of sarcasm voices]

  37. says

    Why could it not have just been an innocent attempt to make a dull subject a little more interesting?

    You know, I’m a teacher. Sometimes I do have to make my students a bit uncomfortable. But if my goal had been to lighten up the classroom, hearing that I made my students uncomfortable and hurt them would make me truly sorry. Because it would mean that I grossly misjudged the situation and actively impeded my students’ learning.

  38. logicalcat says

    The administration was looking out for themselves. They did not actually care about trans ppl when they brought Shepard over to that bullshit meeting. They were only concerned for their image. That’s why there is no record of complaint. That’s why they lied to Shepard about violating C-16. Intimidate her to stop doing anything that might reflect badly onto the universities image. I still have some sympathy for her, even if she used it as an excuse to become terrible.

  39. Jesus Christ says

    We should make the rich Peterson frat boys do some real work like make them carry a heavy bag of wet salt back and forth so they know what it’s like to not have white privilege. Peterson’s ideas are archaic and wrong. As an oppressed trans-person, I can tell you that the trans community needs to be protected from mislabeling because it is hate speech. Hate speech is exactly why so many trans-people commit suicide. The government needs to tax the oppressors much more in order to fund revolutionizing the rules so that oppressed people like me and non-white-males can live. Instead they waste the money or rocket ships, military wind ensembles, and police.

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