fbpx
23/02/2020 The magazine by Communication Science students of the UvA

What’s the deal with Peterson?

Room for Discussion hosted Jordan Peterson, psychologist and author. Who is he? And what made his appearance so newsworthy. Medium helps you find out.


Last Wednesday, Room for Discussion of the University of Amsterdam invited famous psychologist and author of the critically acclaimed self-help book 12 Rules for Life: An antidote to chaos’ Jordan Peterson to speak on the topic of ‘society in crisis’ for their lustrum week. The event did not go unnoticed and ended up causing quite a bit of commotion.Who is Jordan Peterson and what made his appearance at the Room for Discussion such a newsworthy event? Medium Magazine is here to give you the scoop!

Who is Jordan Peterson?
Let me give you a quick recap: Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto. Peterson has been sharing his ideas on life for years, either through YouTube videos of his lectures filmed by his students or by answering questions on the popular user-based forum Quora, like this particularly famous one. This Quora answer spread like wildfire and inspired him to write his book ’12 rules for life’, which was published last January. Around the time Peterson wrote the what would later become draft version of 12 Rules for Life on Quora, Canada passed a new law: the c16 law. The c16 law is a law that basically states that it is punishable by law to discriminate anyone on the basis of their gender identity and/or gender expression. This includes refusing to use the preferred gender pronoun of the individual in question. Peterson criticized the law, stating that the government threatening him with criminal prosecution for not using someone’s preferred gender pronoun is limiting his freedom of speech and thus constitutes censorship.

‘Conservative, patriarchal, anti-feminist’
It was this response to the Canadian law which really put Peterson in the limelight and brought his ideas to a whole other landscape: The political one. A lot of Peterson’s approaches to certain topics are considered to at least somewhat challenge the worldview of left-leaning liberals. His words are often taken out of context and used by far right-wing movements to justify certain extreme behaviours, such as discrimination. This has lead to some 80 staff members of the University of Amsterdam penning an open letter, requesting the Room for Discussion to invite another guest speaker to oppose Peterson’s ideas, as they view his worldview to be too radical and state him to be ‘conservative, patriarchal (…) and anti-feminist’ among many other things.  This fierce response to news of his guest appearance brought up fears of violent protests during his talk.

See you there, cowards
Peterson has responded to the letter on his website. Among other things, he flames the staff members for speaking on behalf of others, stating that students are interested in hearing what he has to say and have come to hear him speak, not some other randomly chosen guest speaker. He also refutes their claims that his ideas are based on pseudo-science, showing of his status in the academic world by referring to his credentials in teaching at university level and the countless scientific articles he has written. He ends the letter by calling out all the people that signed the letter as follows:’ See you in Amsterdam, you cowards, denouncers and totalitarian wannabes.’

The bottom line
Despite fears of a protest with perhaps dangerous consequences taking place, the Room for Discussion did not budge and did not invite another guest speaker to sit opposite Jordan Peterson. Instead, they opted to have an extra 20-minute Q&A session at the end of his speech. The discussion went by surprisingly well and peacefully, with no major offenses taking place during. People opposing Peterson’s worldview were given the right to protest silently, by being allowed to hand out pamphlets to the audience explaining why they are so against his ideas. Peterson himself expressed his regret at the fact that many of his ideas are used in a political context, while he’s mainly speaking from a psychological point of view. In regard to how to deal with a society in which it is so easy to receive political backlash from the smallest mishap in your speech and/or writing, he advised the audience to learn to write well and to not take the academic field of humanities for granted. At the end of the day, what matters is that we give each other space to have an insightful discussion. If you oppose someone’s views, at least make sure you have listened to all their points and considered them carefully, coming from themselves. It is only than that we can have a meaningful discussion and actually learn from each other.

Cover: Folia / Final Editing: Ivo Martens

Reacties

reacties

Related Posts

Fake News and the Coronavirus: How the Media verbalize Xenophobia in the New Decade

22/02/2020

22/02/2020

As the Coronavirus spreads so do the misinformation and fake news that lead to xenophobia around the globe. Stephanie writes about her own experience as an Asian student abroad.

Becoming Your Own Life Coach – Living an Enriched Life

21/02/2020

21/02/2020

The series of Becoming Your Own Life Coach reaches its second chapter. Andrada reflects on the applied knowledge of the first book of the series and reviews a second one.

The Road to Acceptance of Queer Women in Media Representation

19/02/2020

19/02/2020

Acceptance or fetishization? This article takes a critical look at the way the media portrays lesbians and their relationships.

Medium Podcast #8 – Jade’s Pact

14/02/2020 and

14/02/2020

The month in which Jade stopped using smartphones and developed a texting twitch (Parents beware).

Personal Ads: Who needs Cupid?

14/02/2020

14/02/2020

From personal ads to dating apps, people have advertised themselves to find the best suitor. Medium tells you why cupid is out of business.

Parasite wins Best Picture without an ’English-speaking’ host

13/02/2020

13/02/2020

Parasite makes history at the 92nd Academy Awards by being the first non-English speaking film to win Best Picture, defeating eight other competing English-language movies. Danny tells us why Parasite deserved to win.

A day in the life of the FSR FMG’s official secretary

13/02/2020

13/02/2020

Have you ever wondered what the secretary of the FSR FMG does? Meet Robin while she tells about her job! The job that currency has a vacancy, so check it out!

“Trust the child within you”: Interview with Francis Alÿs

Medium interviewed Francis Alÿs, director of "Sandlines", which premiered in Europe at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam. His work is currently being exhibited at the Eye Film Museum in Amsterdam.

Black tie: A guide on formal attire

12/02/2020

12/02/2020

Your next formal event is coming up and no idea what to wear? Then this article is the perfect guide in what to wear in ‘black tie’ to the next formal event.  

The Lessons of a Mercurius Sales Committee Member

10/02/2020

10/02/2020

Have you ever wondered what the Sales Committee of the study association Mercurius exactly does? Margarete gives you an insight into the useful skills she has developed as part of the committee.

Vienna: City of dreams

10/02/2020

10/02/2020

The Austrian capital is a worldwide famous destination with all sorts of architecture, museums, and landmarks to visit. If you are an art or history lover, a foodie, or you just get a thrill out of traveling to a new place; Vienna is the place for you!

AMFI-film screening 2020: Student works of art about fashion and identity

09/02/2020 and

09/02/2020

Medium had the opportunity to attend the 2020 Fashion Film Screening & Photo-exhibition created by AMFI students. This was our take.

‘Taylor Swift: Miss Americana’: How The Pop Supernova Found Her Voice

07/02/2020

07/02/2020

Emma analyses 'Miss Americana,' the documentary about Taylor Swift. In this, Swift narrates her life as a pop star and a woman in her 20's.

Vegan for a month: a new veganning or a big missed-steak?

07/02/2020

07/02/2020

Dry-January not quite your thing? Maybe give veganism a go. Gabby explores veganism for herself, and leaves us with some tasty tips!

Afgeserveerd voedsel wordt steeds meer uitgeserveerd

06/02/2020

06/02/2020

Steeds meer initiatieven richten zich op het tegengaan van voedselverspilling. En dat is maar goed ook, want jaarlijks verdwijnt een derde van al het voedsel in de vuilnisbak.

mersin escort mersin escort mersin escort canlı tv konya escort