Toronto professor remains undaunted in stance against ‘trans’ language amidst backlash
TORONTO, October 13, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Dissent at a free speech rally in his honor and calls for his dismissal have not deterred University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson from his passionate attack on political correctness.
Peterson expressed his thoughts on YouTube last week with three videos criticizing the federal and Ontario Liberal governments, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the U of T administration. He called them out for making it a crime or firing offense to fail to use the preferred pronouns of “trans” people who have a different gender from that corresponding to their biological sex.
In the videos, Peterson insists he’ll only use biological pronouns, describes in detail how various governments and the university are suppressing free speech, and offers for sale some 5,000 anti-PC stickers he wants sympathizers to affix to posters on university campuses carrying politically correct messaging.
This has sparked a hostile LGBT rally that claimed he denied the existence of LGBT people and demanding an apology. Several called for dismissal or disciplinary action.
But Peterson is not deterred. He begins one of the videos on YouTube with a voiceover from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: “Well, I won't back down, no, I won't back down. You could stand me up at the gates of hell. But I won't back down.”
One letter to the university from the Canadian Union of Public Employees-Queer Caucus read in part: “Professor Peterson knew or ought to have known” that his comments made “his classroom, his department and his university intimidating, hostile and offensive places for us.” The legalistic phrasing appears designed to put the professor and university on notice that they will be brought before the Ontario Human Rights Commission unless action is taken against Peterson.
Ironically, one of the events that triggered Peterson’s attack on political correctness was a new OHRC dictum making it a human rights violation against LGBT people to refuse to use the pronouns a person chooses for himself/herself.
Peterson has acknowledged that objections to the OHRC regulation or new legislation proposed by the Trudeau government in Ottawa could land him in jail.
The third event triggering his videos was the U of T human resources department requirement that all its employees take several indoctrination classes to remove their conscious and unconscious racial, sexual, and gender biases.
Peterson told LifeSiteNews that despite the protests and attempts to have him sacked he will press on. “I’ve been pleased at the support overall. There have been thousands of comments and the vast majority have been supportive. The vast, vast majority have been reasonable.”
Peterson added that he had two main points to make: First, that the governments and the university were suppressing free speech to a “very dangerous” degree when they attempt to tell people how to speak. Free speech allows conflict without violence, he said, but when speech is suppressed, then violence results because it is the only way to express dissent.
Second, he wanted to expose how “radical left-wing ideologies” play what he calls “the political correctness game,” which involves accusing the most successful people in society of achieving their success by oppressing those with less achievement.
LGBT proponents held their own rally last week and then disrupted a free speech rally on Wednesday where Peterson spoke. The protestors disconnected the rally’s sound system, drowned out the speakers with shouts and then with “white noise” from their own equipment. Finally, they set off a fire alarm to end the rally.
“Qaiser Ali,” identified by the Varsity student newspaper as “one of the organizers of last week’s [LGBT teach-in and rally,” told the paper that “the goal with the noise disruption, which is a tactic that has been used before, is not to suppress anyone’s free speech but rather not to take some speech lying down. These people were yelling homophobic slurs, transphobic slurs, referring to us as ‘things’ and ‘its’ — we were hoping to make that a little harder to hear.”
A petition in support of Peterson was launched on CitizenGo. As of Wednesday evening, it had gathered 4,686 signatures.
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