Oh, shut up, Jordan Peterson. He was at this ghastly Turning Point USA conference last week, and he gets to meet Charlie Kirk, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Donald Trump Jr, so he takes the opportunity to lecture them about the wicked left. It’s a bizarre one-sided conversation in which he Petersonsplains to them about the nature of the Left, the Left, the Left, laying all blame on them, and never bothers to consider the oppressive nature of the Right. Bonus: continuous weird hand gestures throughout. Double bonus: Charlie, Kimberly, and Junior look excruciatingly bored throughout. What? You want us to have a serious discussion?
His basic point is that the Left is just as uptight about sex as the Right, so maybe that is a productive avenue for a meeting of the minds. But he doesn’t seem to recognize the differences, that the Right wants to control who you have sex with, and how you do it, while the Left doesn’t care about what individuals do in the privacy of their own home, but are very concerned about individual freedom and autonomy, and that consent is paramount.
The radical leftist types, their basic claim is that anything goes. But at the same time they’re putting forward these affirmative consent regulations and laws in many states, and they’re insisting that we live in the middle of a rape culture and they’re acting as if sex is a very volatile and dangerous enterprise, which actually happens to be the case. And so there’s…even though this issue is extraordinarily tense, partly because people on the left, I would say, would like to let a thousand flowers bloom, let’s say, there is an accruing agreement that there is some deep discussion that has to be had about sexual morality.
There isn’t a middle ground there. What is the compromise? Peterson doesn’t have a clue. He just says
They’re upset on the left, they’re upset on the right, therefore they’re comparable, without noticing that they’re upset about radically different things: the Right is upset that they can’t control sexual behaviors, and the Left is upset that some people (including some on the left) still want to control sexual behaviors, and especially control women. That’s the key difference. There is no compromise to be made, no discussion to be had.
His explanation is that it’s all about birth control.
We haven’t adapted to the birth control pill yet. You know it was a major technological revolution, the birth control pill. It’s only been fifty years, and we haven’t figured out what it means for women to have control over the reproductive function and what the consequences of that should be socially. The leftist types, especially in the Sixties, thought you could just blow sexual morality up completely, because now people were free to do what they want but that isn’t working. There’s a backlash against that, on the left, as well, so it would be fun and necessary to think…fun, it would be engaging and necessary to think that through, ’cause maybe there’s room for some real discussion about that.
First, about the Sixties — there was a lot of exploitive crap going on, and there still is. There are always people who think freedom from consequences means freedom for them, but not for you, and that blowing up sexual morality was an opportunity to get more sex, rather than an opportunity for their partners to be liberated. I also don’t think there’s much to figure out about the consequences of ‘allowing’ women to control their own bodies — did we ever have that conversation about allowing men to have the freedom to control their own lives?
But again, he only rails against the sinister Left. I think for the most part the Left is on the same wavelength here: consent is essential, both women and men get to decide what sexual behaviors are rewarding, and that Charlie Kirk isn’t the reasonable, tolerant guy we should have a conversation with.
And Jesus, is Peterson so oblivious he doesn’t realize who he’s openly aligning with here?