Savage Messiah: How Dr. Jordan Peterson Is Saving Western Civilization

Savage Messiah: How Dr. Jordan Peterson Is Saving Western Civilization by Jim Proser has been classed in the psychology section at Dewey code 150.92, thus it is a biography. That is a fitting classification as most of the book deals with Peterson’s personal life, marriage, education and political activism, and therefore I didn’t find out as much about his views on pronouns and gender identity as I would have expected. That said, I did find out remarkable intimate details about Peterson’s life and his battles with depression and its relationship to his weight. I wonder if Peterson had to step onto a scale and report his weight before Proser could start a new chapter. We also learned about the painful childhood of his daughter Mikhaila and how she battled through various illnesses. She must have consented to have such personal details exposed yet perhaps she wanted to share her joy and the path she took to regain her health, as her diet seems to have helped her father embark on a healthier lifestyle as well.

Jordan Peterson certainly made his life an open book for the author. He allowed himself to be like one of his own patients as Proser analyzed and critiqued him. One cannot claim that Peterson has a different set of rules for himself when he puts himself under such a critical microscope.

At the beginning of the book Proser states:

“Decent man that he is, Jordan Peterson would never intentionally insult a person. As he has repeatedly made clear, if someone looks and dresses as a female, and has a female name, he will refer to this person as ‘she,’ whether the person is transgender or not. Likewise, if a person looks and dresses as male, and has a male name, he will refer to this person as ‘he.’ But if a bearded person wearing a skirt demands to be referred to as ‘she,’ Jordan might not acquiesce, and will not allow Ontario to tell him he must.
“Such a stance takes courage today–especially in the least open and most intolerant institution of our time, the university.”

I agree with Peterson in that I will allow no one–not a government nor my own employer, if it came to that–to tell me what terms I should use, be they pronouns, nouns or adjectives for specific groups. In the example above, I would certainly refer to the bearded skirt-wearer as “she”, but I draw the line at calling anyone by the third-person plural pronoun they. I will reword my speech and writing to avoid that singular eyesore, they. Read my recent review of the juvenile novel Rick, wherein I deliberately phrased my language to avoid that interdental monstrosity. When I see it in print, it screams at me as if it were written entirely in capital letters, halting my pace of reading as I yell it in my inner voice. And don’t get me started on the endless string of letters that continues to grow in a futile attempt to label the queer community. People can be blind to their own foolishness as they try to be sensitive to include everybody who is not straight. I will bet that their pinky fingers are paralyzed by overuse of the shift key. And who in oral discourse actually says every single letter in the queer initials string? And says it every time? I will bet that they stop at LGBT and leave it at that. I don’t even go that far; for me it’s gay or queer. You are not going to cover every orientation under the rainbow spectrum so why extend that letter string even more? When I see LGBTQIA+ or LGBTTIQQ2SA I just want to laugh at my own people.

Peterson is a disciple of the greatest feminist of our times, Camille Paglia. They both agree that in the past twenty years, universities have been acting in loco parentis, and have turned themselves into “safe spaces” while providing sensitive students with “trigger warnings” before lectures. Peterson has found himself in so much trouble because these students have lost the ability to use critical judgement. How are we supposed to raise intelligent adults if we have to coddle them until graduation? Trigger warnings and safe spaces are as unnecessary as companion animals. I agree entirely with film director John Waters, who wrote in Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder that “The only thing worse is traveling with a companion animal. If you are so mentally fragile that you can’t leave home without some poor creature you’ve condemned to a lifetime of cuddling, then you shouldn’t be allowed to mix freely in society. Don’t go to the airport; check yourself into a mental institution.” And thus if university students recoil in horror when a professor tells them that he will not use certain pronouns, you debate him, not report him to the authorities. And you certainly don’t make him attend superficial “sensitivity training” courses, all of which are useless in changing opinions or behaviours.

Peterson said:

“I think that the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal is obligated by their own tangled web to bring me in front of it. If they fine me, I won’t pay it. If they put me in jail, I’ll go on a hunger strike. [Emphatically] I’m not doing this. And that’s that. I’m not using the words that other people require me to use. Especially if they’re made up by radical left wing ideologues.” [1]

Proser certainly did his research, judging from the fifteen pages of endnotes. He is sympathetic to Peterson’s case yet I found his stereotyping of the far left to be insulting. I hold conservative views myself yet was not impressed whenever he described the physical attributes or manner of dress of protestors or witnesses. Certain haircuts (especially on women) and piercings were all demonized in his portrayal of Peterson’s enemies.

[1] The day before I finished reading this book, an Ontario court ruled against Peterson by upholding a regulatory body’s order that he undergo social media training or potentially lose his licence to practise. I can just imagine Peterson rolling his eyes heavenward as he heard this ruling. I do not believe that any kind of sensitivity or awareness training has the power to influence people to change their ways. People will sit through these obligatory classes and parrot the propaganda while counting down the minutes before they can get outta there. Peterson…undergoing “remedial coaching”! I would expect him to turn these sessions around where he coaches the coaches on common sense. I wonder how he applies the quotation above to the recent verdict against him.

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