Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson shot to fame following his refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns and has become one of the most prominent public speakers in recent time.
Jordan Peterson, the self-styled “professor against political correctness”, has shared his ideas on what might crush the ideology of so-called “cultural Marxism”, a frequent target of his criticism.
Peterson is a vocal proponent of ‘equality of opportunity’, a political theory based on the idea that all people should be treated similarly, and there should be no arbitrary discrimination based on their ethnicity, religion, sex, etc.
This concept is often set in opposition to ‘equality of outcome’ — the doctrine that says that certain social groups should be given support depending on how much they need, in order to achieve greater fairness of outcomes.
The difference between the two concepts can be illustrated as follows: equality of opportunity means that men and women should have the right to run for parliamentary elections, whereas equality of outcome proponents might argue that women should be granted quotas in parliament, where they are under-represented, to achieve gender equality. For example, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau insisted that half of his cabinet members were women.
“It is my fervent hope, and optimistic belief, that the doctrine of equity contains within it so many intrinsic contradictions that it will fatally undermine the ideology of the radical left,” Peterson wrote in a piece for Canadian newspaper National Post.
“There is simply no excuse for this doctrine,” Peterson believes. He makes the case that it is oversimplified and impossible to implement due to the great diversity of social groups and self-proclaimed identities that pose a possible threat to the desired equality.
While gender quotas are commonly applied through legislation to leadership positions (such as electoral quotas in Scandinavian states or similar proposed initiatives in Australia), Peterson argues that male dominance also persists in jobs with a relatively lower status, such as electricians, construction workers, and plumbers, for instance.
“Now it doesn’t seem like mere imagination on my part that all the noise about ‘patriarchal domination’ is not directed at the fact that far more men than women occupy what are essentially trade positions,” he says.
“Nor does it seem unreasonable to point out that these are not particularly high-status jobs, although they may pay comparative well.”
“It is also obvious that none of these occupations and their hierarchies, in isolation, can be thoughtfully considered the kind of oppressive patriarchy supposed to constitute the ‘West’, and aimed at the domination and exclusion of women.”
He goes on to conclude that if the demands of leftists for gender equality were to be achieved through strict quota systems, similar measures would have to be introduced vis-à-vis an ever-growing list of social groups.
“After concentrating on sexual equity, it will be high time to consider the same set of actions implemented for equity by race and ethnicity,” he writes. “And then we will be equally obliged, morally, to concentrate on the other places where systemic prejudice is apparently self-evident: social class, age, attractiveness, disability, temperament — even perhaps education and intelligence.”
Bringing these changes about would inevitably require an enormous — and hardly feasible — bureaucratic effort, and Peterson insists that this doctrine is “inexcusable, both morally and practically”.
“It should be roundly rejected (at whatever reasonable personal cost that might be incurred) by anyone who takes the ideas of the excessive left seriously, who is concerned in any genuine sense with the increasingly destructive polarisation of our political discourse, and who wants to stand up and be counted when the radicals come knocking — or pounding — at the door.”
Peterson, who is regularly criticized by the left for his rants against identity politics and the feminist narrative, recently saw Cambridge University revoke his fellowship invitation at the Faculty of Divinity.
Cambridge officials explained that Peterson’s fellowship offer was pulled after the YouTube star was pictures standing alongside a man wearing an “I’m a proud Islamophobe” T-Shirt. Peterson said he was aware of the slogan but that the man had the right to wear the shirt if he felt like doing it.
“I think the Faculty of Divinity made a serious error of judgement in rescinding their offer to me (and I’m speaking about those unnamed persons who made that specific decision). I think they handled publicising the rescindment in a manner that could hardly have been more narcissistic, self-congratulatory and devious,” he replied.