I stand in solidarity with Jordan Peterson

After watching the reprehensible display of puerile conduct at McMaster University during Professor Jordan Peterson’s debate, the only thing one can do of a reasonable mind-state is watch in aghast as you slowly see the fundamental institutions which have made our country so great, slowly erode under the stifling guise of tolerance and diversity.

What appears to have once been the very bedrock which produced and groomed some of our great thinkers and intellectualists now apparently represents a shell of what it once stood for.

In allowing actions like these to take place, university executives are obsequiously bowing to those people who vociferously exclaim frivolous viewpoints in order to stifle (moderate) differentiating opinions.

In their meek acquiescence and compliance, these executives are granting these groups the precedence to commit such actions, which in turn, allows their soapboxing to ultimately supersede the right of those who wish to actually familiarize themselves with education and knowledge – the very thing our universities proclaim to be the purveyors of.

People attend university to learn.  Most students don’t attend university to subject themselves to hyper-partisan raucousness.

Indeed, why is it that whenever Canadian universities seem to turn up in the news cycles – it usually is because it has something to do with a protest or stifling opinions?  Whether it be Ezra Levant, the abhorrent actions of Palestinian anti-apartheid week supporters, the walkout of students from Holocaust Education Week and now the shouting down of rather moderate views of Professor Jordan Peterson, it seems that many students at our universities are perverting the idea of what our institutions once stood for – free speech.

Feverishly pushing a single viewpoint while alienating opposing ones, was something done in Communist states like Hungary.  Government officials would force its schools to propagate communism, all the while indoctrinating students with anti-capitalist propaganda.

In Hungary, thousands were killed and thousands more were arrested during the protests that took place throughout the 1950’s.

Conversely, in the case of our universities in Canada – albeit, there was a lot of focus put into promoting capitalist and western values – people still had the privilege and resources to decide, and come to the decision as to whether or not they agreed with the current system in place.

Certainly, many students in Canada would partake in protests against capitalism and they had the right to do so.  Although some might have disagreed with what they were doing, it still separated us from the communists.  It encompassed our freedom of expression and freedom of speech.

Indeed, that is the beauty of our academic institutions.  We have the resources and the professors who teach us the systems in place, and through this knowledge, it is up to us, to think for ourselves and come to our own decision as to what is right and what is wrong.  Viewpoints are not to be forced down our throats at universities, that is the antithesis of university education.  In the case of transgender pronouns, perhaps, in time, we will grow to use gender-neutral pronouns.  If these groups present their viewpoints logically and rationally, perhaps some will voluntarily choose to adapt their beliefs.  It may even turn into the established norm, and people will start using them and perhaps, those who don’t will be relegated to the fringes and chastised for doing so.

However, regardless if that transpires, it should still be well within our fundamental rights to choose to refer to someone as a ‘he’ or a ‘she’.  Furthermore, Professor Peterson should be afforded the platform to express his viewpoints, and should not be subjected to such chaos and insanity. Certainly, those students who opposed Peterson have the right to do what they did, however they should be shamed by the university for doing so and any university funding should be reprieved.

Professor Jordan Peterson, who ardently opposes Bill C-16, is fundamentally expressing his right to free speech by voicing his displeasure about the bill, along with refusing to abide with the laws should it pass.  Peterson is, or at least should be, afforded the right to do that in our liberal democracy.  This is not a matter of hate speech or transphobia.  Peterson’s detractors brand him as transphobic in order to delegitimize him and his arguments.

Bill C-16 serves to introduce a legislative framework that imposes upon us a certain matter of speech.  When the government is forcing us to say something, or conversely when the government is forcing us to not say something, it seems that these actions are counter-intuitive and regressive, not progressive.

In the case of Bill C-16, refusing to refer to someone in accordance with their ‘gender identity‘ is discriminatory, and can therefore result in a fine.  Refusal to pay this fine can result in consequences like jail-time.

Simply said, the vague claims made towards tolerance and discrimination, do not and should not supersede the rights of free speech. Especially in the case of using ‘he’ or ‘she’, these are certainly not incendiary or hateful terms.  To say otherwise is misguided and subversive.

Professor Peterson is well within his rights to do what he is doing, and in this case, he is representing a worthy cause.  For this I unequivocally support Jordan Peterson in his right to refrain from using said gender-neutral pronouns.

About Jake Beaumont 58 Articles
BA in Media Studies from the University of Guelph. Graduated from the University of Guelph-Humber with a Diploma in Journalism. Former Research Analyst for Honest Reporting Canada. Published in the Huffington Post, Vancouver Province and many other newspapers across Canada. Specializes in Middle-East politics. Currently situated in Toronto.

1 Comment

  1. You say, “Certainly, those students who opposed Peterson have the right to do what they did,”

    I think you are factually incorrect, and that they broke several laws, as well as violating the right of all the other attendees’ right to listen.

    Freedom to protest: from PEN Canada: Can I be Arrested for Protesting?

    You can be arrested for breaking any law at a protest, but some of the more common ones are below.

    Protesters are often arrested for:

    * Causing a disturbance – this can include loud fighting, shouting, swearing, chanting, or singing in a public place, as well as annoying or getting in the way of other people in a public place. Causing a disturbance can be punished with six months in prison or a $5,000 fine.

    * Common nuisance – this includes stopping people from exercising/enjoying their rights or endangering the lives, safety or health of the public. Common nuisance can be punished by up to two years in prison.

    * Mischief – this includes destroying or damaging any kind of property. Mischief includes making property dangerous or useless (like smashing windows or slashing tires), making property difficult to use, **or getting in the way of any person who wants to use it.** Mischief can be punished by a life sentence if you endanger someone’s life. Mischief that damages property the value of which exceeds $5,000 can be punished by up to 10 years in prison or a $5,000 fine.

    * Conspiracy (to commit one of the offences above) – Even if you personally are not involved in any criminal activity, there is a risk that the police will charge you with “conspiracy to commit …” if you were involved in planning or organizing a protest during which unlawful acts were subsequently committed.


    Finally, in private property / buildings, owners and staff may tell anyone to leave at any time for any non-discriminatory reason (eg no racism, see human rights), and refusal to leave is criminal trespass. This is why mall security can kick you off their property and permanently ban you, and there is no way to argue. In public universities, your mileage may vary, but I have ZERO doubt the staff have wide latitude to kick out anyone being in the slightest bit disruptive, and failure to comply would easily reach the threshold of criminal trespass.

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