University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson is fast becoming Canada’s free speech crusader: he’s been reprimanded by his university for failing to use politically-correct speech and threatened by self-appointed language Gestapo students who demand gender neutral speech.
Peterson, a clinical psychologist, has become a magnet for controversy between those defending academic freedom and the prevailing leftist environment of academia that emphasizes microaggressions, white privilege and manufactured pronouns for students who pretend they are neither truly male nor female but “self-identifiers.”
That dichotomy was apparent at the professor’s last two speaking engagements. He was virtually harassed by an virulent mob on Friday night at Hamilton, Ontario’s McMaster University while uproariously celebrated at Western University, located down the road in London, Ontario, the next day. More than 700 wildly enthusiastic students — many wearing “Make America Great Again” ballcaps from the Donald Trump campaign — made it standing room only in the natural sciences building.
Popular political pundit Rex Murphy has dubbed Peterson “a real professor” among so many effete and craven academics who refuse to question the verbal assumptions of the transgender movement.
Peterson can usually anticipate his speeches being interrupted by angry feminists or transgenders with loud diatribes to deliver, but at Western the only breaks in his presentation occurred when students rose to their feet in applause.
He attacked Bill C-16, another of the Trudeau government’s attempts at social re-engineering that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. Calling the legislation replete with “false claims,” he said, “You can’t make false facts law.”
When he called any legislation that tried to enforce equity “reprehensible,” he brought the house down.
Even some of the students who showed up to protest the professor’s speech, were almost won over. Tylar Ingles, describing himself as transitioning from woman to man, told Postmedia, “I was ready to disapprove of him, but pretty much everything he said I agreed with. Everything he said was well thought out. I am female-to-male transgender, I have spoken to people about him and people are really against him. I wanted to see what he had to say. I did not want to make assumptions based on what others say.”
Peterson refuted claims that he is “transphobe” as “absurd,” saying he has support among transgendered people who agree with his free speech principles.
Julien Bondy came to hear Peterson of Saturday after she couldn’t do so the day before in Hamilton.
“I did not expect the talk to go this way. I am from McMaster and we had a huge protest yesterday,” he said. “His visit lasted like, 10 minutes. It did not go well.”
Peterson reserved some of his most acidic criticism for academia, calling universities “playhouses” full of students who “bray” and professors who teach “soulless nonsense.”
He reached his audience in London.
“It was fantastic,” said Maeve Sharkey, a Western student.
“I used to be a student of his in Toronto before I transferred here, I was impressed and so happy to see so many people here respectful of him.”