In the first chapter of a projected three-part video lecture series called “Professor against political correctness,” Professor Jordan Peterson,a psychology professor at U of T, comes down on Bill C-16. The bill, which has passed the ‘First Reading’ stage in Canadian parliament, proposes to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to outlaw harassment and discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. Peterson also criticizes the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s definitions of these terms, and compares this amendment to “the way that totalitarian and authoritarian political states [develop].”

The Ontario Human Rights Commission defines gender identity as “each person’s internal and individual experience of gender. It is their sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum.”

On non-binary gender identities, Peterson said, “I don’t think that that’s a valid idea. I don’t think there’s any evidence for it.”

In the video, Peterson also laid out a hypothetical situation in which a student asks to be referred to by a non-binary pronoun: “I don’t recognize another person’s right to determine what pronouns I used to address them. I won’t do it.”

He attributes his concerns regarding the Ontario Human Rights Commission to “social justice warrior-type activists [being] over-represented in the current provincial government,” as well as Premier Kathleen Wynne’s sexuality.

“I can’t help but manifest the suspicion that that’s partly because our current Premier is lesbian in her sexual preference and that in itself doesn’t bother me one way or another,” said Peterson in the video. “I don’t think it’s relevant to the political discussion except insofar as the LBGT [sic] community has become extraordinary good at organizing themselves and has a fairly pronounced and very, very sophisticated radical fringe.”

Peterson has taught at U of T since 1998 and is teaching three undergraduate psychology courses next semester.

This story is developing, more to come.

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