You guys, I feel terrible about not bringing you this saga earlier, but I’ve been so distracted by all of the groping and sexual harassment going on, that I’ve neglected to stay as up to date on other news as I should’ve.
What you’re about to read is nothing short of remarkable. And I don’t mean that in a positive way.
I’m going to take you through the story the way that I learned about it. I happened upon some YouTube videos that featured debates between Dr. Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto professor of psychology, and trans people who disagree with him vehemently about his position on gender neutral pronouns.
Dr. Peterson has been the subject of intense criticism from social justice warriors because he flat out refuses to use gender neutral pronouns. His resistance is in large part due to the fact that Canada passed a ridiculous piece of legislation some months ago called Bill C-16, which added gender expression and identity as protected categories to the Canadian Human Rights Act. Here’s the first video I watched of Dr. Peterson explaining his position to a moderator and fellow professor at the same university. Warning: You’re about to be subjected to some serious batsh*ttery from the trans professor (on the right side of the screen).
After I watched that, I binge watched a ton of Jordan Peterson’s other videos, and basically became a total fangirl over him.
And that led me to the story of Lindsay Shepherd. Lindsay is a teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University, and as she was teaching her Canadian Communication in Context class a few weeks ago, and talking through grammatical usage of pronouns, she showed a debate between Dr. Peterson and a completely insane transgender studies professor, Dr. Nicholas Matte. Here’s part of the clip she showed in her class:
As far as Lindsay was concerned, her class was relatively uneventful. Students debated, there were opinions shared on all sides, and that was the end of it.
That is, until she was called in to speak with her supervisor and two other university administrators about the “toxic culture” she’d created in her classroom.
Thankfully, Lindsay recorded the entire 45 minute conversation, and released it to the public. It’s absolutely mindblowing.
So, in that recording, Lindsay is accused of being transphobic, of bringing violence and harm to her students, of violating the Gendered Violence Prevention and Support program, and even of violating Canadian Human Rights. Her supervisor compares Jordan Peterson to Hitler. All this, because Lindsay had the audacity to show her students both sides of a debate, without taking a side herself.
As you can hear, Lindsay is beside herself during the interrogation. Listening to it made me want to hug her so hard, because I could feel her anger and frustration at the complete lack of sanity being exhibited by the university administrators. The fact that she categorically DISAGREES with Jordan Peterson, and is actually a liberal, is what made the conversation even more unbelievable.
Lindsay was tearful, but effective. She was distraught, but by golly, she held her own. She stood up for free speech in an incredibly impactful way, and even through her tears, she refused to back down. Everyone who has decency and common sense, no matter what side of the aisle they’re on, should be enormously proud of her.
The resulting backlash (internationally even!) after the release of the audio of that meeting forced the university chancellor to ultimately apologize.
Her supervisor wrote his own apology, but get a load of this line:
While I still think that such material needs to be handled carefully, especially so as to not infringe on the rights of any of our students or make them feel unwelcome in the learning environment, I believe you are right that making a space for controversial or oppositional views is important, and even essential to a university. The trick is how to properly contextualize such material.
Give me a freaking break. He still doesn’t get it. The chancellor doesn’t get it. And Lindsay knows it:
Moral of the story: A university must be repeatedly publicly shamed, internationally, in order to apologize (oh, but keep the task force & investigation). Even then, ambiguous about free speech. Also, make sure to secretly record all meetings or they won’t take you seriously.
— Lindsay Shepherd (@NewWorldHominin) November 21, 2017
In the meantime, Lindsay’s sticking out her semester, but will likely leave as soon as it’s over. According to this, the atmosphere on campus now is filled with tension, and she’s become a bit of a pariah. She says, “It’s almost like I’m Jordan Peterson now.”
Unfortunately, there’s probably not a lot of hope that university policies will change in any significant or meaningful way, because they’re poisoned by social justice nonsense. They’re too far gone.
I like this labor lawyer’s take:
Lindsay’s story is so important. And Jordan Peterson’s resistance is so important. They are two examples of true patriots, fighting for the rights of everyone to express themselves freely, and fighting against the freedom-squashing policies that far too many universities are adopting not just in Canada but here in the states as well. It gives me hope that a leftist like Lindsay can still recognize when the Left goes too far.