U of T Debate on Bill C-16 and Human Rights Legislation

Here is the debate held Nov 19 at 9:30 am at the University of Toronto on Free Speech, Political Correctness and Bill C-16.

Participants included Dean David Cameron, who introduced the debate. Mayo Moran, a law professor, who moderated it, psychology Professor Jordan B Peterson, speaking out against the legislation, and Professors Brenda Cossman and Mary Bryson, who defended it.

Thank you to everyone supporting me, and for the many insightful comments regarding this debate.

  • Ali Husain

    Did not watch aforementioned debate. Have followed press coverage, hence the following points.

    Professor Peterson is a public intellectual, hence he has to have an opinion on many issues.

    If I were in his place, I would probably do what his transgender student wanted, which is to address them the way they want to be addressed.

    I suppose Professor Peterson is saying he does not want to be considered a potential criminal because he is saying the words
    he is forming in his brain. He may be calling the bill too intrusive, considering he is a professor and likes to speak his mind.

    • RosaryVictory

      Bill C-16 tyrannizes every citizen; disenfranchises every person of their free speech and forces people to be enslaved by the dictates of persons who do not know who they are

  • JohnPedant

    In her first 10 minutes Brenda Cossman said that there would be no legal consequences if a professor (or anyone else requested to speak a made-up pronoun) declined the request to speak a word he or she or they disliked, and instead offered to speak use the requester’s proper name (thereby avoiding all third person pronouns, gendered or neologized). If true, this would open up a middle ground. Prof. Peterson would be freed from the obligation to “be a mouthpiece for language I detest”, and the non-binary person making the request would be free from designated by unwanted gendered pronouns. So I have two questions:

    1) Would Prof. Peterson be satisfied with this compromise? (Names, not pronouns)
    2) Would the Law be satisfied with it? (In other words, was Cossman telling it straight?)

    Cossman was weakest when she spoke about a $250,000 as if it were a trivial matter that need not worry anybody. For a well-heeled lawyer like Cossman, perhaps such a fine would be trivial, but for most Canadians it would be a draconian, life-changing punishment. Too severe for a pronoun infraction in my view. But then any punishment is too severe for such a transgression in my view.

    • Steve

      The “names only” solution is really impractical. Consider the following sentence: “John came over and showed me John’s book.” What do you understand when you hear that sentence? It sounds a bit weird, right? If the situation was that a guy named John had a book, which he came over and showed you, you would use a pronoun. You would say, “John came over and showed me his book.” Therefore your decision /not/ to use a pronoun implies that there must in fact be /two/ people named John: one who came over, and a different one whose book was shown. The ordinary pragmatics of the English language break down under this forced misuse. I do not think it is a viable solution.

      • JohnPedant

        Yes it does sound “a bit weird” (no quarrel there), but then so does “John came over and showed me hir book” (or whatever other neologism pronoun John might want to go by). I can see the appeal of the “they” solution (“John came over and showed me their book”), and I admit that some people (in weaker moments) already talk like this (though I agree with Professor Peterson that correct grammar is worth preserving). Even the “they” solution becomes “weird” (not just ungrammatical) when it is extended to reflexives: “You’ll never guess who just came over and gave me their book. John themself!” (I had to type that twice to get it past Prof. Peterson’s ever vigilant autocorrect!) There is a bit (just a bit) of respectable historical precedent for “themself”. The early sixteenth-century English poet Sir Thomas Wyatt uses it in line 5 of his poem “They Flee From Me” (worth reading) but he has artistic reasons for doing so (and they have nothing to do with our current gender identity battles). Here is a link if you want to read that great poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/45589
        The real point of my questions, however, was not to argue that “names only” is an elegant solution. My hope was to find a middle ground where a pedant like me (John himself) could have peaceful, constructive dialogue with a person who (however weirdly to my ears) thought of themself (no autocorrect this time, interestingly) as “themself.” That is not a word I would ever use (except in relation to Wyatt’s poem), but I am willing to try to find a compromise (hence “names only”). I was also hoping to find a middle ground where Professor Peterson could continue to be himself (a good self to be) without fear of losing everything he owns. That was the point of my second question (“Would the Law be satisfied?”). My own workaround in the case of John and John’s book would be: “John came over and showed me the book” (or “a book”, depending on context).

        • Judy Anderson

          The nameonly solution is certainly a possibility, John: I appreciate your “peacekeeping” impetus. However, using names only is still coercive: it puts thespeaker or writer in the position of having to gerrymander their own languageto fit the arbitrary boundaries set by another. I still find this altogether unacceptable,especially when state or employer-mandated sanctions are threatened. There aremany things that I’d prefer people to say, rather than what they actually do: thereis no law in place to force people to say what I want to hear, which is just the way it ought to be. (I’m an “outsider” in the culture wars. Those in controlare not the slightest bit interested in my comfort. In fact, they are oftenscheming to make me feel even more uncomfortable, with punishments attached.)

          Re using names only, let’s say I wanted to tell my sister about a visit with an old friend I haven’t seen for ages: “Jane, I had the best visit with Abby yesterday. invited Abby for lunch. Abby arrived at 12:30 and stayed until 5:30! We talked about a million things! Abby showed me pictures of Abby’s grandchildren and cottage. Abby told me about Abby’s wonderful Baltic cruise with another of our college friends. Abby told me about Abby’s plans now that Abby’s retired. Abby is going to do volunteer work and Abby plans to travel as well. I was interested that after living in London for many years, Abby usually takes public transport now rather than Abby’s car. It was great fun to catch up. Next month, I’ll be going to Abby’s house, where
          Abby’s going to show me one of the pictures that Abby brought on Abby’s cruise.” WHAT a mouthful! Instead of being spontaneous, the speaker/writer has to be very conscious to skew common speech patterns as well as his/her own comfort in order to please a newly minted group of special snowflakes. For me, this is a matter of principle and even equality: the cultural Marxist SJWs don’t give society at large any leeway at all and yet demand that the rest of us bow the knee to their outlandish, unnatural demands.

          “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
          “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
          “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—
          that’s all.”

          The pronoun wars are about power, period.

          (John, you wrote, “My own workaround in the case of John and John’s bookwould be: ‘John came over and showed me the book’ (or ‘a book’, depending on context).” Good try! But the MEANING has been changed. “The” or “a” are not synonyms for “his”. Why should we turn ourselves and common and meaningful language patterns into pretzels to accommodate people who have no interest in reciprocating? And, as I said, this is, above all, a power play. One does not give in to a toddler’s tantrums unless one
          wants to become that kid’s slave. These adult toddlers are no different: no
          matter what one does, they’ll always want another concession. I’m altogether with Professor Peterson: nip this narcissistic behaviour in the bud.)

          • JohnPedant

            In the case of Abby and Jane, you would presumably talk candidly (in your own “safe space”), since you are talking to your sister (unlikely to rat you out to the Human Rights Commission). If you talking directly to a trans person, the pronoun issue would not even come up, since we all use “you” when speaking face-to-face. Difficulty arises only if you are speaking about a person (a student say) who is not present, to other people (colleagues) who are aware of the student’s demand that certain pronouns not be used. Professors do this all the time. An extreme version of Professor Peterson’s position (and I do not think he himself holds this extreme view, so it is not really his position) would be:
            “Jane has asked us to call her ‘they’, but sod that, she looks like a guy to me so I’m going to call him ‘he'”
            That would be boorish in my view. It should not be grounds for legal punishment (either fine or incarceration) but it is still boorish. A gentler alternative (and I think this is Professor Peterson’s position, it is certainly mine) would be:
            “Jane has asked us to call her ‘they’, but I care about grammar and it is my mouth doing the talking right now, so I shall decline that request but accommodate Jane by using ‘Jane'”
            Yes that is a mouthful, but it is the lesser of two evils in my view. Prof Peterson is on record as saying he would call Theryn Meyer “she”, so I think he would not be the kind of boor who insists on applying pronouns based only on his own ocular perception. The real issue for him is not so much “they” as the kooky made-up pronouns that come with an ideological baggage. To require people to speak the ideology of their opponents is like requiring a conservative to mouth pieties about “neo-liberalism” (whatever that means) or (if the boot is on the other foot) requiring free citizens to stand erect and bark “Heil Hitler”. Professor Peterson is right to remind us that the latter happened. I am looking for a workable solution that is neither boorish nor totalitarian.

          • Judy Anderson

            John, my little story was used to show what more than a one sentence comment would sound like with names only. (And how do you know that my sister isn’t a/n SJW? One wouldn’t need to speak to a normal person that way!) I don’t think you’ve addressed the substance of what I said. E. g., Using s/he, her/him wasn’t the issue: but it’s at least within the rules of grammar and relatively easy to accommodate, unless one is under compulsion. But it’s still another person trying to control the interchange, which may be against the will of the speaker/writer. The model you’ve proposed here, especially if it’s a teacher or professor with multiple students, still requires some kind of clairvoyance or phenomenal memory, even if one has been able to keep straight–whoops!–all of the pronoun variables in the first place.
            You have not addressed the power play here. Most of us are considerate people and happy to accommodate reasonable expectations. Ramp up the expectations to “ludicrous speed” and even usually courteous people are not so willing to go along.
            John, the pronoun war is all about totalitarianism. I don’t believe you can square that circle.

          • JohnPedant

            Judy, first off, I love the Alice in Wonderland quotations. I have myself often used Humpty Dumpty, but the believing impossible things one is even better for this pronoun / gender identity debate. Thank you for that one. I too can imagine nurturing doubts about someone’s self-declared gender identity. But is it always wise or politic to blurt out one’s private doubts about such a personal matter? Does one even have a moral obligation to do so? Or not to do so? I am grateful to Jordan Peterson for making me ponder these questions. Where you and I perhaps differ is that I would rather see the “pronoun war” as a debate rather than a war. Jordan Peterson is most compelling for me when he makes the point that it is the SJWs who see all dissenters as “enemies.” I do not want to become a mirror image clone of a SJW, engaged in a war that could lead to the fascism of the right as easily as the fascism of the left. We are living in very unstable times. For the first time in my life (I am almost 60) I think it is not only not impossible but even not improbable that the United States will disintegrate into civil war in my lifetime.

          • Judy Anderson

            Thanks, John. I appreciate your comment. But I will never be a mirror of the SJWs because my default position is to treat others with respect. Within reason, I’d be quite willing to accommodate a considerate person’s wishes. However, once the wishes of the other are no longer either reasonable and/or considerate of others, as in others being compelled on pain of state or work place sanctions, then I would be less inclined to comply. I’m 67 and have seen this train wreck coming for some time. That the state seems to be taking the side of those who are bitter and out for revenge is something to fear.

          • RosaryVictory

            Capitulation is the only solution. In a free society capitulation must work both ways.

          • Phil Lloyd

            Love the “Alice in Wonderland” bit 🙂

          • Judy Anderson

            Phil. here’s another Alice in Wonderland quote that seems to fit this situation nicely:

            Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”

            “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the [White] Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

          • Phil Lloyd

            maybe i need o read that book to arm myself 😀

          • RosaryVictory

            The pronoun wars are about the abuse of power.

        • Steve

          John, I want to echo Judy’s appreciation for your inclination to find a peaceful solution. If I was brusque in dismissing the “names only” solution, my frustration is really directed at Cossman, who made what I think are a number of impractical suggestions throughout the debate.

          I want to clarify that I wasn’t trying to over-simplify by describing my example sentence as sounding “weird”. My point is that in terms of pragmatics “weird” really matters! Weirdness carries meaning! If a speaker repeats a name instead of doing the normal thing and using a pronoun, it signals to the listener that something is up. And I think that the most reasonable interpretation of such a sentence is that there must be two different people involved, who go by the same name. So my point is that the “names only” solution doesn’t even really work, because we end up speaking sentences that don’t mean what we wanted them to mean.

          This is very different from the weirdness of using a word like “themself” that has only appeared once or twice in some very old poetry. (Thanks for the link, by the way — interesting stuff.)

          I also don’t want the state telling me how to speak, but that’s a different story.

          On the legal side of things, i.e. your question (2), I too would like to know the answer. Let me first say that I am no lawyer, but nevertheless I really don’t trust Cossman’s assessment. You’re referring to the point where she said, “So, what it seems to require is the use of ‘he’, ‘she’, or ‘they’. And if you don’t like that, then you can always just use their name.” Well that sounds nice and simple, but earlier she quoted the Ontario Human Rights Commission as using some really weasely-sounding phrases. They say that, “refusing to refer to a person by their self-identified name or proper pronoun could constitute gender-based harassment.” Okay… Who says what the so-called “proper pronoun” is?

          Later she quoted them as “clarifying” that, “Refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity” would “likely be discrimination” in certain social arenas. Again I’m left wondering what is the meaning of the phrase, “a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity”. Who decides what “matches”? My fear is that it’s some shadowy figure sitting on a “Social Justice Tribunal”, and from the sound of it those things are a monstrosity and should be dismantled immediately.

          • JohnPedant

            Steve, thank you for an immediately useful comment, especially the quotations from Cossman. As always in cases like this, the words to look out for are the little words, prepositions and especially (in this case) conjunctions. Specifically the weasel shift from “or” to “and”:

            Cossman statement 1: “refusing to refer to a person by their self-identified name or proper pronoun could constitute gender-based harassment”. Ignoring that weasely “could,” let’s focus on “or”. Does she mean: “you have a choice of using either name OR pronoun (so use the name if you don’t like the pronoun)” or does she mean: “failure to use either name OR pronoun could constitute…” etc The former interpretation allows for compromise, peace, middle ground; the latter enforces totalitarian conformity.
            Cossman statement 2: “Refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity … likely be discrimination”. Notice that “or” has now morphed into “and”. So if Cossman has the faintest notion of the significance of the words coming from her mouth (and I’m not confident that she does), we have no choice at all (despite her earlier “or”). We are required by law to utter both name AND pronoun, OR else.

            The little words matter. Sometimes (as in this case) they make all the difference. We all tend to get flummoxed by the big words like “freedom,” “equality”, “diversity”, but it is the little words like “or” and “and” or “of” that often free or enslave us (there is a huge difference between “diversity in” and “diversity of”). For more on this topic, view the (very brief) talk by Sir Christopher Ricks when he received an honorary degree at the University of Western Ontario this Fall. His address begins at 6.00 in the following link:

          • RosaryVictory

            “I also don’t want the state telling me how to speak, but that’s a different story.” No, that is the story.

        • RosaryVictory

          The transgendered have no poetic license in the culture. There is no middle ground when being coerced.

    • AnnJo

      Leaving aside invented pronouns, which would be to ordinary conversation what a car with a boot on its tire would be to driving, I have a problem with the whole notion of demanding the accommodation of people’s self-identities when those identities do not match the speaker’s view of that identity, as a mark of “respect.”

      A man who “identifies” as a woman is, in my view, denying reality, i.e., operating under a delusion. As a matter of kindness toward the delusional, I may choose to play along with the delusion and have done so in my professional career for many years, but that is hardly evidence of respect.

      It seems to me that what the transgender person is demanding here is not to be reminded that others don’t see him as he wishes others would see him. I can understand that this disconnect between his own sense of identity and others’ perception of him is uncomfortable, perhaps even painful. But others DO see him differently, so he is asking them to deny their reality in favor of his own. His demand is that others sacrifice their truth, which is based in reality, for his comfort, which is based in delusion.

      This gets, of course, even more bizarre when we talk about the “non-binary” or the “otherkin” or the “species dysphoric” whose self-identities can in theory proliferate infinitely. Are they all to be “respected” by drawing the rest of us in as unwilling accomplices to their narcissism or self-delusion? And is this totally bogus “respect” to be acquired at the point of a gun, which is, after all, what a law is?

      It’s hard to imagine that this insistence on force to compel obeisance to their delusions will not increase and exacerbate hostility toward these over-powerful but numerically very small groups. There’s little true “hatred” toward such groups today. Western civilization has inculcated a high tolerance for eccentricity and most people who think about the transgendered or otherwise oddly-self-identified at all probably feel vaguely sorry for them, not hateful. But put a boot on someone’s throat and reactions are likely to get more vehemently negative.

      • JohnPedant

        That is an excellent comment, AnnJo, and I agree with almost everything you say. My one demurral is that you assume the ‘reality’ of someone’s sex is self-evident to the well-wishing, ‘playing along’ beholder who perceives ‘a man’ when the person demanding ‘respect’ identifies as ‘a woman’. There are times when your account rings true. Perhaps a majority of such cases (male to female transition). But I have also seen ‘non-binary’ people who really do look ‘non-binary’ (so much so that I have been unable to tell what their ‘real’ sex is). Maybe they are just good at faking, or living out their ‘delusions’, but the ‘reality’ in such cases is still unclear. We should also remember the genuine (physical) condition of hermaphroditism. It affects a tiny minority of a tiny minority, but hermaphroditism does in my view satisfy your rigorous standards of ‘reality’. Someone who is hermaphrodite from birth is not delusional. Arguments on both sides of this ‘non-binary’ debate have tended to lump all ‘non-binary’ people together (even when the argument is that they constitute a wide ‘spectrum’). It seems to me that there are at least three discrete categories that do not shade into each other (except for political reasons, to achieve political ends). The three categories are: 1) genuine hermaphrodites who were born that way and whose ‘true’ biological sex bewildered the doctors who delivered them; 2) people whose internal identity is (for whatever reason, ‘delusional’ or otherwise) at variance with their physical body; 3) (the most tragic) people who were born male but had their penis severed soon after birth in a horrific accident inflicted in hospital by a malfunctioning machine intended to circumcise, not castrate. Such accidents do occur. More frequently than we are told. They are hushed up by hospitals (in fear of negative publicity) and also by the parents (wanting to protect their child). The ‘solution’ is always the same: an emergency sex change followed by hormone treatment in a desperate attempt to make the change real. I have often wondered how many of the people now demanding ‘non-binary’ status began life in this horrific way. If the accident had not happened, they would not now be seeking recognition and respect as a ‘non-binary’ person. But such accidents happen and they have consequences (physical, psychological, political). Another possibility to consider (though I am unqualified to have an opinion about it) is the theory that plastics in the environment wreak havoc on the hormones of infants. Political voices on the Left would likely discourage this line of enquiry (since it implies that ‘non-binary’ people deviate from a natural norm), but those same voices are the ones that routinely berate the Right for denying or discouraging research into the environmental impact of global warming. My point is not that the Left is hypocritical while the Right is not. Like all arguments about double standards, this one cuts both ways.

        • AnnJo

          When I spoke of delusion, I was referring to people who are anatomically and genetically one sex, but who psychologically are unhappy with that fact and wish to be the other sex. People who suffer from an anatomical abnormality or, as you mention, an accident resulting in medical efforts to deal with the consequences, are obviously not delusional about reality, they simply are unable to determine what it is and must make the best of it. And I don’t 100% discount the possibility that what some transgender people experience is attributable to some brain structure or brain chemistry deviation that we have not yet discovered. A deviation, though, by definition is not a ‘natural norm’. There are a few human beings born without two and only two legs, but human beings are still bipedal, and the occational abnormalities are not “part of the ‘normal’ spectrum. That’s why they’re called abnormal.

          Regardless, the issue is not WHY people feel as they do, but whether their feelings allow them to demand that other people express a reality that is not their own, and punish people who object with loss of livelihood, loss of employment, maybe even loss of liberty.

    • RosaryVictory

      Amendment Eight to the American Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The punishment must equal the crime. A $250,000 fine is cheap for the loss of freedom of speech. The death penalty inflicted for refusing to be a slave to the dictates of the state is more to the liking of the despots who claim to own the citizen. “One person cannot own another person” Abraham Lincoln. “Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me” nor the lack of pronouns pronounced.

  • Chet Bakes1

    Although I rarely entertain thoughts about ‘the beckoning finger of fate’, in the case of my encounter with the medicinal ideas which are the fruit of the TRUE academic and thinker Mr. Peterson I feel comfortable employing such terms, tounge comfortably in cheek but supremely thankful for the rare opportunity to use such terms. I work (ed) at an International School in Asia, & long story short the owner got convicted of fraud, & sent to jail
    (seperate from the embezzled pension funds of faculty). As the school fell apart & closed I had more time to catch up with some reading. A bunch of that was Nietzche and some of the many he has influenced. While doing a youtube scan to try and catch some worthwhile commentary on the subject I stumbled upon Mr. Peterson’s filmed class lecture on that proud pole & that other startingly insightful human named Doestoevsky. For the sake of breivety i’ll just say with mind & spirit alight i clicked on his tremendous lecture entitled evil vs tragedy. thats some of the most brilliant insightful psychologicl/literary/human analysis/battle cry that ive come across right there. After pursuing more of the man’s ideas, obviously bourne from an ardous and thus all the more piercing experience of walking through the flames of rigourous and patiently honest work, I stumbled upon the unfortunate bullshit circumstances he found himself in with regards to bill C-16 and this onerous & malevolently mutated strain of authoritarian thought that has been growing and now dares to try & wrap its slimy tentacles around the LEGITEMATELY principled voices of men such as Mr. Peterson. Yet it may prove that in this case thier powerfully pungent varient of sanctimonious & resentfull bullshit will serve as fertilizer to those awake enough, thanks to the truly moral stand of a man like Mr. Peterson. In this convluence of events he has proven the mettle of his character and intellectual insight, he has in fact spoken his truth which can act as one of the many sparks jumping around, cast forth by other moral and decent human beings of insight so that may burn together to clear the field of our vision of such life stultyfying p.c. authoritarian argot. Thank you Mr.Peterson-for the years of dedicated work to helping your fellow man, for your generosity in developing & sharing the life authoring program, and for providing an inspiring example with your recent stand.

    • Jono Scott Staly

      Well said that man, I stumbled upon Dr Peterson in a similar manner and found him to be clear and concise in thought on a level rarely seen in any field let alone when talking about the Human Condition. I have more trouble with seeing how everyone else can’t see what is in front of them than understanding Dr Peterson. He appears to have the clarity and wisdom of someone who hasn’t gained his knowledge from books alone but from some type of deep mediation using reductive principles. Speaks with the grace and surgical incision of a well educated man. It seems to me like Truth and all of the underlying ways to asses if something can stand up on it’s own logical merit are what is under attack here. I can see how all this historic Marxist Ideology and Post-modernist clap trap is being bought hook line and sinker by lesser stable minds, these people must be over feminised in someway they display largely female characteristics (not the good ones) I mean it is like they are actively advertising for some external authoritarian male force of will to sort their situation out for them in an overstated imbalanced way. The cause and effect relationship isn’t straight forward by any means but maybe it’s time to admit that removing the balanced family unit (Unity principle) and having less relevance for men (as natural men) in the increasingly service sector workforce is causing un-natural role development for men and women away from natures intended starting points. Million examples here. The resultant ‘Families’ with just women bringing up the kids (No-Offence effective Role Models) are effectively being socialized into an over-feminized way of dare I say left brain thinking. (Don’t shoot me im not an academic). It’s not hard to see how this unbalance increases from the causal core out into the world where they are still effectively looking for some type of ‘leadership’. They seem to lack logic and order to their thinking as they haven’t experienced the necessary socialization that occurs when a male and female brain transmit and recieve information to one another in a natural balanced loop of order and chaos but in a complimentary opposite way. There has to be 2 opposing poles for any transmission and reception of any system, we as part of nature cannot fall outside that balance without painful consequences obviously. I know this is all stating the obvious but the solution has to be found in the ultimate reductive version that carries all relevant principles.
      We need to allow for Truth to mould natural shape bricks if we are to build a wall that will stand in all weather, Otherwise we will need the State to artifically strengthen the wall, and at best these leftist principles are always short-term sticking plasters to the initial problems of balance we create through ignorance and lies, lies always lead to more lies the truth stands bu itself. Part of the trouble has to be the fact that we take it as a given that the economy is a seperate super entity and somehow seen as ‘off limits’ to reform. Is it not a system for exchanging value within an agreed belief system. Wheres it getting us exactly? Equally poor Vs Unequally Rich seems to be the only 2 possible outcomes currently. How to balance the 2 so as to not impede the best minds? and also allow for egalitarian ideals? Has to start with the family unit, if the current economy isn’t helping solidify us in this most basic need then it isn’t a natural economy and simply doesn’t serve us anymore. The last thing we need is a knee jerk reaction to our problems by asking for bigger goverment putting more weight on the other side of the see-saw. Every child knows the safest way of a see-saw is to reduce the problem weight in the first place as a move against catastrophism. Human Greed dissolves when people discover the underlying nature of things and the massive responsibility you feel when making ultimate discoveries equips one for just about any task. I personally believe everybody is capable of experiencing the greatest revelations but definitely not in our current choose left or right paradigm that holds people in the box marked ‘present’. It should be great thinkers like Dr Peterson who dictate policy not these sold-out brain dead political creatures of fear that currently occupy the stage selling fear to the masses in equal doses with prescribed remedy. One last rant- It’s not so much our current position that worries me but the direction we are moving in being ignored that is more troubling, it appears to be gaining speed. Never Give Up people. Peace.

  • Blrsy

    She as referring to “we” as being lawyers. As in, Dr. Peterson has a very bad habit of talking about things he does not understand (mainly, the law).

    • JohnPedant

      I do not understand the law either (how many people really do?), but I can concede that point and still resist the lawyers’ (and legislators’) attempts to police every aspect of my daily life, action, word, and thought. Professor Peterson has a very GOOD habit of pushing back against totalitarianism, which is why some of us admire him. It is worth remembering also that this was not a debate specifically about the law. It was a debate about free speech (at least that is what the caption read at the top of my screen). The law is relevant to that debate, of course, but so are a lot of other things, including personal autonomy and psychology (a subject Professor Peterson does understand). One of the difficulties with the debate was that each speaker was concerned to defend his or her (or their) own academic turf, with the result that many of the arguments went past each other. At least Professor Peterson was aware of this difficulty. I lost count of the number of times the third speaker used the phrase “peer reviewed” as a stick to bully Professor Peterson, as if her (or their) discipline was the only one that mattered. It was such a relief when Professor Peterson finally used the same phrase in rebuttal and challenged the speaker (whose name eludes me) to a further debate in which he would call his own (modestly unnumbered in the debate) 114 “peer-reviewed” scholarly publications. At that moment it became clear that Professor Whoever had spoken more truthfully than she realized when she kept harp(y)ing on the theme that Professor Peterson was not her academic “peer”. Indeed not.

  • tim lowe

    I noticed that too, the moderator interrupting to say “This is not what WE think!”

    Who do you think “WE” is ?

    An unbiased moderator ?

  • Charles Kamber

    Agreed 100%, Dr. Peterson is truly an inspiration and, as Jimmy wrote, ” a true intellectual who serves our society” I am personally willing to contribute funds to his campaign to fight the “bleeding hearts clubs” that wish to shut him up. His views must be allowed to be heard.
    Charles K.

  • Calum

    I hope you’re hanging in there, Dr Peterson. It looked like it was very hard for you to go through with the debate. You had some tough restrictions imposed on you and you were outgunned on the legal front. I understand it’s difficult to stand up against your colleagues, people you’ve worked with for years, who should be supporting you but instead are willing to throw you under the bus. Yet you hung in there. You said what you had to say.

    I know other people have said it, but I hope you eventually get around to posting a critique of the debate.

  • Jimmy

    ‘Abuse’ seems to be a very accurate way to describe the event considering how badly Dr. Peterson looked exhausted at the end. I truly hope that he had some time to take a bit of a break. He is too good to be purged from the contemporary academia.

    Who fought back against post-structuralism and neo-Marxism with a series of hard evidence? Who defended people who have faith? Dr. Peterson is a true intellectual who serves our society.

  • Correction : “… in her comment regarding ‘the consent of the Attorney General’ but she failed to detail S.319(1) which I think distinctly relevant.”

    @lloydphillips22 – I’d add ‘intentionally misleading’ with regard to the intent of her overall contribution… but happily stick with ‘wilfully dishonest’ with specific regard to S.319(1), thanks 🙂

  • Judy Anderson

    I’ve posted this at my FB page:

    My Comments: Mary Bryson was the worst of the three harpies—all “mean girls” with advanced degrees—who ambushed (that was no debate) Professor Peterson last Saturday. Everything about Bryson made my skin crawl. These “double, double toil and trouble” hags (Moran was the only physically attractive one) are out for revenge, pure and simple. They are despicable and very dangerous.

    Barbara Kay, re this column by Christie Blatchford: And yet this voyeuristic creep [Mary Bryson] whose weirdness was known about many years ago continued to fail upward at UBC.


  • When Bryson stated ‘a lot of what we’ve been hearing here is hate propaganda’ was she not referring to S.319 of the Criminal Code (Hate Propaganda: Public Incitement of Hatred)?

    Is this not specifically and directly relevant in regards to the question of incarceration?

    Cossman made reference to S.318 (Hate Propaganda: Advocating Genocide) and the HRA in an attempt to deflect/deny the possibility of imprisonment, as well as S.319(2) in her comment regarding ‘the consent of the Attorney General’ but she failed to detail S.318(1) which I think distinctly relevant.

    I believe Cossman (and Moran) disingenuous bordering on the wilfully dishonest when it comes to the Criminal Code.

    • lloydphillips22

      I’ll pass on “wilfully dishonest” and take “intentionally misleading”. I don’t know the law enough to say “lying through their teeth”.

  • Denis Lam

    Doctor Peterson, you have my utmost support. Truly you are the hero of free speech that we need. America elected Donald trump to smash PC liberals, I hope we don’t do the same for Canada. Lead the way and spread the truth!

    • Phil Lloyd

      Well i do believe that smashing PC liberals, along with the corruption it feeds, is part of Trump’s motivations, but it is not just smashing the PC liberals, but those who go along with it, corrupting themselves and the political process at the same time.
      I only hope he keeps that as a main focus…it may be his main virtue.

  • Stephan Naro

    What an utter bloody disgrace. They set you up, not for a “forum” or a “debate”, but to bludgeon you into “your place”. That bit where Cossman implied that you were inviting martyrdom and denied it to you: They’ll take away your money (250,000 dollars!), so you may wind up living in the gutter – “you don’t get to go to jail” with three square meals a day. This is the brutality that is absolutely necessary in order to enforce their form of “compassion”. (Reminds me of what little I know of Foucault’s ideas on the “civilization” of punishment.)

  • Since the Rushton-Suzuki debate of 1989 is being mentioned so often, let me present my views on this. As I recall, Rushton was pushing a population genetics theory which could have racist overtones. The consensus then and since is that much of Rushton’s work is spurious, and can be rebutted without too much difficulty on scientific grounds. Suzuki, a fruit-fly genetecist and Canada’s foremost populariser of science, was the ideal person to debate Rushton in a live TV debate. I listened to it on the radio, and was dismayed that instead of tackling Rushton on the science, Suzuki simply heaped invective on him. In other words, the media star didn’t take the time to prepare for a scientific debate. It’s disappointing that the ladies debating you didn’t understand that Suzuki’s debate with Rushton was no example of how scientific issues should be resolved, depending on rhetoric instead of scientific reasoning. Suzuki had the chance of really taking Rushton down, but did not make the effort to do so.

    • lloydphillips22

      Well, David Suzuki is a jerk. Like many liberals he’s come to despise humans because we are stupid and hurt the planet.
      His own words: “I said to my daughters, ‘You know where this is going — why are you having kids?’ They both said that not having children would be giving up. Children guaranteed their investment in the future.”
      Arrogant and resentful. The same line comes to me every time i notice one of these self-loathing types. (self-loathing because they loathe human flaws, and THEY are no exception)
      Oh, what a nice place the Earth would be, if only the humans were gone. Then it would be fit for…humans?
      Never mind about Trump or Reagan having the key to the nuclear missiles …

      • RosaryVictory

        Innocent children are the standard of Justice for the state.

  • Chris Miller

    Dr. Peterson,
    I have been following your story at the University of Toronto from the East coast of the US. Please know that your courage is inspiring and I have great respect for what you are doing. We all know that someone had to start taking public heat for all of this, and many more will have to in the future. Thanks for kicking it off.

    I pray we all have the strength and courage to endure it, to set aside our livelihoods for the Truth, as you have done.


  • Adrian White

    A very short message of support Professor Peterson from here in the UK not 30 minutes from the actual Wigan Pier. These issues are incredibly important and need to be addressed by all of society if we are to move forward peacefully and in freedom. It is very important to know you are not alone Professor, hang in there man.

  • David Williams

    Professor Peterson, you are a true hero. You represent the finest qualities of the human spirit and , for what its worth, I’m with you in all this.

  • Coventry

    Prof Jordan, thank you and your family for your strong convictions.
    I visit your Youtube channel twice daily hoping for an update post “debate” notwithstanding that it wasn’t a debate, but more a pack mauling. I find it unbelievable that those three females are involved in the tertiary education industry.
    I sincerely hope there is some legal challenge you can mount to counter that blatant allegation that the debate audience had been subjected to hate propaganda. While it is wise to pick one’s battles, and it is up to you to decide what you and your family can challenge and bear, I was outraged by that passive aggressive claim.
    I wish you inner peace, strength, and good health in this battle that you are undertaking for the silent majority.

  • I’ve been following this for a while and I fully support Professor Peterson.

    • Jan

      I made up the term “Genitalists” to insert a sense of humour which I think Dr. Peterson is lacking. Why Genitalists? Note that the gender activists form a distinct social group whose ideas can invariably be traced to or spring out of the same area of human body: the Genitals, (while passing their brains only briefly). Genitalists include lesbians, homosexuals, transvestites, etc,. While most of us are consumed by poetry, phisics, mathemarics, children, collecting stamps, etc, the Genitalists disturb us with their neurotic preoccupation with penises and vaginas. I thing this phenomena needs a descriptive name. I intend to use it at least till the Genitalists and the pandits of PC manage to silence us up again.

      • RosaryVictory

        These persons have had themselves neutered. There is nothing “genitalist” about them.

  • Jan

    Firstly, it is clear bias on the part of the moderator, and an insult to one’s intelligence, to portray the lawyer as an “expert”. She is not an expert!. She is a lawyer representing one sides in the dispute – the side of the Genitalists. An “expert” implies scientifically based objectivity which the lawyer clearly does not demonstrate.

    Secondly, because the lawyer is in the camp of the Genitalists, the allotment of equal time per person is unfair – in disputes the allotment of time is ALWAYS done per side and not per person. The per-person allotment here results in one side granted 2/3 and the other 1/3 of the time available.

    Thirdly, the main purpose of live setup is to get the audience and the ‘performers’ (disputers) closer to each other. What is wrong with passing the microphone around the audience?

    Requesting that the questions are written on a piece of paper or emailed from the audience to the moderator is a form of audit, i.e., a form of silencing the critics and ultimately eliminating an error-correction which is at odd with our culture or rationality. Error-correction is necessary for the meaningful progress of ideas to continue. Ask Karl Popper for details.

    Silencing the critics is modus operandi of the Multiculturalists, and the Genitalists have piggy-backed to their present glory on the backs of the Multiculturalist.

    It is disappointing not to see the other U of T professors standing in solidarity with Dr. Peterson. It shows a dangerous weak spot within our Western Culture or Reason. Frankly, this cowardly reaction of the other profs pisses me off!

    • John B.

      I’m glad someone else noticed how all of the audience questions just happened to be directed at Dr. Peterson, giving the impression that he’s the only one being challenged because he’s in the wrong. I’ll wager there were many tough questions submitted and aimed at Cossman/Bryson.

      Is “Genitalists” a common term? I haven’t seen it before and it reminds me of Girondists… except they were moderate.

      By the way, look at the moderator’s face at 1:32:00. The camera takes a while to pan over and her face changes quickly, but it looks to me like she’s stunned and angry that the audience applauded.

  • AJ

    Thanks Professor for all that you’re doing in support of the university free speech movement. I first discovered you when you took a strong stand against these leftist ideologues, but have since discovered your Maps of Meaning lectures in which you detail an incredibly useful life philosophy. You are an intellectual beacon in an academic culture focused largely on ideology over reasoned debate and I do hope you’ll continue to inspire a generation of students as you’ve done for me.

  • Brenda

    You know, if we are discussing archetypes which are so often applicable, I was thinking to myself, hmmm, where have I see the likes of Cossman and Bryson before…I am sure I am familiar with their work from elsewhere, and then it struck me!

  • Cameron

    I’ve been watching your videos and following your story for quite awhile now. I don’t really know what to say except that I have the highest respect possible for you and I admire your courage and intellect.

    Please, if you ever feel like quitting, please don’t. I truly believe in what you’re doing.

    Thank You


  • Jo

    “The truth is like a lion; you do not need to defend it. Let it loose, it will defend itself” – Augustine of Hippo
    We can see for ourselves who’s right and who’s wrong here. Thank you professor.

    • werpor

      An ancient debate after all — one between those who profit
      by a construct elevated to a doctrine, enforce it with terror,
      reinforce it with a particular and a peculiar dialectic, promulgate
      the doctrine as though it is ordained by self evident proofs
      while establishing the entire stinking package (of rights) as
      the Law — and a few souls brave enough and intelligent
      enough to push back.

      Millions have died on these ramparts. Think here for example
      of the ‘right’ of slave ‘owners’ to buy and sell ‘their’ slaves.

      By casting their chattel as though they we merely cattle — thus
      ‘naturally’ inferior — slaves could be considered other than men,
      therefore without rights. Insisting that their slaves were inferior
      and that they themselves were superior, slave holders could then
      moot the argument of those who though otherwise.

      That all men were created equal was enshrined in the Constitution,
      yet by arguing slaves were hardly men was manifest in the Laws
      prevailing at the time. If slaves were not men how then could
      they have rights … as set out in the Constitution.

      The Canadian Constitution protects rights — everyone’s rights. The
      Charter of Rights and Freedoms — redistributes those rights.
      The effect is to particularize those rights so that some have more
      rights than others. Soon only groups have rights — the individual
      is gradually denied any rights. Who then will speak for me?

      Individual rights are precious. Courts must defend them a priori.
      Individuals ought not to have to defend those rights as though
      they were not enshrined. Common Law established those rights
      by precedent over centuries. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
      renders individual rights and freedoms as negotiable. The individual
      has no power or money to defend those rights against empowered

      Soon enough not wearing a particular marker singles one out
      as a problem. Groups are like gangs. If you do not declare
      — by wearing a sign — you do not belong.

      • Judy Anderson

        Very well said! Thank you.

        There are at least two people who are fighting this abomination: John Carpay, lawyer and Director of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (Calgary, but “have law, will travel”!), and Ezra Levant of The Rebel (Toronto). John has defended, pro-bono when necessary, those who have been disenfranchised by the rapacious and ideological state and certain institutions, like universities. The Rebel raised money for John Alibi, the unfortunate man who walked into the bedroom–legally, showing prospective tenants the apartment he owned–with his shoes on. The Muslim tenants claimed that the bedroom was their prayer room and hauled Alibi before a Human Rights (sic) Commission kangaroo court: he was ordered to pay the couple $12 000! Apparently, besides helping Mr. Alibi with the fine, The Rebel is planning to use some of the funds to take a case against the HRC to a real court of law.

        Both the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms and The Rebel run on donations. Please consider supporting these two most worthy corporations. Both Carpay and Levant have shared the stage, at least once, with Jordan Peterson: they’re all on the same page.

      • RosaryVictory

        “The rights the state gives, the state can take away” Thomas Jefferson Only an infinite Supreme Sovereign Being endows unalienable human rights.

        • werpor

          “I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”
          Thomas Jefferson

          By taking away individual rights the state invites rebellion.

          “What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion?
          … The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
          Thomas Jefferson

          “A century and a half…” Sounds about right!

          “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It
          is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
          William Pitt: November 18, 1783

          • RosaryVictory

            Thank you for reading my comment. “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” is allowed in court. The rest is perjury. Transgendered people are not transgendered people. Transgendered people are neutered people. Eunuchs have been around since the beginning of time, before Pharaoh. Well maybe not before Neanderthal.

  • Dr. Peterson:
    Bravo! Keep going! Do take care of yourself as well though, to keep your strength up.

    P.S. I have no idea how you stayed calm after the Philippe Rushton hand grenade was tossed into the room. How is further sensible discussion even possible after such an ejaculation?

  • Renate Meijer

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” C. S. Lewis

  • Rita

    How ironic that that far left academics in the humanities and social sciences apparently score high in agreeableness and openness on the Big Five scales. The two examples in the debate, Crossman and Bryson, are in my view among the most disagreeable, closed-minded, hostile, cold-hearted, self-centered individuals I have ever had the displeasure of seeing in action. We have far too many just like them here in the U.S., but unfortunately, we do not have anyone like Dr. Peterson to stand up to them. What an impressive man and intellect.

    Also ironic was Moran’s assurance that for those who needed support, it was available right outside the room. That was clearly meant for only certain members of the audience. What about the rest of us? In my case, I faced the madness alone at my computer. My uncontrollable screams of outrage sent my only comfort, my cat, out of the room.

  • John Tiger

    Thank you for your intellectual integrity. Maybe I’m getting older but it seems to get rarer these days, even in universities. Also, some of your ideas actually inspired new analytical perspectives in my own intellectual inquiries so I thank you for this also, it is, after all, the point of exchanging ideas.

    One thing that stroke me though is that the universities are already (or almost) doomed by ideological thinking. They are stuck in a strange place since most of their income emanates from new students registering into their schools and in order to maximize the amount of students they have to cater to current social trends including those that where politically promoted through ideological lobbying. Not to mention their legal obligations on top of this.

    Is the social sphere of ethical discourse diminishing in our society? Probably, as everyone seems most concerned about their own immediate comfort or agenda. Universities that used to be part of this ethical discourse are now removing themselves from it in times where they are probably most needed, having chosen to isolate themselves in something akin to an ideological bunker.

    I’ll stop here for fear of writing a book. Thank you for starting this authentic ethical debate.

    Stay strong
    and if you occasionally waver under the pressure, know that we have your back

  • Jan

    Dr. Peterson, you display class, they do not! You present honest arguments, they present an ideology! You even look good, they look unattractive – the he/she UBC professor looks outright repelling to me – and I trust my instincts!

    I think that the power of your persuasion could significantly increase if you embelished your arguments and presentations with humour.

    These multi-gender freaks are clearly preoccupied with their own genitals, with kinky sex, and with their looks. Does this deserve to be legitimized by serious answers?

  • You are Incredibly smart, Dr Peterson.

  • Igor

    I would like to urge you to champion a political movement/ party.
    The Common Sense Party.
    We need to organize ourselves. This is the only way to preserve the remnants of Western Civilization. Otherwise the descent into barbarism and insanity is inevitable.
    They will destroy us one after another.
    My grandfather was a ” kulak” in the USSR and I know that neomarxists will show no mercy.

    You are capable of articulating your thought and ideas very clearly and you will be astonished to see how many Canadians support you.
    Most of us are still sane – we are just too embarrassed to acknowledge that.
    Please consider my suggestion.

    • Maria

      Igor, I don’t think there is a political solution. It’s about self-transformation. Change yourself and the world will change. When they asked G.K. Chesterton, “What’s wrong with the world?” His reply? “I am.” Those suffering from PC authoritarian pathology project their own personal sin onto others. Instead of rooting out the corruption in their own souls, they cast it onto others. That’s why they take up social causes. That way, they don’t have to deal with the rot that is within. For them, the big, bad wolf is “out there”. Others are to blame. Have to root out the corruption that’s “out there”. Their mad frenzy is to get everyone else to change instead of changing themselves. In an interview with British Comedian John Cleese, he duly noted renowned psychiatrist, psychotherapist Robin Skynner:

      “If people can’t control their own emotions. Then they have to start trying to control other people’s behaviour.”

      Check out John Cleese on Political Correctness:


      Forfeit reason in favour of emotion. Eliminate the distinction between the individual and the group. Add to that the Marxist precept that all history is about which groups have power over which other groups, and things get really messy. On a side note, Ontarians have already had a taste of the Common Sense Revolution with the Harris government and it didn’t turn out well. Our present Liberal government has done no end of damage in public education in this province with its inclusivity education and has got to go as well. Brexit, the US election… how will Ontarians vote next time round? Gee, I wonder.

  • Mariana Masic

    Dr. Peterson. Please believe that you have enormous support in the community. I have written to both my MP and directly to the prime minister and will do so again and again. Your arguments are not falling on deaf ears. I wish that people understood that your fight is not against individuals but against authoritarianism. I wish your university had the integrity to back you in this fight.

  • Brenda

    Dr. Peterson would you mind going into some depth about what Equity of Outcome actually is, and what its implications are? I am not sure I am completely clear on this.

    • Judy Anderson

      Brenda, it means manipulating the system, usually by government intervention–e.g., affirmative action–to see that the proportion of people of various ethnicities and orientations of all kinds–the mind boggles–are equally represented in certain fields of endeavour in proportion to their representation in the general population. Interestingly, those dedicated to equality of outcome–they are cultural Marxists–are never concerned that women and certain minorities are underrepresented in such endeavours as coal mining! The idea of “equality of outcome” is pie in the sky utopianism: it can never be achieved but it gives a whole lot of progressives grievances and jobs for life. (How do you think such harpies as Cossman, Bryson and their ilk have made it so far up the academic ladder?!)

      • Brenda

        Okay excellent, thanks for that

        • Judy Anderson

          You’re welcome. I just jumped in as I know that Dr. Peterson is very busy. He might wish to tweak what I’ve said, but this is the gist of “equality of outcome” versus “equality of opportunity”–and even that can’t be perfected as the variables of human existence are so vast.

      • Maria

        Judy, I wanted to reply to your Nov. 19 post….I also found the preambles to this event very off-putting. Cameron neglected to mention that Dr. Peterson spent a number of years teaching at Harvard although he went on at length about Bryson’s pursuits south of the border. Cameron’s manner seemed very stilted and he appeared visibly humourless … irked at having to be present at all. I was hoping to witness a lively, raucous, intellectual exchange of the quaestio disputata. It played out instead like a sterile show trial orchestrated and stacked against Dr. Peterson. And Bryson’s tiresome, childish, predictable mud-slinging replete with OISE edu-babble. Good grief! So much for the Liberal Arts at U of T. Felt eerily like a scene from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Moran as Nurse Ratched in group therapy with her staged question about whether Cossman’s treatment of Bill C-16 had allayed any of Peterson’s concerns: “Does that give you any comfort?” Absolutely surreal. Perhaps after subjecting Human Resource staff and Faculty to bias-sensitivity training, they’ll try shock therapy next to get people to tow the party line. Who’s running the place???

        • Judy Anderson

          Maria, I couldn’t agree with you more. Thanks for your input. U of T is, basically, a gulag. Agree or else—be re-educated or banished, as in lose your job. The groupthink actually starts way before university. Yes, the “debate” was a bad joke. Cameron and Moran, as the hosts, were ungracious, jargon spouting apparatchiks.

          I wrote this to Moran: “That you would provide a trigger warning to a group of so-called adults didn’t astonish me, but it did seriously bother me: why would you be involved in infantilizing these young people? Provost Moran, no one forced them to be there. If not supporters of Professor Peterson, no doubt they’d have been aware that they’d hear things with which they disagree. Ditto for those not in support of Brenda Cossman and Mary Bryson’s point of view, although those who disagree with them—count me in—are very used both to not liking what we hear and certainly to not being coddled: we tend to accept, with some equanimity, that the world isn’t always our oyster and that lots of spaces are ‘unsafe’. (So, what do we do? We sharpen our wits and learn to cope!) Like you, I’m also an educator, elementary school, special ed, with 45 years of experience: I play to students’ strengths, not their vulnerabilities. I set high standards rather than dumb down: when I was a full-time teacher, one of my class mottos was “We smarten UP ↑!” (I cannot imagine the [Trinity] provosts I knew—Derwyn Owen and George Ignatieff—ever accepting the idea of, let alone caving to, such cop outs as trigger warnings. Good grief!)”

          It’s unlikely that I’ll receive a response, as these people in their ivory towers are above the rules of common courtesy.

          • Maria

            And beware of anyone who comes out of OISE with a Masters or a Ph. D. That is one nefarious place. Scary to think that’s where our teachers are trained.

  • lloydphillips22

    Following politics in the Philippines, I ran across a great quote.
    Posted by Jethro S. Climacosa to Sass Rogando Sasot FaceBook page:
    “Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.” – Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927).

  • Mark Comeau

    Wow… I had vaguely heard about this contretemps but largely ignored it. I’m adult who works in the real world, and in the real world most people don’t have time for this sort of nonsense. What utter lunacy…I graduated from U o T in the late 80s and I thought political correctness had run fairly amok back then, but this has reached the height of idiocy. My God am I glad I never became an Academic ! What a farcical world to have to live in. Kudos to Professor Peterson for standing up to this tyranny , which would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous.

  • Nancy Robertson

    Thank you, Dr. Peterson, for fighting the good fight and participating in the debate. . The moment the moderator thanked the indigenous people for the land the auditorium was built on, I knew we were in for a jargon filled, PC side show.and that’s all it was — on the opposing side. The only value in the event was the opportunity to hear you speak so clearly and so bravely. Take care, Nancy

  • Dr. Carl rubino

    I watched the debate and felt that it was more of an organized beating than a debate.
    I am a Clinical Psychologist and stand behind Dr. Peterson’s right to exercise free speech. I would be most disturbed no very angry if the OPA or the College entered into this conversation. If this should happen I wish to be informed so that I can express my opinion to these august bodies.

    let the e-mails begin.

  • Steve

    Cossman tried to name existing examples of “forced expression” under the law: bilingual labeling on food packaging and cigarette packages, and in the oath of allegiance to the Queen in citizenship ceremonies.

    I think we need to point out that there’s an important difference here. In all those cases, the law requires that the SAME MEANING be expressed in two different languages. Gender-neutral pronouns are requiring you to express a DIFFERENT MEANING. This is new. This is not okay.

    • Joanne

      An individual chooses to take the oath of allegiance. Also,concerning labelling in French and English, it is a company as opposed to an individual being compelled to speak a certain way. I agree, not a realistic comparison.

      • Steve

        Good points Joanne. I see that I had misunderstood about the oath of allegiance, thinking that was another bilingual example. Duh.

        I went and read up,
        and learned that actually they also use it as an oath of office for various governmental positions. Again, your same point, no one is compelled to take these jobs.

        Reflecting more, I can think of a couple more major differences:

        (1) Frequency: With the oath of allegiance, it’s a one-time act. Jump through this hoop once — if you choose to do so — and that’s it, you never have to do it again, and now you get to be a Candian citizen, or MP, or whatever. On the other hand, with pronouns you’re being asked to learn new words that you’re now going to be required to use every day for the rest of your life.

        (2) Intention: The whole point of asking a potential citizen or government official to say the oath is to test whether they mean what the oath says, i.e. that they declare their allegiance to the Queen. In other words, Canada only wants people to say the oath /if they mean what it says/. That’s the whole point of the thing. With new pronouns the case is exactly the opposite. The proposed laws would force you to say the new words, /even if you don’t mean what they imply/.

        And if there’s any question about what saying a new pronoun implies, I think Peterson summed it up in the debate right around here:

        • Joanne

          Very well said!

    • Maria

      True say Steve!!

    • JohnPedant

      A further difference is that people have the liberty not to produce/market labelled products (and so escape bilingual utterances) and permanent residents have the liberty not to become citizens and so escape swearing allegiance to the Queen (I know one Irish permanent resident who has been a permanent resident, not citizen, for 50 years for precisely this reason–he does not want to swear allegiance to a person he sees as a British monarch. Bill C-16 is different. Every one of us is now required by law to utter ideological words when called upon to do so and we have no freedom to walk away (no “safe space”) or to remain silent when Big Brother orders us to utter words we do not wish to utter.

  • Andrew Salonga

    Prof. Peterson keep up the good work I am a father of six children whenever my wife delivers our child the gender has been decided on birth not waiting to ask him or her as what God decided naturally.

  • lloydphillips22

    I love to see him passionately and heroically following his dreams.
    But as he mentions, what captures your attention can take you places you REALLY do NOT want to go.
    Sometimes they are places you SHOULD not go, but if you are true to yourself, it is where you ought to go.
    It is a well-founded principle, but principles can pave the road to hell just as well as good intentions.
    Wisdom is needed to judge when and how to apply the principle. None can be wisely followed without consideration.
    I know he carefully weighs these things, and can only give him my best wishes in words.

  • Chris taylor

    Hello, my name is Chris, I do not use social media so have no way to post a message like this upon your Facebook or Twitter or other social media accounts.
    All I would like to say is this. Please stay strong and stay true to your beliefs. You are a voice of sanity in the middle of a ridiculous argument and you are not alone in your belief that the words that come out of your mouth are not for others to choose.
    Remain as you are. Calm and passionate. Continue to present your argument cleanly and succinctly. As it is one that cannot be lost.
    Sincerely a friend.

  • Maria Sederholm

    I feel I have to post another comment as I have just been watching the YouTube video (not your own) where you are beset by antagonists outside the university.
    What can I say? Even if speech is free, I’m speechless. I’ll let the late George Carlin speak for me:

    And the late Giancarlo Livraghi
    This whole business is as serious as anything can get. No doubt about it. Every now and then however, we have to take a break and laugh. That’ll hopefully give us strength to carry on.
    Keep calm and carry on Jordan. We need you.
    Maria Sederholm / Stockholm, Sweden

  • Atena

    Around minute 56:30 Moran, referring to “the law as it is vs as we would like it to be”, asks Peterson: “Does Prof. Cossman’s outlining of some of the elements of C16 in particular, does that give you any comfort? Does it allay any of your concerns that it really focuses on the advocacy of genocide, or the commission of hate crimes, that those kinds of things are probably the sort of restrictions that most people in the room think would be reasonable restrictions?

    “No, it doesn’t give me any comfort… ” responds Dr. Peterson and then he elaborate on “a legal doctrine as a virus…”

    Note how Moran channels the debate (consistently through the debate) in a strange, irrelevant, disproportional and frightening direction which has nothing to do with Dr. Peterson’s concerns. What does genocide and hate crime have anything to do with ze and zhe and 71+ pronouns or totalitarian control of the language? Will law enforcement of such neologisims contribute to preventing genocide and hate crimes? Is this where the problem is?

    Why would she choose to use the word “comfort”? What does comfort have anything to do with a debate that should center around arguments, logic and reason?

    She is acting like “a caring and gentle mother” who is concerned about her child who has made a mistake and she, who has full control and authority on the child, is compassionately making him understand his mistake.

    This is malicious… and revolting! These are stalinist methods and I know them well as someone who has lived in a stalinist country for many years and has been immersed in “stalinist language”.

    This debate was set up as a public stage performance to denigrate someone who thinks differently and stands up to defend his views. It was unfair, as many here have pointed out, and Dr. Peterson did well. But, at least there should have been four discussants, two against two. It could have been helpful.

    • Steve

      I think you’re right about the debate having very little to do with Dr. Peterson’s concerns. In fact, about the only time the debate touched on his concerns was precisely when he was speaking. What we need is a dialog, but this was not it.

      • Atena

        Moran was not a moderator. She played the role of the third opponent disguised as moderator. Again, within this specific segment of the debate, when Peterson says at 57: 34: “a legal doctrine is like a virus and it has a life…” , Moran quickly responds “This is not what WE think!” (emphasis is mine). She doesn’t even say “I” or “lawyers” or whatever. She says “we”… She also refers to what Cossman and Bryson express as “science” or “scientific findings”. But does not use the same terms for the other party in the debate. Is this how impartial debates are generally conducted at UoT?

        Bryson raises the question of quasi experimentation and brings in the argument that it is difficult (1:10:54) “to manipulate the chromosomal or hormonal environment and so since we cannot remove sexism and misogyny from the production of gender we cannot reach conclusions about what we take to be gender differences.” Really? And then she goes on pompously peppering her discussion with sarcasm and “peer-reviewed” academic studies. Does she simply assume that Sexisim and Misogyny exist? Does she mean these are biological features? Are we born with them? Is she conveniently picking and choosing “what’s biological” and “what’s socially constructed”? What is she talking about? This whole thing needs to be unpacked! Glad that Dr. Peterson extended her an invitation for gender identity and differences debate (doubt she would accept). Should this happen, I suspect Bryson will be the one “who should not stop reading” and looks like she has a lot of “peer-reviewed” catch up reading to do.

  • Darrin Nielsen

    I completely support you and your point of view. Thanks for keeping it real and I suspect that your rational, logical and virtuous arguments reverberate with a vast majority of people. Clearly this is polical correctness gone wild. The feds can throw Bill C-16 in the garbage where it belongs.

  • Maria Sederholm

    This whole matter is too Orwellian and Kafkaesque for words. Right now I’d just like to leave an addition to my earlier comment.
    Christopher Hitchens on Free Speech/“Hate Speech”
    Taken from Hitch’s speech on censorship in Canada.
    Stay strong!
    Maria Sederholm / Stockholm, Sweden

    • lloydphillips22

      Yeah, Hitchens’ speech there was great… I have often wanted to post that as this debate continues, and have a couple of times 🙂

  • This is perfect point of where we are…

    Jordan take not the world seriously or it will break you… and if you do end up taking it seriously prepare to go all the way alone. AND maybe something or someone will notice, just maybe in your lifetime.

    Ps. Zazen Shikantaza

    • Mark

      He’s not alone. He has substantial support from people who are just as worried as he is about the insidious nature of political correctness. It was because people were quiet for so long that has allowed political correctness to permeate into every aspect of society, just like the malignant cancer that it is.

      • SandyA

        I do hope you’re right, Mark, but in my experience when you stick your head up above the parapet to speak for what’s right, there are any number of people willing to pat you on the back, tell you they admire and support you, urge you on. Then, when the bullets start flying in your direction most of those gung-ho supporters mysteriously evaporate.

        I fervently hope that won’t happen in Prof Peterson’s case, but I think it’s very worrying that none of his academic colleagues seem to be willing to stand with him.

      • Vitalii Oulanov

        and that is why he is alone!
        because people in their daily life, are quite, polite, not sincere… the culture in Canada at least in my understanding or the western culture is naïveté. It has its positives, and negatives. Here the negatives are surfacing.
        Lets not be naive here, Jordan B Peterson IS NOT doing this for anyones benefits but his own. if HE WAS then he is just like the other people doing something thinking it is for the benefits of the others, who here elected him as a representative!?

        he is doing this as he puts it: the star that guides him, and his attention leads or grasps hold of him! or as when studying the subjects he studied are not HIS CHOOSING they posses him, and the only choice is he willingly finds unity “with his calling” or denies it…

        people are foolish and not even great man and people can escape from being foolish!

        this is not about him, but for him it is!

        to be born in a place, and in a time, is to take responsibility sure that is fine, but to think that it is happening to you, is an insane and foolish, unwholesome thought…

        remember to just sit (zazen shikantaza), so much and so little can be said… but we must carry one, do what we must, and he is doing what he is inclined, good for him. but he is still alone in his path, but sure we are all on our path and some have parallel paths, but never is parallel to meet, and if they do then they are always together… choose what ever you want, just go all the way.

        ps. leave hope for the fools, but a religious man is undivided, and Jordan says he is(at-least so he said in one video), practice away!

  • Joann Robertson

    The opening remarks of Dean Cameron thanking First Nations for the use of the land, to moderator Moran assuring those who might be upset because of the ‘difficult subject’ that support was available (trigger warning?) to Bryson’s concluding remark that the LGBTQ… had received an apology from Justin Trudeau illustrates the need we have for Jordan Peterson’s clear, logical, unafraid challenges to PC. We are on a slippery slope to a world where critical thought is in real danger

  • K McGill

    Thank you Dr . Peterson, For those who wish to show support for Dr. Peterson…there is an online petition with over 13,000 signatures: http://citizengo.org/en/sc/37697-support-dr-peterson-against-totalitarian-political-correctness.

  • James

    I was happy that they weren’t able to actually debate him at all with any kind of facts or examples of the deaths that were supposedly caused by use of wrong pronouns.

    Their argument was weak and the moderator cut Jordan off at the ten minute mark while allowing his opponents to go over constantly.

    At least there weren’t people shouting ‘safety!’ every 3 minutes. I think it’s safe to assume that the people that supported Dr. Peterson felt he won, while the people who determine reality 100% through feeling felt like the other side won, though they failed to present an argument or make a real claim of any kind.

  • Sean

    I’m sorry, Dr. Peterson, but I was not convinced by your position in the debate. You completely lost me at the point when you implicated sexual orientation (homosexuality) as not varying independently with biological sex. As a biologist who likes statistics, I’m worried you are misinterpreting the statistical conclusions. Yes, 97% of individuals (M & F) are heterosexual, but to say this is NOT varying independently is silly. Varying independently to what? Biological sex? The proportions are the same between men and women. Statistically, this is as irrelevant as asking whether ‘tree species’ varies independently of plants that have roots! They simply are independent metrics — which is why the law states that sexual orientation varies independently. NOT because it varies independently from biological sex… but simply because the variables themselves are independent variables.

    • James

      You compare a persons self image to speciation. It’s more like if two redwoods were being considered different species because one of them identified as a giant sequoia.

    • Bob

      According to the OHRC: “Gender identity is fundamentally different from a person’s sexual orientation.”

      Suppose a biologist notes that there is near perfect correlation between biological sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

      Suppose the biologist then suggests that gender identity and sexual orientation may be fundamentally related in some way that is worthy of study.

      Has the biologist violated the law? Has the biologist engaged in “hate propaganda”?

      • Sean

        The hate propaganda aspect is an entirely legitimate issue, to which I am in agreement with you. I have no idea how the courts treat the legality or illegality of hatred, or how misinformation might constitute a form of hatred. I would suspect that the links are tenuous and hard to define.

        However, scientifically and statistically, I disagree with your claim that a biologist would find a correlation between those categorical variables — if you ran an odds ratio, or chi-squared test on a sample population (or on any publicly searchable data on sexuality prominence), you would not find a relationship between these variables as the proportion of homo/heterosexuals do not change between genders. Dr. Peterson claims that they do not vary independently, which, statistically speaking, is patently wrong.

        • Bob

          Your answer appears to be “I have no idea”. That answer should frighten you, as it frightens so many people following this debate.

          If academics can’t debate basic questions without fear of legal jeopardy, you have a huge problem.

    • Robert

      To Sean,

      I don’t know too much about statistics but I think the possible values of the variable [sexual orientation] should be more in the form of:

      interest in females
      interest in males
      interest in both females and males

      “homosexual”, “heterosexual” and “bisexual” etc. are in my perspective a set of possible values for another variable which I don’t have a name for that is in itself dependent upon the two variables [biological sex] and [sexual orientation].

      If you try it this way I think you will find that biological sex and sexual orientation do not vary independently.

    • John Kingsley

      Sean, you say “You completely lost me at the point when you implicated sexual orientation (homosexuality) as not varying independently with biological sex.”

      The problem is that you confuse “sexual orientation” with homosexuality. Yes, I know “sexual orientation” can be regarded in this way but that’s not what the OHRC policy means.
      In the context of their policy, sexual orientation means male or female (anatomical classification).

      You can read the policy here: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/policy-preventing-discrimination-because-gender-identity-and-gender-expression/3-gender-identity-and-gender-expression

      Yes, the policy is a confusing mess.

      • Maria

        I agree John. Very confusing. And the concept of sexual orientation just muddies the water more. Sexual orientations/proclivities do vary, do they not? Some people have a sexual orientation/proclivity for their own family members. What of their choice? Some have a proclivity for animals. What of their orientation? Some married individuals have a sexual proclivity for partners outside of their monogamous unions. And if marriage is no longer exclusively between a man and a woman, why should it be exclusively monogamous? Now that we’ve legalized homosexual marriage, we’ll need to legalize polygamous marriage too. How can sexual orientation mean male or female? I’m seriously confused.

  • Vanessa

    Hello Professor Peterson:
    As a former U. of T. alumna, I have been following your case from the beginning, I am appalled that this soviet-style kangaroo court was called a debate. Three harpies against a giant intellect and humanist. How could U of T have allowed this? The moderator shamelessly exposed her bias. You were put in a defensive position to argue against two agenda-driven “women” who were disrespectful to you and dismissive of your well-reasoned argument. All their degrees have given them no real intelligence or wisdom or humanity. They present ugly twisted souls who think a set of ovaries confers moral superiority on them. Joseph McCarthy has nothing on these people.

    I hope other professors at U of T are not taking a firm stand against this mandated pronoun nonsense and shutting down of important debate.

    You seem to have lost weight. Please stay in good health – many of us support you and wish you well.

  • Roy Bogle

    So I don’t have the right to hate? I am force to love? I thought force love was rape. These hate speech legislation are raping the conscience of people, forcing them to accept ideologies that claim to be truth, but refuse to be tested to see if they are truth.

    Hate and love are very interlink. To love good means you must hate evil.

  • Cherielee Richards

    I am old, and I would like to share a story. When i was a young girl in the late 50s and early 60s, I wanted to be a boy. I spent hours trying to kiss my elbow. My mother told me that if I ever did I would become a boy. I am the first born, so I should have been a boy. My father would have liked me if I were a boy. I could wear simple clthes, and pants, to school. I really and sincerely wanted to be male. Thank heavens I was not born now and to progressive parents. They would encourage me and facilitate me actually becoming one.

    I hit adolescence, I had male friends exclusively, and I noticed the difference in how our brain worked, in how we were viewed and treated by the opposite sex and society and was deeply glad I was a girl. I went on to join feminist groups because I wanted men, as well as women, to be liberated from our sterotypes. I left when it became obvious that most feminists were not willing to sacrifice their privlege to attain equal. They wanted both.

    So I want you to know that I hear you. That you are speaking hard truths and I appreciate you doing it. It is not so much that I agree with you, as you have given me a different way of seeing something I knew in my gut. You have given me words to discribe that internal understanding.

    I have trans friends, they ask to be referrec to be the gender they present, and I am okay with that. They present and behave as females it is consistant that I refer to them as her and she. But they are not activists. They are just people and their work doesn’t care what bathroom they use. Or didn’t until he became an issue. Now they must be indentified and policy must be written and everyone has to know. Keep fighting. I will too.

  • Ronald H Noricks, PhD

    Professor Peterson:

    You acquitted yourself well. The rude and often irrelevant responses of your opponents were disturbing, while the obvious bias of the “moderater” was unprofessional.

  • Elizabeth

    After years of working as an editor and communications teacher, this “debate” and the viciousness and smug condescension of it disturbs me greatly.

    I get that the more activist members of the LGBTQ community find Dr. Peterson’s position unacceptable – but even as I empathize with the discomfort that comes with being referred to as something other than who you are, I don’t think activists in any arena do much good to bridge understanding gaps. I agree that the entire LGBTQ community does not enjoy the same freedom to navigate the world as do people who happen to fit the norms. And I am concerned about the inequity of this too and want to do what I reasonably can to make the place of LGBTQ people as welcome, safe and comfortable as my own.

    But here’s the problem – pronouns function as the oil of speech and if we are expected to alter our use of pronouns every time someone demands it, then we risk clogging up the communications machine. Grammatical rules are not there to imprison anyone; they are there to facilitate clear communication. I grew up with Strunk and White practically grafted to my hand, and like Professor Peterson, I’d have a really hard time using a plural pronoun to indicate a singular subject. I agree with him that it is ludicrous to equate correct grammar with harassment or hate speech. It’s like trying to play a board game when people don’t agree on the rules.

    The categorical value of pronouns is very useful and efficient; I do not agree that pronouns are in and of themselves hegemonic devices. Certainly, the use of categories is how humans make sense of and organize their view of the world. Still, I am sympathetic to someone being uncomfortable if I were to look at him or her, perceive a category that was not the same as his or her self perception. The question then is how can we come up with a solution to this dilemma that is both sensitive AND effective in terms of communicating.

    A trans person has every right to ask me to use the pronoun that matches his or her gender identity – no problem: of course I can do that and will happily. Doing so improves the content of communication–it carries more information. A gender-fluid person may reject both “he” and “she.” Okay, I get that too, but here’s where information clarity and pronoun preference come into conflict: “they” already has meaning – it refers to more than one person, (although since it is not gender-specific I understand its appeal). But using it to refer to an individual makes no sense. On this point I agree with Dr. Peterson, that if we equate hate speech with correct usage, we have a serious and ludicrous communication problem, where, as in Alice, “words mean what I say they mean.” At the same how can we be sensitive? I would argue that what is needed is some agreement on an additional pronoun, since it is clear that the standard neutral pronoun “it” is unsuitable because it carries the baggage of hurt and insult.

    I am certainly more than willing to adopt a single new pronoun that will not give offence and which will signal my support for gender-self identity. Perhaps universities could direct their considerable resources to developing a pragmatic solution to what is a legitimate concern, rather than condemning those who also want to maintain some of the utility in language, we might diffuse this whole ugly ugly debate. It will take some willingness all around.

    • Robert

      In Swedish we have a pronoun, hen, which we can use if we want to show our respect for someone who does not want to be called hon(she) or han(he). It’s not illegal to not say it so it doesn’t infringe on our freedom of speech. It’s a reasonable solution I think.

    • Katya

      Language evolves, but it should evolve naturally, not from legislation. If some people want to popularize “alternative” (i.e. new) pronouns, – all the power to them. Their’s is a right to play with language. But at the same time, mine is a right not to play with language, if I don’t want to play along. If ze or hir or whatever becomes widespread, in decades’ time, linguists may consider making it an “official” part of English grammar. Until then, nobody should be forced to speak a made-up language.

      What further complicates this is that we don’t live on a uni-lingual island. I regularly use both English and French in my work, so any “alternative” pronoun should have equivalents in both languages. What about other languages? I speak a 3rd language at home, and many of my friends and colleagues speak other languages still. How are those new pronouns to be translated?

      Does anyone truly, in their own mind, think of any other person as gender-neutral (gender-free, gender-fluid, etc.)? I would argue that each one of us, no matter what anybody wishes to call themselves, thinks of other people as he or she.

  • Hendrik

    For the first time in my life (38 years old), I feel the need to comment something in the internet. I have been following your endeavour since I accidentally stumbled across the video on Youtube, in which you are swarmed by the SJWs on campus. I was really surprised by this kind of action, as we in Germany do not (yet?) have this kind of behaviour being acted out (at least I am not aware of it), I watched the TV debate and was fascinated and enlightened to see such a bright mind like you taking a stand.
    I then checked your channel and was immediately fascinated by your interdisciplinary approach of psychology and philosophy. The Maps of Meaning introduction lecture from 2016 was fantastic. I could not sleep the night after watching it, Maybe, as somebody with a PhD in engineering who is good in describing the objective world, this is exactly what I have been missing.
    I find it incredibly frustrating that even in this debate, your opponents do not even take care to hold on a second and try to really understand your arguments. They go just full broadside in an incredibly annoying and opportunistic way. But I think you are facing a fundamental dilemma. Most people will not be that educated and familiar with your way of thinking and enormous level of education. Thus, they will misinterpret you. The same thing happened in the TV debate, where your opponent obviously did absolutely fail to correctly assess your position. It will be a long fight…

    Finding your channel was one of the best things happening to me. Your lectures have inspired me to think and speak out more clearly and sharply and I have learned so much. I will recommend your channel to my friends.

    Please stay strong and take care of yourself (I do agree with some posters here that you look very tired).

    Best regards from Germany!

  • Rachel Farrar

    Dr Peterson, you are a heavyweight thinker. In stark contrast, your opponents in the debate displayed their inability to put forward a coherent argument, merely ideological rhetoric lacking any substance. This was evident.

    Please keep articulating this fight on behalf of the many who support you and your work, and who reject the consequences such types of legislation would bring to bear on us all.

  • Lisa

    Was there no audience vote at the end of the debate?

  • Lisa

    Did she accuse you of “hatespeech” right there in the debate? What a travesty.

    • Michael Udel

      Bryson accused him of “hate propaganda” in the middle, which is a denouncement from Peterson’s point of view considering the illegality of his discussion, an argument that I think he supported well enough in his opening remarks to make it clear that yes, Bryson did denounce him, not “heavily criticize” as the other lawyer panelist said. And then Bryson compared him at the very end to some gay conversion therapy psychologist, basically demonizing Peterson as the slippery slope into the most extreme example of actual injustice, that I think are on the periphery of this discussion and that are not relevant to Peterson’s argument.

  • bradley lynch

    thank you for all you’ve done for this cause! keep it up you have the support of many people!

  • Atena

    Cossman and Bryson not only used their words viciously as ideological slaughtering weapons, but the debate was blatantly set up to be unbalanced to begin with. It was not a discussion about free speech. It was a witch hunt. The entire discussion was shaped as a tribunal of all against one individual. Unbalanced, ugly and unacceptable! Such public displays are the modern day equivalents of Galileo Galilei and Giordano Bruno heresy trials.

    Here are a few things I noticed:

    – Moran made no effort to hide her bias against Dr. Peterson. In the opening remarks she was very quick (like a pin factory supervisor keeping in check Adam Smith’s wage laborers) to ask him to stop right after the 10-minute segment, but she let Cossman use 11 minutes (or more) and Bryson 12 minutes (or more). She interrupted him several times, but never did that to his opponents. It did not make any difference as far as Dr. Peterson was able to get across what he had to say. But it did contribute to creating a climate of Bolshevik control, restriction and hostility toward Dr. Peterson.

    – What Dr. Peterson said about the use of language in regards with pronouns is of course reasonable and very important: “they simplify the world for functional purposes”. And he or she or any other pronoun or word is not “private property”. I don’t owe “she” or “her” when someone calls me that. I can only claim the name that my parents gave me. And that name has been given to me only to help distinguish me from anyone else. Bryson disagreed and pompously indicated she doesn’t “recognize this as academic practice; this is not how we relate to knowledge”. Academic practice and how we relate to knowledge are things that wouldn’t exist if we don’t first operate on the level of language without which there is no meaning.
    First of all: language is a vehicle of meaning that helps us make sense of the world, communicate meaning to and from others. Language allows us to understand “map” as a term that is a convention that marks territory, or a “cup” as a word denoting various types of actual tall or short, narrow or wide, big or small cups of various colors, made of all sorts of materials. But a “cup” is not actually the material cup as an object. Likewise “map” is not the actual territory. It is a term ‘to simplify the world for functional purposes” which otherwise can be too big and complex to be taken in by our visual and cognitive system. Likewise, he or she are not labels marking respect or courtesy like for example Ms. or Mr., lady and gentleman, etc., could be. Don’t we relate to knowledge fundamentally in the same way? Don’t we operate at an abstraction level via language “to simplify phenomena for functional purposes” – for understanding? Isn’t knowledge itself a label we use to simplify and denote a large category of a “world of things” for ease of understanding and communication?

    – Bryson operates from a position of ideological militant, from the pulpit of her ‘transgender church” looking down like a high priest/ess to her opponent. That position has nothing to do with knowledge or science. It has everything to do with a political agenda. She brings to mind prison wardens for political prisoners. What she is and what she represents has been and will be best depicted in the sphere of art. I wish her “research ideology” will be confronted by Dr. Peterson’s “scientific work, arguments and evidence” in future essays, articles or even public debates.

    – Bryson dares to demand apology! For what? For stating viewpoints and ideas in a civilized way? This is indeed a frightening and dark age for academia! Entire sections of universities are turned and being turned into brainwashing ideological centers. it should make us all appreciate basic sciences so much more! It is basic sciences that need more attention and respect from society, not diversity and related ideology!

    – The questions selected (by Moran’s hard working staff) from the audience were really bad, long and vague, repetitive and all designed and positioned against Dr. Peterson.

    By the way, were there ‘trigger warning signs’ used? Did anyone faint during the tribunal? Were “the special support system” that Moran had compassionately put together helpful?

    I couldn’t see the audience but I could hear the strong applause for Dr. Peterson. Stay strong! You have the gift of word backed up by the heavy load of knowledge, self-awareness and sharp sensitivity for truth and virtue.

  • Tatana Zajicova

    I would like to point out the role of Mr. Peterson’s wife. She is suffering with him and as wives go worries about his health and sanity. So pray for her.

  • Maria Sederholm

    Dear Jordan,
    I have not yet been able to watch and listen to the debate but will do so as soon as possible. In the mean time I would just like to say that you have my full support. A couple of days ago I didn’t even know of your existence but after having listened to your conversation with Dave Rubin on The Rubin Report I have made myself more familiar with your body of work. As an inately honest person who value truth, honesty and integrity I do so appreciate you speaking out. We all must do the same.
    I would like to direct readers of these comments to Mark Lilla’s timely article in The New York Times today: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-identity-liberalism.html
    Stay strong! You have the support of many and we are in this together.
    Best regards
    Maria Sederholm / Stockholm, Sweden

  • Supporter

    To paraphrase Dr. Peterson – from lecture on tragedy vs. evil – A single person, telling the truth, can topple a tyranny. Dr. Peterson, in his actions, demonstrates his unreserved commitment to speaking the truth, consequences be damned. This is courage. This is virtue. Far beyond the self-serving virtue-signaling of his debate opponents (of which appeared from my perspective to include also the moderator and entire U of T institution).
    I’ve been scared to speak the truth in my corner of the world, as a government employee in an incredibly leftist “progressive” West coast City. I’ve felt an incredible surge in feelings of loneliness since realizing that my colleagues, even vast majority of close friends and family, are more concerned with identity politics and the appearance of “doing good” than in speaking or seeking the truth.
    Watching Dr. Peterson’s lectures and starting to read Maps of Meaning, has been a source of comfort to me during the last few months. But more than comfort, his framing has helped me articulate the undercurrent of emotions I’ve been experiencing, and wholesale reevaluation of my world view and how I can best act properly in the world.
    Cannot fully express my gratitude to Dr. Peterson…Jordan – my husband and I are with you.

  • Eric

    I cannot thank you enough for your advocacy for free speech. As a musician, this is very important to me. I know Stalin censored Shostakovich widely-praised works in the 30s and he was terrified to compose “non-approved” music after that. For those interested in freedom of expression, the PC police should be a serious warning,

    Your opponents’ statements didn’t help clarify anything either. Bryson’s claimed your comments could cause “psychological or physical harm” or be “hate speech”. That’s utterly incomprehensible to me. I’ve had bipolar disorder for decades and have endured serious trauma. Does she really believe that trans.people and the mentally ill are so helpless so easily traumatized that they need legislation to “protect” them from you? I am not transgenered, but I know psychological devastation and despair well. I am NOT helpless and don’t need this “protection’. So this legislation CANNOT be helpful to me.

    Bill C-16, from my perspective, is a simple demand from the radical-left for more political power. For those who can’t or won’t see it, that the real problem. The SJWs have worked tremendously hard to cover it up, but but you haven’t let them succeed. Your integrity and courage to voice your views in these circumstances is truly inspiring.

  • Yeshka

    I am very concerned about you. Please get some medication (perhaps ambien) and get some rest! take a few days and shut down so you can recharge. You did a fantastic job trying to educate people that are not the least bit interested in seeking truth or learning about the impact their agendas will have on what they qre unwilling to review. At a minimum they should listen because you have articulated the danger of what they are doing with absolute clarity.

    This is probably really stupid but I was wondering if you had a law similar to the US 5th Amendment. Demanding speech would infringe upon the right to remain silent and refuse to speak would’t it?

    I have been trying to keep up with you. I am in a fight for the emotional, psychological, social, spiritual health and welfare of my daughter at present. She was falsely accused and then I received e-mail from her school informing me she would be punished when she returned to school the following day. This was totally unreasonable and i removed her from the school and have been fighting to resolve and am failing. the power and control of my child is with the school as I am not permitted in the school without prior approval and appointment.

    Take care of yourself Doc because we need you! Take some time for you! Huggles
    Love, Raggedy, Yeshka, Sara

  • Rosemary Denehy

    As a 55 yr old from the US I watched this forum and was terribly disappointed in many things – with the exception of you, Dr Peterson. You were respectful, composed and raised important truths and arguments that were twisted, brushed off or completely ignored by your opponents.

    I’m not an expert but I would not call that “forum” a real debate. The opposing panel that was selected by the organizers were extremist, especially Dr. Bryson As a live viewer I could literally feel the hate coming from her. Her nonsensical dialogue and “evil” smile were very telling. The lawyer in the group seemed to think that losing your livelihood was acceptable. I’m willing to bet she would re-think that position if her livelihood was on the line. I know from experience that lawyers don’t think that way.

    Sadly the extreme left has a very loud voice considering their very small portion of the population. It’s the same here in the US at the moment. That population also has a very limited ability to listen to or even hear reason. Things are slowly changing here. Many people would certainly welcome you in the US if Canadian “powers” pull your credentials.

    I stumbled onto your videos and website because you are a powerful presence on YouTube . Since that time I have been watching the courses you have graciously put on your channel and have been re-thinking much of my life. The depth of knowledge and insights you share are life-changing in a very positive way. I plan to take your writing course as well (yes, I do need it).

    You have many supporters in the fight for free speech and the fight against compelled speech.

    I have read many comments and I don’t think I’m saying anything here that others haven’t already said. I just want you to know I am one more of your supporters. I believe we all add up to a powerful voice.

    Thank you for all you do Professor!

  • George Hong

    Let me simplify the issue: are you allowed to question something that is well-meaning but seem wrong, namely Bill C-16. At work we have a safety committee that issues monthly safety reports. It is an office environment with cubicles and offices. It puzzles me that burned-out overhead lights get on the report. In any month a few bulbs burn out and we replace them. I asked why is this a safety issue? I can only think of a few reasons: 1) the safety committee wants to look important; 2) management doesn’t want to look bad and say this is pointless 3) both parties want to look like they are accomplishing something.

    • You nailed it George!

  • I am writing from Australia and after watching this I am furious so pardon my streaming rage. I am going to let it fly, judgment and all.
    We have a similar problem – its called 18C.

    Professor Peterson, I have recently tuned into your work and enjoying it very much as a long time student of Jung, and Analytical Psychology.

    Watching this ‘forum’ – I have to admit – I was offended. Offended and insulted by the stupidity, the arrogance and the brain dead logic sprayed about with no relevance to the debate by Bryson and Crossman. Bryson’s references to ‘science’ (when she was backing her argument – if thats what you could call her ‘reciting’ of endless irrelevant quotes) was ludicrous. Bryson seems to have mixed up science with her moral subjective feelings, and hurts. Since when is that ‘evidence’? Then she suggested everyone should read more – and quoted two of her ‘special authors’ who had reviewed the reviews of ‘some paper’. What paper? Sounds like toilet paper. There can be no ‘paper’ that can remove the distinction of biological SEX from science. Zero.

    This has gone too far, my brain is exploding. This is so dangerous, and yet so many just stand by and allow it. How would anyone take Bryson seriously? As you said, what makes ‘her’ an expert? Self elected experts remind me of the EU!

    Bryson should have been laughed out of the room! Instead sheeple were clapping? What is wrong with them? It is clear that she is suffering from a myriad of ‘complexes’ (seems she is stuck at age 8) and like most of the gender confused – is merely projecting that mental handicap onto the rest of the world in an attempt to make themselves feel normal. This is a survival mechanism, and who could deny someone wanting to survive, however – they have no right – (all .5% of them) to twist and manipulate the law and culture of the entire population of solidly males and females to fit their screwed up perspective, and lack of courage in dealing with their psychological failings. What these people and the fools who humour them, do not understand is what they are doing can lead to a further lowering of breeding, and breeding we must do or we become extinct, so when they start blathering on about ‘genocide’ references in terms of 16C, I ask – who’s genocide are they facilitating here? Sorry but its a bloody fact.

    I have had it up to pussy’s bow with this nonsense. Listening to both Bryson and Crossman – was about as painful as it gets. Both women are sporting raging inferiority complexes, limp phallus animus blazing; the whole thing stunk of a kangaroo court with two of the worst examples of ‘intelligent’ academic women I have seen in quite some time. How did Bryson become a professor? What was her thesis? If it was on this subject of gender – then this is invalid by its very premise which is a complete fallacy.

    I am a creative multi talented ENTP woman, and despite me spending a good part of my younger years doing very much ‘mans work (physically in the outback)’, I never at any point had an issue with my sexual orientation. I can outshoot, out trap, out drive many man, but this does not mean I am a man, or thought I was at any point. I was a tomboy when a child because I had 4 brothers and grew up in a sporting environment, so I played cricket in the boys junior side, but I was still a girl and liked it that way. My interest in boys was only to beat them, as I was competitive, but never once did I identify with the ‘confused and aggressive lesbians’ who frequented the girls cricket sides.

    The summary is simple – we have mentally compromised people – I will say it – (gender confusion is nothing other than this) making the laws for 99.5% of the population.

    I really feel for you, and your concerns for your practice. Those women have no concept of what has gone into that, and the service you have given to thousands of people. Spoilt ignorant self-centred brats never do. I understand you making a stand as no one else is. I can see how they will want to crucify you. I have held back many times to ‘save my arse’, and often feel like I am living in the Paris underground waiting for the chance to strike but they are gaining ground. You are effectively a rare whistleblower within the education system. I hope things go OK at the next step. Canada has gone down the tube, like Australia. USA has a bit of hope with Trump, and I am hoping that given Australia is a vassal – something might rub off, but not holding my breath. The South Pacific is looking good! Third world countries have more freedom I can guarantee.

  • Tunji

    Professor Peterson, you sir, are a shining light! A light that shines brightest in the darkness of politically correct academia.

  • Brenda

    Without question it is made clear again and again, when Jordan Peterson calmly lays out logic and fact, as well as credible scientific research to back his arguments, that he shows in a completely different light to those who publicly disparage him. To suggest that they are ‘debating’ in any true sense is a joke. He has noted himself that the way to fight back when they attack him as an individual, or anyone who dares to speak out against the SJWs on any level, is to expose each of them publicly as individuals themselves, to bring their individual names and comments into the public forum. It incenses me that they seem to have impunity to say the most damaging, malicious and threatening things against Dr. Peterson verbally and in social media, yet no one is calling them to account. The disgusting childish behavior and if I may add, the disturbing feel of mental imbalance in the vitriol posted against him by one of the U of T’s professors on their twitter account, @binary smasher, would be considered hate speech, uttering threats and slander in any other circumstance.

    Why is U of T not calling to task its own faculty when they spew this type of dangerous and embarrassing information in their public social media sites? Do we really need to send our children, the next generation to shape and run the planet, through such an ideological meat grinder as these campuses seem to have been turned into? Is it not better, by far, to consider online associate degrees wherever applicable, in order to earn the accreditation needed for a career without the infliction of this kind of nonsense? We are shaping the future of the world, and our children need to form their own belief patterns, and their own ability to think critically and move in their own strength into the world, and professors such as Dr. Peterson both recognize and support that.

    Dr. Peterson, the gift of your courses posted on Youtube have been an amazing gift to the many, many people who have commented how being able to audit your courses through these videos has changed their thinking, their lives and improved the way they deal with people. I am among them and will be forever grateful to have received this gift of knowledge. For that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    I want to say one last thing. This mindless SJW machine that is bend on divisiveness, bullying, cowardice, cruelty and shame, all the things they claim to be fighting against yet are promoted by them continuously, will in the end devour you. I urge you to take some time to formulate the next phase of your valuable career in a much healthier (and saner) arena where your talents and your convictions can continue to inspire and teach, unimpeded by this nightmare they have created.

    Back in the early 70s David Bowie wrote a song that some have commented may be the finest 9 minutes of his career, and that is saying a lot. I always think of you and your work studying the totalitarian systems of the twentieth century when I listen to it. Those who would enjoy this, you can easily find it in Youtube, it is Cynet Committee by David Bowie.

  • Michael Botner

    I am with you, Dr. Peterson. You are so courageous to debate the gender squad who are out to crucify those who dare to tell the truth.

  • I found this debate frustrating. A debate should drill down to find agreed-upon truths, and build up from there to identify precise disagreements. Here, it seemed that all parties talked past each other for hour and a half. Peterson talked about the scary implications of codification of “social constructionism” into law; X talked about how the law was unremarkable and just an incremental (horizontal) extension of anti-discrimination law; and Y basically spent the whole time asserting Peterson’s ignorance and questioning his credibility. There were only a few points at which the speakers were clearly discussing the same thing, and it was only in passing.

    I have some suggestions for Dr. Peterson that I think would make future discussions more productive. They involve shifting the argument away from the speculative and towards the concrete:

    First, soften the comparisons to totalitarian regimes. Your frequent references to communist dictatorships are difficult to evaluate for laypeople. I, like most listeners, do not know very much about the details of Soviet Russia. When you warn us that’s where we’re heading, it sounds scary– but it also sounds like it might be paranoid ravings. It’s also inherently speculative and therefore easy to dismiss for anyone on the other side.

    Second, I think you focus too much on the psychology of your opponents. This is extremely murky, subjective territory. You might be correct about the psychology behind “the PC game”, and the power cravings of “PC authoritarians”. I personally think it’s a fascinating topic and I find your analysis insightful. But I’m already sympathetic to your message, and already have a visceral dislike for social justice warriors. You don’t need to win me over. Just like apocalyptic projections, imputed ill motives are speculative and can therefore always be ignored, laughed off, or denied.

    I would replace these topics with emphasis on answering the following questions: Is expression of the truth is being criminalized? If so, which truths specifically, and by what specific statutes? Without projecting too far into the future: What are the likely consequences of criminalizing this expression, and why? How are these restrictions categorically different than other, existing restrictions on speech?

    All that said, I have great respect and appreciation for Dr. Peterson. We need more people like him pushing back against the censorious creep of “social justice”. If you read this Dr. Peterson, please know that I’m inspired by your courage.

  • Kevin

    Hey Jordan, you were great again. i always find you fascinating to listen to. i know this must be a crazy difficult time for you, but just a friendly reminder – make sure you take care of yourself first. you’re looking a little haggard these days.

  • Chilling display. Chilling.

    What did we learn from Crossman? Should you fail to pay any fine you may lose your income, possessions, and home… dependent upon the level of fine imposed… but you will not be physically-incarcerated and will retain your ownlife. So boo… and quit yer gripin’. Of course you might possibly lose your job and license but hey… that’ll learn ya, right?

    What did we learn from Bryson? Actually nothing but a smorgasbord of newspeak garnished with word-salad… hollow, meaningless, and thoroughly intellectually-dishonest drivel… replete with lofty self-reflecting bellyfelt goodthinks and snide ad hominems. She contributed nothing of substance but she did eat up some time while doing so. Doubleplusgood tactic.

    Thank you for your valid and pertinent points, delivered with integrity and expressed with passion. Thank you for promoting awareness and provoking thought. Thank you for your voice and stance.

    I wish you all the very best.

    • Sean Doherty

      In fact, Crossman was lying. One simple example is for non payment of child support. The whey they bypass this is by charging one with breach of a court order. They may destroy your life first, but jail is not out of the question.

      One thing that intrigued me was her admission of social constructs. The law of course is one of these social constructs which in its simplest form provides for a monopoly of violence. Meaning the governments of Canada, regardless of level, now consider verbal offence a justifiable use of force.

      The human rights of the person accosted by these farcical tribunals clearly don’t matter. The law may seem innocuous in its wording, though in practice is a completely different monster.

  • Lars Pedersen

    I was deeply disturbed by the invocation of “post-truth” in defencs of THEIR argument…my god, how is such bare-faced, palpable hypocrisy even possible? “… debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored.” That is the basic definition of post-truth. It was completely clear that that is what was being done to you by your opponents, yet they accused you of it?!!! I felt that right in the gut…my whole stomach knotted up at the shamelessness of it.

    I hope you survive this evil professionally. If you start up a fighting fund, I would be happy to help.

    • K McGill

      Here’s a way you can support Dr. Peterson financial, to allow him to speak, even at the risk of reprimand from the UofT (agent of the state).

  • Eric

    Professor Peterson, Thank you!

    As I watched the debate, it had become apparent that the university of Toronto has become morally bankrupt. Canada has become authoritarian in its embrace of social justice nonsense.

    I felt like I was watching a soviet show trial.

    How can we win? Many folks resist truth and evidence – no mater how clear and how available just because it doesn’t fit the SJW world view. I feel like these SJW folks and apologists are trapped in their ideologies, and I don’t know how to wake them up.

    We need tools to wake them. Or to shame them and their supporters for their moral failure.

    Thank you and stay strong. You are an inspiration and have given me strength to speak. A true person of the west.

    Stay strong
    Stay strong
    Stay strong

  • Mark

    Courageous work Professor Peterson. Typically knowledgeable, articulate and raising the right questions, unlike your comparatively clueless opponents. Unfortunately, I get the impression they intend to remain that way. I say unfortunately, because, these people have got themselves into a position where they can forcably impose a phantasm on others as a substitute for truth and reality. We are living in very dangerous times. I put my hand up, like yourself, never to substitute falsehood for truth.

    • Maria

      For John Graham – Re item #7 – Dr. Peterson is not getting paranoid. In her ad hominem attack, when Mary Bryson mentioned Dr. Zucker, this had the glaring illocutionary force (for those who have studied Linguistics) of “Dr. Peterson, we’re coming for you next!”. And by the way Mary Bryson…. when making an honest living doesn’t work for you anymore, there’s always Mary Kay.

      • John Graham

        Hi Maria, I was playing (probably too loosely) with the usually pejorative word ‘paranoia’. I was fresh off hearing Peterson play with the word in describing Asch conformity experiments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY7a1RXMbHI&t=930s . He says if you’re the sucker in that experiment, one option is to think there’s a conspiracy against you, “which is a little on the paranoid side, but it happens to be true in this case”.

        A google search turned up an HBR article on ‘prudent paranoia’. The article quotes Freud, “The paranoid person does not project onto the sky, so to speak, but onto something that is already there.” This is a truth few families or societies want to hear: yes, there do exist conscious and/or unconscious conspiracies. Peterson’s up against a lot. It’s not hard to imagine the language of mental illness being used against him.

  • John Graham

    Hi Dr Peterson, thanks for all your work – I’m watching your 2015 Personality course (just finished the philosophical section), and it’s a transformative experience, in a good way.

    It’s fascinating how ‘Marx U’ seems to have shown its colours. Remarkable that you were accused of “post-truth claims” (ie lying?) and “hate propaganda”. That’s scary!

    I wonder how this debate would have gone, if undertaken in a Rogerian mode of everyone trying to formulate their opponent’s arguments, to their opponent’s satisfaction.

    Here are a few things I would like to see unpacked, in a more reasonable debate or otherwise.

    1) “Respect”. It has various meanings. What do we each mean by it in various contexts.
    2) “Discrimination”. Ditto.
    3) Aggression. Dr Peterson you exhibit aggression, and I’m fine with that. In the ‘safe-space’ culture, aggressive behaviour is taboo, and the escalation from an accusation of micro-aggression –> hostility —> hate —> Hate Speech, is slicker than an ice rink. Whereas Dr Peterson I think you’ve said (something along the lines of), aggression is necessary for life as an adult.
    4) Gender differences – this got laughed at – I look forward to watching your lectures on that topic.
    5) “Coming for the scientists next”. I’m sure to many listeners this will sound absurd. How can “politically correct science” be a thing? Yet I seem to recall it *was* a thing for Mao and the USSR (what about the Nazis?). I would like to hear more about this.
    6) The ‘N’-word analogy. I wanted you to answer this question. You say there *is* no analogy, but as you know, any two things have an infinite number of similarities and differences. There *is* an analogy in many people’s minds. Perhaps this needs some unpacking (longer than you had time for, I know, and I’m glad you said what you said).
    7) There were smiles when you insisted your clinical licence answer was not off-topic. I read that smile as saying, you’re this paranoid guy. And they’re right, you are getting paranoid. Doesn’t mean you’re wrong.
    8) A broader comment: understandably, your current focus is on the dangers of the PC-authoritarian left, and the Cain-Abel politics of resentment. But other people are worried about working-class resentment being exploited by a Trump-like ‘literally Hitler’ figure. I’d like to hear your thoughts on what we need to watch out for on the fascist side of things.

    Thanks again for you work and your aggressive, nonviolent action. It looks like it’s paying a toll on you physically, so thanks for the sacrifice, and thanks for putting up a fight.

    • Lars Pedersen

      As someone once said “Just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean they are not out to get you!”.

      • John Graham

        Lars, exactly!

  • Sean F O’Connor

    Thank you Dr. Peterson! Your courage to stand up for free speech is indeed inspiring. I am forever grateful for your service to the human race. You stood up for yourself today in the face of a biased moderator on an skewed platform. I stand with you and support you in your battle for freedom of speech!

  • Joyce Rilett Wood

    Joyce Rilett Wood, November 19, 2016 at 11:38 p.m.

    Right from the beginning of the debate on Bill C-16 and Canadian Human Rights Legislation, U of T professor Brenda Cossman and UBC professor of queer and feminist theory Mary Bryson declared that such a debate should have been unnecessary. There was no acknowledgement by them that such important changes in human rights legislation should be legitimate grounds for a thoroughgoing public dialogue. For Cossman and Bryson it is self-evident that Bill C-16 does not infringe on our human rights but simply protects vulnerable minorities. For them no further explanation, discussion or re-examination is needed. Instead of mounting a cogent argument, they tried to silence their opponent U of T professor Jordan Peterson by claiming his lack of knowledge of the law and ignorance of gender identity. Cossman overlooked the fact that Peterson, a clinical psychologist, regularly engages individuals on their gender issues. The most surprising statement from Peterson’s opponents was the accusation that he was spewing “hate propaganda.” To those who were actually listening, however, Peterson was clearly articulating and passionately defending his position. At the beginning of the proceedings, he forcefully argued against the strong-arm tactics of the administrators at the University of Toronto in their several attempts to silence him, instead of respecting his academic right to express his concerns. He commented on the negative implications of Bill C-16 and to its possible destructive consequences for freedom of speech, thought and critical inquiry. He convincingly argued that Bill C-16 prioritizes the rights of the minority over those of the majority by using preposterous categories of gender identity that lead to confusion rather than clarification. Drawing on his knowledge of authoritarian regimes, Peterson cautioned that legislation can appear to be innocuous but actually result in a kind of herd mentality in which conformity and obedience are expected and esteemed, while diverse views and value judgments cease to be accepted as unquestionable.

  • Dale Noonan

    Your passion is awesome. You are trying to shake sense into the senseless. Painful to watch at times. I took gender studies and was amazed to learn that biological sex had zero impact on gender. Biology as a concept was frowned upon in class, as though it was the domain of the unenlightened. The forced indoctrination was actually quite terrifying. Also, the level of victim-hood and mental anguish exhibited by the social justice warriors and third-gendered/non-gendered was palpable.

  • Andrew

    You are not alone in your views. Thank you for speaking out and articulating what many feel. I know you are risking a lot in expressing your concerns.

    It must have been painful for the U of T to put that event on. They almost apologized for doing it. Everything was stacked against you and you handled it well.

  • Robert

    Thank you Professor Peterson for standing up to a fusillade of post-modern nonsense. I agree that we are near the precipice and much of what we value in the West is at risk of becoming irrelevant. Unfortunately, it’s not just the use of pronouns that’s at stake. The toxic mix of cultural Marxism and post-modernism infects everything it touches, including our past history. We now live in a world where you are either the oppressor or the oppressed – victim, or perpetrator (and most likely the latter).

    The SJW’s believe that the ends justify the means and will not cease until our world is turned upside down. Please continue your courageous stand and know that there are literally thousands of reasonable people who support you. Your actions will inspire others to speak up, including I hope those students who mentioned they were afraid to voice an opinion in a class. How pathetic is that for such an outstanding institution as the University of Toronto? You did an outstanding job in the debate today and kept your integrity intact while facing a barrage of personal attacks and a biased, condescending moderator. Keep up the good as difficult and frustrating as it is!

  • Robert

    Hello Professor, I have not taken any of your classes but I am a student at UofT, I just want to let you know I fully support you in your fight for our freedom of speech. Leftists have gone too far and I am glad somebody as credible as you is taking a stand. Although the media is against you, you have students ready to defend you and support you! Thank you!

  • Jason

    Thank you Dr. Peterson. You have my support. I thought it telling that one of your opponents gave two different (and probably contradictory) definitions of the purpose of education and the university. In one segment, she said that education has always been about increasing equality. In the next, she said – after insulting you for not keeping up on your reading (!) – that the purpose of the university is to pursue truth and excellence. This put me in mind of the excellent article by Haidt you posted about the social justice / Marx approach to education vs. the truth-seeking / Mill approach. In this and in so many other ways, your opponents keep on proving your case for you. Well done!

  • Thank you Dr. Peterson for standing up for sanity today. I’m sorry that so few of your colleagues are coming out to support you publicly, although I’m sure you are hearing from them privately. I’m tenured and not far away from retirement, which means it’s now safe for me to come out the shadows and talk about some of the ugliness I’ve endured at the hands of SJW colleagues. I plan on writing about more of my experiences shortly.

    Mary Bryson’s part of the debate was a good reminder of why I struggled and failed to complete a minor in women’s studies at the University of Toronto. The classes were too much like daytime television with all the shallowness and emotional manipulation that implies (think Oprah and Jerry Springer). Bryson resorted to so many dumb strategies—conjuring Rushton, referencing Suzuki (a hack scientist if there ever was one), spewing ad hominem and then ending with that staple of WS101, a booming crescendo of we-are-the-world claptrap. I daresay Trinity College failed her miserably.

    When I next write about this, I will send you the link. Please take care of yourself. This looks as though it is taking a toll on you.

  • Sine Qua Non

    I wanted to let you know that you are an inspiration. You have helped me improve my well being and happiness in magnitudes with which I cannot adequately express in this post. Thank you for standing strong on free speech. Thank you for standing strong behind your ideals.

    One idea to mull over, and I fully believe that you are more capable of making the argument then me, that categorizing your argument a bit more precisely might help sway people better. For example, there are arguments being made on biology, transgender people, and PC authoritarian culture that I believe reasonable people could disagree upon and a forum should be open concerning that. However I believe, and I pray I am right, that the free speech argument and this movement to shut down your right to voice your opinion is one with which most people would agree upon given enough information. I worry people might conflate the argument against compelling speech which is despicable and your biological arguments concerning bimodal variation with few exceptions. Just one example.

    Both of them stating there unwillingness to be there, that they would rather shut down debate is disgusting. Compelling speech in and of itself is abhorrent. The only good argument made against it was the lawyer stating that the expression would have to be specific and egregious for the court to pursue. As someone studying law, I know that a good lawyer could make the case to satisfy the Oak test such that any court could reasonably find someone liable for there speech. Now we become victim to the whims of the tribunal. The class where the students were afraid their opinion was powerful, that without saying anything they show an understanding that “mistakes in speech” might be pursued legally. For the lawyer to downplay and deceive that you wouldn’t go to jail you could just lose your job, money, property would be hilarious if not knowing that a lawyer truly believes that. I think this is your strongest argument for persuading people who might disagree with you on biology and PC culture; unfortunately I believe a large number of people lose the gist of your argument when these academic ideologies are stated. Like you say, the “trans” issue is really only tangential. I’m not advising that you don’t make them but only that they are made very carefully so people understand the different arguments you are making. Perhaps I just have less faith in peoples objectivity and ability to reason then you do.

  • Atena

    Both Brenda Cossman and Mary Brysson indicated they did not like being in the debate. And it did show: they were extremely stiff, boring, hard to follow and unbearably self-righteous – perfect characters for a future political thriller masterpiece! Then, why did they participate? Do they think of themselves as heroes saving the day and deserving a medal for showing up in spite of how they felt?
    I was hoping Dr. Peterson had opponents that if not his equals were at least close to his aptitude for heavy-weight debates and intellectual height and stature. His opponents were clearly very much beneath his exceptional standards for public discourse, both in substance and style. Brysson had the audacity to treat him – one of the most well read and productive scientists in UoT and Canadian academia – like a kid who needs to “READ more”!!! This is beyond laughable!!! Can anyone take her seriously?
    And Moran, the moderator? Wasn’t she supposed to be neutral and objective? Isn’t it the job of any moderator to not take sides? Extremely disappointing performance!
    And in spite of all this Dr. Peterson’s courage, wisdom, dignity and gracefulness shone brightly and I am thankful!

  • Mark O’Loughlin

    Very interesting debate. I found one line stood out for me; the one woman stated that Jordan Petersons viewpoints should be denounced. I would think that the point of a debate would be to disprove, not denounce. Again, they just seemed to make the points that Professor Peterson has been trying to make; discuss, don’t denounce. I also find it curious that both of his opponents seemed to attack his person, not his point of view. Well done Professor Peterson!

  • Brad

    Dr. Peterson, so far you have been quite prescient. I hope that your streak runs dry, quite honestly, and regard that potential as small, sadly. You have friends south of the border who recognize the value of your work and dedication to the fundamental tenets of Western Civilization, in case you had any doubts.

  • Jimmy

    While I firmly believe that Dr. Peterson made compelling arguments, I must say the debate was poorly structured and organized: 1) Two people vs one person isn’t exactly a fair structure of the debate. In fact, he looked extremely exhausted and didn’t seem as articulate as he normally is at the latter part of the debate. 2) Neither side was given sufficient opportunities to engage in discussing disagreements. If you run a debate like this, obviously, the louder side will look like winning, especially to people who don’t pay a good attention.

    Thank you Dr. Peterson for your continuous efforts to making this happen and to defend the freedom of speech. Their attempt to paint you as a transphobic bigot is a straw man argument. It’s just a poor tactics to avoid talking about important issues that you are trying to raise, and I hope more people realized that from watching this debate.

    • Student

      Worst of all is that I want to support him but I can only do so online because I am scared of being publicly shamed for it and put my career at risk

      • Nona

        That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

      • Matt

        So true. I have a class at my university that is essentially just “Social Justice 101”. I know that transgender issues are just around the corner. I have to say, if Dr. Peterson comes up, if my professor decides to run a smear campaign (there is a very good chance), I don’t know what I’ll do. Last thing I need is for my prof and TAs to hate me

  • bruciebaby

    As a lifelong Marxist I give you my complete support in what you are doing. I disagree with your characterisation of what happened in the Soviet Union and China. Many Marxists fought against the degenerate regimes that came to power in Russia under Stalin and Mao in China. In fact many Marxists were the victims of these regimes. They weren’t genuine expressions of socialism in my opinion. I support democracy and free speech as essential human rights and necessary in order to argue for my ideas. However this proposed legislation in Canada is outrageous! You have great courage and integrity and have my solidarity.

  • Well done Professor Peterson. You remain a voice of reason and sanity in an increasingly Orwellian/Kafkaesque world. Thank you and please take care of yourself.

  • Judy Anderson

    I was also seriously turned off by the juvenile, U of T preening and virtue signalling preambles by Cameron and Moran. We were reminded by Cameron that the U of T is on Aboriginal land. OK. Then Moran reminded us of the U of T’s allegiance to “tolerance and open dialogue”: really? And, as she tossed back her lovely hair again, she gave a trigger warning about possibly disturbing content. Then she assured the audience that there was support outside the room if anyone felt they needed it. That’s a “safe space” guarantee that even kindergartners don’t get. Good grief!

  • Judy Anderson

    The women—and their distracting hair!—were subjective and grating: very juvenile as well. The two feminist opponents were, as usual, altogether humourless and ungracious: they both expressed that they’d rather not be there. (Me too!) Cossman also said that she supported those who’d boycotted the debate. Then, when a technician took ten seconds of her time to adjust the angle of her mic, of course, she smiled and said “Thank you.” Are you kidding? She frowned and snapped, “I expect this will not be taken away from my time.” What a harpie. Peterson’s sour puss opponents:

    Brenda Cossman, law professor, U of T, was altogether self-referential and arrogant with a condescending, dismissive tone: I’VE done this and I’VE done that. I’M qualified. She used personal comments and putdowns of Professor Peterson and, with dripping sarcasm, actually addressed Professor Peterson, “If you don’t pay a Human Rights [sic] Commission fine, you WON’T go to jail.” So there! (The professor had said on TVO that he’d not pay a Human Rights Commission—now called a Social Justice Commission—fine and would go to jail instead.) Cossman’s self-important assertions were overly detailed, with appeals to illegitimate authorities—progressive operatives just like herself!

    UBC Professor of queer and feminist theory, Mary Bryson: Jargon jargon, jargon. She was appalling: I actually think that her vicious slanders must be outside U of T’s own professional policies. In fact, the atrocious lies she confidently proclaimed about Professor Peterson are, IMO, actionable. E. g., She accused him of a “total dereliction of academic responsibility” and being an “unethical” academic who “promotes ignorance and hatred”: she repeated these slanders over and over. This unattractive woman, in every respect, also said that Professor Peterson used “hate language”. Her appeal to authority for her accusations, which also implied that Peterson is racist? Wait for it . . . David Suzuki. She further accused Peterson of being wrong on the data (you idiot!) and he invited her to debate him on that. Moran tried to cut him off. And shouldn’t Moran, as moderator, have halted Bryson’s vicious, ad hominem attacks?

    Parting shot: “Moderator” Moran provided an advertisement for a trans remembrance day at 519 Church on November 20th: inappropriate, I think.

    Onward and upward, Professor Peterson! Thank you.

    • Maria

      Your observations are right on the mark Judy. Mary Bryson’s trash talk was nothing more than classical Jungian projection.

  • Somehow you speaking out makes one feel the possibility of being a little braver oneself and maybe also trying to say something, despite fearing the retribution.

  • Nicole

    So happy to have been at this debate, I would have loved to shake your hand afterwards you made a great case. Please never give up, you are inspiring so many individuals and students need someone like you to look up to as a hero of free speech.

  • Will

    Thank you very much for speaking out with such thoughtful and forceful conviction.

  • Maria

    How very telling that Dr. Bryson would not only accuse Dr. Peterson of “hate propaganda”, but that she would bring up the name of Dr. Kenneth Zucker…. I was waiting for that in the debate. Here was one of their own: a compassionate, lifelong advocate for gay and transgender rights, a leading authority on gender identity issues in children who dedicated 30 years of his life at CAMH and was shut out and thrown under the gender diversity bus. How very typical of politically correct authoritarians to demonize and devour their own. As for Dr. Bryson’s “academic/scientific peer reviews”, check out the American College of Pediatrician’s recent position statement (August 2016) on Gender Dysphoria in children:


    • Katya

      Great article, thank you for posting!!!!!!!!!!!!

      “Normality has been defined as “that which functions according to its design.”28 One of the chief functions of the brain is to perceive physical reality. Thoughts that are in accordance with physical reality are normal. Thoughts that deviate from physical reality are abnormal—as well as potentially harmful to the individual or to others. This is true whether or not the individual who possesses the abnormal thoughts feels distress. A person’s belief that he is something or someone he is not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking; at worst, it is a delusion. Just because a person thinks or feels something does not make it so. This would be true even if abnormal thoughts were biologically “hardwired.” ”

      and then the conclusion:

      “… The College recommends an immediate cessation of these interventions, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies. Healthcare, school curricula and legislation must remain anchored to physical reality. …”

      In other words, having a “gender identity” that isn’t alligned with one’s biological sex is abnormal. It isn’t hate speech to say that; it’s a fact. We can be compassionate towards the people unfortunate to have this abnormality. Compassion can take the form of gender reassignment (but there’s lots to debate there as well), or accommodation (i.e. playing along to a man’s idea that he’s a woman, or vice versa, – by pretending that he really is a woman). But we shouldn’t have to pretend it’s normal.

      And teaching children that there’s a “gender continuum” is crazy. We can teach them that everybody is different, and some people are abnormal in different ways (e.g. different physical appearances, different ability levels, different health levels, and different levels of psychological health) and that everybody should be treated with compassion. But compassion doesn’t mean abnormality should be encouraged or promoted as a choice that a person can make.

  • Jake

    The person on the right DID denounce Dr Peterson, and I thought that was scary. It was a very popular word in Soviet Russia.Much of what Dr Peterson has been saying came true today. The person in the middle said, more or less,it’s law now so get used to it.

    Dr Peterson is on a hiding to nothing here.

    Show trial.

  • sarina singh

    Thank you Dr. Peterson. You are an inspiration, sadly, there are so few of you around. It was an honour to be present at the debate today, your passion was palpable.


  • Clare

    Thank you for this debate. You won hands down! Thank goodness. Your opponent(s), including the rather biased moderator, kept bringing up straw men such as confusing racism with free speech.
    Without free speech, we are not a democracy. I would rather hear what a person is thinking in the form of speech, even if I disagree or it is factually incorrect, so that I can argue with them and possibly change their mind.
    And why should we be forced to use those crazy neologisms like zir and zem, especially when most trans people themselves want to be known as he or she? Whether we like it or not, we are gender binary and so are all mammals except for the very few who are hermaphrodites.

  • Though this debate was couched in gender rights, I agree with Dr. Peterson that gender issue here is a tangential issue. The real debate is much deeper and is the basis for all that Western society holds to be self-evident rights. Rights that can not be given by the state, but are endowed in the very nature of all humans.
    I, along with many others, stand with you Dr. Peterson. It pains me to see the excoriation that you had to endure, though I suspect that was the entire reason for this discussion. It is always how the thought police liked to act. They feel safer and justified when they can publicly call out the witch, the only thing missing here were the torches and pitchforks. I am sorry that you had to be held up to them like this, and am glad that you have many supporters and a strong family that will do what we can to protect and help you.

  • Bill Staley

    Jordan Peterson you are a national hero. I watched the interview with you on the Rubin Report and it was the most inspirational message I have ever received. Your Pinocchio analogy made me weep.

  • Coltin

    What a disingenuous and one-sided debate. Dr. Peterson, you held your own while three indoctrinated PC professors attempted to debase your claims. It is clear now that this “forum” was an ambush set up to smear your reputation. The attack against your clinical psychology background was particularly angering. You sir, did a great job. I especially enjoyed your response on compassion,M debunking the idea that is the most important value in society. Compassion at all costs, even if it restricts individual’s freedom, is such a dangerous idea precisely because it appears to be good intentioned. Truly, this is what the progressive left now believes, and it will be hard to tear that belief from their ideology

    The battle for free speech is far from over. You stand in the front lines, and give millions of people, who believe in the right to speak freely, a voice. Do not stop this fight. We are with you.

  • Thank you Prof Peterson for your presentation and excellent definition of free speech, which I agree with.
    Wishing you all success in your deliberations on this matter.​

  • Lorne Carmichael

    I think Bryson epitomised everything that Dr Peterson (you) have been saying is the problem with letting Gender Studies be taught at universities.

    Gender Studies has been around for so long now that it has developed its own academic journals and conferences and awards, and the people in the field now believe quite honestly that they deserve the same respect as people from other disciplines that also have conferences, peer reviewed journals, and awards. Bryson was distinctly miffed that her qualifications were not being taken seriously. “I’m the expert on gender here! You should all listen to me!”

    People in Gender Studies believe that gender is a social construct. Gender Studies produces research, peer reviewed by other gender studies professors, that says “There is no definitive proof that biological sex has any impact on gender.” So, they conclude, it’s OK to continue believing that gender is a social construct.

    The old fashioned word for this is “apologetics”. An institution sets itself up as an orthodoxy (i.e. the Catholic Church) and then defends itself against heretical arguments by standing high on the ramparts and declaring “not proven”.

    Scientists understand that nothing is ever proven to be true. You can only prove something false. The notion that gender is entirely a social construct has been proven false – most tellingly by the Baron-Cohen experiments showing different interests between boy and girl babies who are only days old. The Scandinavian occupational segregation data that is further proof.

    My favorite line about all this comes from Steven Pinker, although it may not be his. “There is a word for those people who still believe that we are born a blank slate and that culture accounts for all that we are. The word is “childless”.”

    Another good one from the same source: “If you think that everyone should be treated the same because deep down inside everyone is the same, then you are putting your normative beliefs into a position where they might be contradicted by the facts.”

    What follows is a massive attempt to deny the facts, all so that a normative position can be maintained.

    People should be treated the same. Period. That’s a normative position. It cannot be supported or refuted by facts. But knowledge of the facts can help us to ensure that our policies do indeed treat people the same.

  • Brad

    This debate fills me with apprehension. Truth, like God, exerts its power in the long run. Lies, like the devil, exert their power in the short term. Unfortunately we all tend to live in the short term, and few live long enough to see the long term.

  • Ryan

    My family and I stand for free speech and we stand with Professor Peterson.

    Keep on keepin’ on

  • Nathan

    The (ironically named “Star”) has a wonderful article putting you on the same level as racists, without overtly stating as much.

  • Enrico Bergami

    Thank you for what you are doing. You are putting yourself in the front line and this makes you an example for your students and for those interested in mantaining western civilization functional and sane.

  • Lynda

    If they have to lie, to conflate, to misdirect, and misinform… then it means you have them beaten Jordan. Now all you have to do is keep going. For all our sakes. Thank you

  • Nona

    Looks like Professor Peterson is the only sane person left in academia. We are doomed.

    • ava

      WOW !! Here we are, again, on a planet where children are dying in deep seas and on seashores fleeing wars, and the poor, including children, who are fighting to find a piece of bread to chew on, and a bench to keep warm, and YES, THIS IS SADLY, in Canada, as much as anywhere else on Earth, and the very few who are stirring an IRRELEVANT issue of he/she or whatever else ! Every time I think we have reached a new low I get surprised with an even lower threshold ! WOW, how simply PATHETIC THIS IS ! WOW regrettably, PATHETIC THIS IS, people !

      • Cherry

        The world has a million issues and probably always will. Different people will fight different battles. Free speech is not an irrelevant issue. Not by a long shot.

  • Rhonda P. Wood

    Thank you Professor Peterson!! you spoke very well and bless you that you kept your cool. There are many more of us of the same mind but are unable to articulate as well as you can. You also bring the credibility of your profession. Please know you are not alone. You are very blessed that your family supports you in this challenging time in your life and career.