Jordan Peterson: ‘Compelled speech is wrong‘

Free speech advocate Dr Jordan Peterson has once again condemned a Canadian law which could be used to compel citizens to use the terms ‘ze’ and ‘zir’, instead of ‘he’ and ‘she’.

Dr Jordan Peterson addressed the issue during a presentation on “The Rising Tide of Compelled Speech in Canada” at Queen’s University, Ontario.

In the UK, Dr Peterson is best known as the author of bestseller ’12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos’ and for his recent interview with Channel 4’s Cathy Newman, which has been watched more than 8 million times on YouTube.

‘Gender identity’

After the law was introduced in 2017, Dr Peterson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, tweeted:

The Bill added “gender expression” and “gender identity” to Canada’s Human Rights Code and to existing hate crime legislation.

Identity politics

In his presentation, Dr Peterson ridiculed the law for using the term ‘gender spectrum’.

“I don’t know what that means and I don’t believe that the people who wrote it know what it means either.”

He warned the students against being dragged into adopting the terminology of those in the “identity politics game”.

Free speech

Dr Peterson also stressed the importance of free speech, saying of Bill C-16: “You do not write compelled speech into the legislation.”

For the entire duration of the presentation, protestors attempted to disrupt the event and stood outside chanting. Inside the venue, one yelled profanities at the professor before being removed by security.

At another point, two protestors walked onto the stage holding a sign that said: “Freedom to smash bigotry”.