February 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Over the past several months, progressive columnists have decided that they have had quite enough of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, the University of Toronto psychology professor who has ruffled post-modern sensibilities with his common-sense analysis and refusal to engage in the use of recently-invented transgender pronouns. Perhaps it is simply jealousy—Peterson has amassed an audience of millions—but the columns condemning him have been painful screeds to read, revealing the inability of their authors to understand either Peterson’s ideas or his motivations. A few of them take his work so out of context that they border on slander.
But a good question to ask Peterson’s detractors would be why? Why do they hate him so much? Why are so many liberals so determined to mock and malign him at every turn? Why do they see him as such a dangerous figure, when the impact of his work in the real world is so overwhelmingly positive?
I think, for example, that everyone would agree that there is a generation of young men in our society who are disillusioned, angry, and frustrated. Suicide, for example, is pandemic among young white men. Many of them are unemployed, most of them are hooked on pornography, and as a result their relationships are often toxic or dysfunctional. Nobody really seems to care, either—books like Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men even carry a hint of triumphalism. To even talk about “men’s issues” is to incur the rage of a thousand feminists.
But Jordan Peterson is a man who is brought to tears when discussing the plight of young men, and he desperately wants to change their lives for the better. They are flocking to him in their hundreds of thousands, seeking advice and the tools to change their lives. Thousands of them are now crediting Peterson with transforming them from angry and dysfunctional to ambitious and “getting it together.” He is swiftly becoming a father figure to a generation of men who often grew up without one.
Where is the harm in that? Don’t the snarky liberal columnists deriding Peterson and the audience he is seeking to help think that it’s a good thing that young men are finding inspiration in someone who is telling them to get off the couch, get a job, become useful, and treat people well? Isn’t the fact that Jordan Peterson is reducing the risk of suicide in many young men a good thing for us all? What these angry progressive hatchet-men flailing at Peterson’s accomplishments don’t realize is that to his audience, it rather looks like they don’t care about the fate of hundreds of thousands of young men as much as they care about winning an argument on transgender pronouns.
Taking it a step further, consider the proliferation of the #metoo movement across North America. At the root of the issue is the fact that many men, from the entertainment industries to politics, have been acting predatory, crude, disrespectful—and sometimes worse. Enter Jordan Peterson, who has been urging young men to harness their sexual instincts, to treat women with respect, and to delay sex until marriage. He’s even addressed pornography, which many believe is partially to blame for our toxic sexual culture—and many men have already decided to kick pornography and all of its ugly objectification and sexual violence out of their lives—simply because Peterson advised them to. Don’t Peterson’s attackers find that to be a positive development?
It’s even rather confusing to see how desperately progressives want inequality to exist. A prime example would be the now infamous Channel 4 interview with Cathy Newman, which has racked up more than six million views on YouTube. It is not that Newman believed that a wage gap between men and women existed that was unusual—this is part and parcel of liberal dogma. It is the fact that she so desperately wanted that to be the case. You’d think that a liberal, upon being presented with facts that indicated that a perceived inequality did not, in fact, exist, would be happy and relieved. Or at least, not offended that someone had interpreted the data differently. But no—it seems as if a wealthy television host actually wants there to be some inequality and wants to feel as if she is somehow a victim of a discriminatory system.
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson’s work and influence has, by any objective standard, been enormously beneficial. Thousands of young men are getting themselves figured out, and hundreds of thousands more are spending hours listening to complex academic lectures on how to become better people. Peterson is single-handedly robbing the alt-right of angry young white men by presenting them with the option of becoming better people rather than succumbing to identity politics. And he is championing loving, respectful relationships between men and women.
You’d think that was something that people could get on board with. You’d think that progressives would see Peterson’s work as a good thing. But instead, simply because he refuses to subscribe to the postmodernism that they hold so dear, because he refuses to be compelled into saying things he does not believe, the progressives attack and slander him with all they’ve got. After all, who cares about all the young men that find Peterson’s work transformative. The progressives had written them all off already, anyway.