If you’re looking for a modern day hero (and who isn’t these days?) one you should check out is Jordan B. Peterson. He is a tenured professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, and also has a clinical practice. He is a brilliant lecturer, with several insightful TEDx talks posted on youtube. I wrote about Professor Peterson last week at The Federalist, and I hope you’ll check out my piece here: “Professor Ignites Protest by Refusing to Use Transgender Pronouns.”
The thought police is after Professor Peterson because he is waging a valiant war against political correctness in Canada. The University of Toronto is challenging him to adhere to speech codes, but he is not backing down. Bravo! Check out the video below to see how aggressively anti-speech activists disrupted his attempt to talk about the importance of free expression in a free society. They fed noise into the sound system to overtake his microphone. They tried shouting him down. They pushed and shoved.
Since then, the University of Toronto Adminstration has written to Professor Peterson, essentially demanding he self-censor. But, thank God, he will not, you can watch his reply to that letter here. (Professor Peterson has a fantastic Youtube page, which you can access here. His Twitter feed is here.)
Now, the fact that Professor Peterson won’t use pronouns that play into the gender identity industry is secondary to all of this. Gender politics actually have little to do with gender or sex. Gender identity “non-discrimination” is the cover story, of course. But the primary effect — and, I believe, the purpose of gender ideology — is the disruption of language. It’s the disruption of our ability to communicate with one another on a human level. This is always the first step in thought reform, since words are basically symbols for thought. And if you think about it, pronouns serve an essential function in the structure of the English language. This structure transcends how we perceive of ourselves as individuals. The structure of language is paramount to communication. So to have unelected judges and bureaucrats dictate the structure of language — at their own whim as well as the whim of anybody and everybody else — is really a recipe for chaos and cult-like thought reform. Such schemes force citizens to self-censor before they open their mouths about even the most mundane things.
Most unsettling is how so-called “social justice warriors” swarmed Professor Peterson simply because he wanted to have an open conversation about what it means to have a real conversation. In other words, to talk about the importance of freedom of expression. Personally, I don’t believe they even understand what they are doing. They seem programmed in much the way cult recruits are programmed.
The saddest thing about the war against free speech is that it is essentially a war against friendship. If we cannot speak openly to one another, we can’t have real relationships, can we? As I’ve written before, that’s really what this power game of shutting down speech adds up to: state control of personal relationships.