By Michael Chen
University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson managed to ignite a firestorm of controversy by uploading just one YouTube video.
The video in question was an hour-long lecture on political correctness, wherein Peterson discussed his objections to the Liberal government’s ongoing efforts to pass Bill C-16, legislation, which would extend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code discrimination and hate crime laws to also include gender identity.
Peterson argued that gender identity, as described in the law, was too loosely defined, making the bill subject to abuse. In an interview with the CBC, he also expressed a refusal to use a person’s preferred pronouns if they weren’t he or she, which he explained as a desire to avoid using words that have been “created for ideological purposes.”
In the wake of these comments, Peterson has been criticized and lauded in equal measure. Media outlets like the Toronto Sun have come out in support of the professor, decrying the left wing’s “trendy buzzwords,” whilst other pundits like the Toronto Star have flat-out stated that Peterson is wrong.
Like many hot-button issues in today’s world, be it gun control, religious liberty or race relations, the issue of political correctness and gender identity is highly divisive.