Jordan Peterson, a tenured faculty member of psychology at the University of Toronto, is a self-proclaimed “Professor against Political Correctness”. We will unpack the content of his lecture series that have been at the centre of controversy.
Jordan Peterson’s underlying justification for his refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns can be summed up in one sentence: he does not believe that non-binary gender identities exist.
It is no secret that the Western world has always been long-obsessed with the male/female dichotomy of sex. However, this perspective has gone through a paradigm shift over the past century.
The centrality of ‘controlling’ sexuality and gender as part of the colonial project in settler-colonial states like Canada is historically situated to render certain bodies as abject/ other, while also defining what is ‘normal’.
Misgendering produces negative cognitive dissonance effects that are especially pronounced for oppressed groups, that has profound negative effects on their mental health. Adopting people’s stated pronouns is ultimately a social justice issue, and a powerful act of respect and inclusion that reinstates the political agency of trans and non-binary people.