In light of his controversial comments, professor Jordan Peterson wrote an opinion piece for The Hill on October 18 warning the U.S about similar legislation like that of Canada’s Bill C-16, specifically those regarding gender-neutral pronouns.
In an email to The Medium, Peterson referred to his piece on The Hill, an American political website informing readers of news in Congress and the White House.
In his piece, “Canadian gender-neutral pronoun bill is a warning for Americans,” Peterson wrote, “Bill C-16, and its legislative sisters, are particularly insidious constructions.”
He addressed a similar legislation to that of Bill C-16, titled The New York City Human Rights Law. The bill has been passed in New York City and, according to Peterson, fines citizens up to $250,000 for “mis-gendering.”
He also wrote that New York City protects a non-exhaustive list of 31 gender pronouns, while Facebook offers users a choice of 58.
“Are the denizens of New York now legally required to employ a new pronoun for each of these many identities?” Peterson wrote. “How are they supposed to keep track of who’s who? And who is going to distinguish between mistakes and criminal action or intent?”
He added that, in his opinion, gender pronouns are part of the “PC game”.
Peterson also spoke of the events that followed his comments, namely the amount of attention that Canada’s national media brought, the protests by U of T students, and the rally for free speech.
“The latter was met by counter-demonstrators who drowned out the speakers with white noise [at the rally for free speech] and assaulted a young female journalist,” said Peterson.
“Without free speech, we cannot explore our ever-transforming territories, orient ourselves, and get to the point,” he continued. “Without freedom of speech, we will not talk — and we will not think. And then we will have real conflict, with all of its horrors, instead of its abstracted equivalent.”
This story is still developing; more to follow.