It is a mistake to think that Jordan Peterson’s YouTube lectures criticising the University of Toronto’s policy on “political correctness” are about gender politics (“Canadian professor slams university ‘political correctness’”, 4 October). And not just a mistake, but a big one, because framed as a gender issue, everyone will think Peterson must be a dinosaur or a bigot or out of touch. Peterson is not arguing against protection for transgender and other non-binary people; he’s arguing against legislation so poorly written that it makes everyone potentially guilty of something all the time.
The question we need to address is whether this legislation and social movement can lead towards the kind of oppression we saw in McCarthy’s America, or in Mao’s China, or Khomeini’s Iran. In other words, will this legislation, as written, protect people or hurt people?
Better crafted legislation or conflict resolution mechanisms (perhaps special ombudsmen) would protect the disadvantaged while promoting inclusion. Why don’t we go that route rather than labelling anyone who voices concern about the broader implications of the legislation as a bigot who should be crushed?