I came across a video of Jordan Petersen speaking about how it is not safe to speak up. I knew nothing about him before this, but his words resonated with me, especially as somebody who has been oppressed and told to shut up because I was female and in a misogynistic cult. Even more importantly, I have been abused for speaking up after I left the cult, because who was I? Just a woman. Interestingly, I was also abused for the way I wrote my blog, for not being easily manipulated by people who just wanted to use me for their own designs, and also abused because I was not falling into line by other ex-cult women who likewise, figured I should be there for their benefit. It was very important to me to hear this message from admittedly, a non-Christian conservative. Petersen’s views are so akin to conservative Christian views, especially the biblical view of the nature of man that I pray this man will one day find the God who created him and so he will have even more courage and power with which to withstand the onslaught.
I just want to include this excerpt from a blog post about Petersen from a writer of the “LifeSite”. It covers the details of Jordan Petersen’s rise to public notoriety.
Most of my readers will be familiar with Dr. Peterson’s story. A professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, Peterson became an overnight sensation when he released several videos on his YouTube account, explaining why he opposed Bill C-51, which purported to enshrine legal protections for transgender people into Canadian law. In reality, Peterson pointed out, these laws could be used to police speech — and even worse, could compel people to use the recently-invented “transgender pronouns” for those who refuse to identify as either male or female such as “ze” or “zir.” Such infringements on such an essential right were unconscionable, said Peterson, and he would not be using those pronouns regardless of what the state demanded of him.
The reaction to Peterson’s videos was at first predictable. He was accused of violence by a fellow panelist on The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Transgender activists insisted he was a bigot and a transphobe. His university sent him a letter warning him that his refusal would violate the rights of transgender people. Media outlets pilloried him as a man using his position to express his hatred, and quoted progressives and LGBTQ activists saying the same thing. It looked as if the standard media-lynching we’ve seen so frequently over the past several years would again succeed — those brave souls who are willing to articulate opinions contrary to the current progressive generally run afoul of the tolerance buzz saw and see their careers and reputations destroyed, or worse.
Instead, something remarkable happened. Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, an academic who dared to stand up to the transgender lobby, didn’t get fired. He got famous. His YouTube account, where he posts his lectures and other musings, has over 355,000 subscribers. Thousands of fans flooded his Patreon account with donations, from which he now earns over $30,000 a month from over 5,000 fans. He became one of the most on-demand interviewees from Sam Harris’ podcast to Steven Crowder’s YouTube show, among dozens of other media outlets. Even a photographer’s photo essay of Peterson at his Toronto home accrued over 300,000 hits in a matter of days. For the first time in a very long time, an academic stood up to the politically correct progressive lobby — and won.
Dr. Peterson’s success is even more remarkable when you consider the positions he articulates. Abortion, he said in response to one question, is “clearly wrong.” Pornography is “deadening” and men should stop watching it. Young men need to “grow up” and get their lives together. Young people should pursue children and marriage. Even more than that, he warns his audiences that they are not good people — that each of them harbors demons within, and that this fact should drive them to become better people. None of this would have been particularly radical fifty or so years ago. In 2017, it’s as if Peterson is taking a machine gun to a field of sacred cows — and yet, his popularity only grows.
Here is the transcript of Petersen’s Youtube video, which you can watch at this link
One way of conceptualising yourself is that you are one speck of dust among seven billion and you might think ‘what difference does it make what I say or do’. And that’s actually quite convenient for you because if it doesn’t matter what you say or do then you don’t have any responsibility and you can do whatever you want.
The price you pay for that is a bit of nihilism but if you don’t have to shoulder any responsibility that’s a small price to pay.
The other way of looking at it is that you are a node in a network. You can do a bit of arithmetic and work out how powerful you are. Let’s say you know a thousand people. They know a thousand people. This means you are one person away from a million people and two persons away from a billion people. And you are the centre of that network. Now the way that networks work is that information propogates in a network manner. So don’t underestimate the power of your speech.
Western culture is phallogo centric. It is predicated on the idea of the logos. That the logos is the sacred element of the culture. It means that your capacity for speech is divine. Its the thing that generates order from chaos, and sometimes turns pathological order into chaos when it has to. Don’t underestimate the power of truth. There is nothing more powerful.
Now in order to speak what you regard as the truth, you have to let go of the outcome. You have to think “I am going to say what I think, stupid as I am, biassed as I am, ignorant as I am, I am going to state what I think as clearly as I can and I am going to live with the consequqences no matter what they are” That is an element of faith. The idea is that nothing brings a better world into being than the stated truth. Now you might have to pay a price for that, but that’s fine. You are going to have to pay a price for everything you do and everything you don’t do. You don’t get to choose not to pay a price. You get to choose which poison you are going to take. So if you are going to stand up for something, stand up for your truth. It will shape you. Because people will respond and object and tell you why you are a fool and a biassed moron and why you are ignorant and then if you listen to them, you will be just that much less like that the next time you say something. If you do that for five years you will be so damned tough and articulate and able to withstand pressure you won’t even recognise yourself. Then you will be a force to be contend with. And you don’t get to wait until you get tenure etc.
Its almost impossible to provide people with enough protection that they feel safe to speak. Ok, so we’ll address that. It is not safe to speak. And it never will be. But the thing you have to keep in mind is that its even less safe not to speak. Its a balance of risks. Do you want to pay the price for who you are and your stated mode of being in the world or do you want to pay the price for being a serf, one that has enslaved him or herself. Well that’s a major price man, that thing unfolds over decades and you will just be a miserable worm at the end of about 20 years of that. No self-respect, no power no ability to voice your opinions, nothing left but resentment because ‘everyone is against you’ because of course you’ve never stood up for yourself.
Say what you think carefully, pay attention to your words. Its a price you want to pay if you are willing to believe that truth is the cornerstone of society in the most real sense if you are willing to take that leap then tell the truth and see what happens. Nothing better could possibly happen to you. There will be ups and downs and there will be push-back and there will be controversy but it doesn’t matter. The truth is what redeems the world from hell. And that’s the truth. We have seen plenty of hell over the last hundred years. We ahven’t learned a thing from it. Wake up. Tell the truth, tell the truth. Or at least don’t lie and that’s a start. And you’ve got to understand, that’s a risk.
I said what I had to say back in September and I am sure that I could have done it better, and many people have told me how I could have done it better although it didn’t mean that they would actually do it. And you know my job was at serious risk for about two months and it destabilised my family who have been very brave about this, so thumbs up to them man, they’ve stood by me. But here’s the optomistic news. The University has left me alone completely. I shook hands with the dean about two weeks ago we are on friendly terms, they don’t want this to go any further than it has already. The students were tremendously welcoming when I came back to teach in January. I haven’t had a single negative incident at the university. And I have received thousands of letters from all over the world, all of which have been in support. I have received two negative letters, two , that’s it. People have an inchoate longing to have this sort of thing that we are talking about articulated. So don’t be thinking you are alone. Its just that people can’t talk, they are afraid to talk, or they don’t know what to say. So, if you are reasonably articulate start talking and sharpen yourself up. The enemy is a cloud of gnats. They are only courageous in groups, in mobs. If you stand your ground and don’t apologise and articulate things properly, they’ll disperse around you like they are not even there. So most of its illusion. So be afraid, but be afraid of the right thing and the thing to be afraid of is not saying what you say because its the same as not being. Here you are suffering away, you might as well be at the same time, at least then there is something to you.