Fans of Jordan Peterson are complaining that I haven’t adequately given him a chance to wow me with his ideas. Is it worth going to see him talk live in my city for two days, or will I be wasting my time?
My initial response to reading some of Peterson’s work was to basically say “Wow you’re so sexist, I don’t think I’m going to like many of your ideas.” That got a lot of backlash from Peterson fans, many of whom put forth the – possibly fair? – criticism that I hadn’t taken in enough of his work to really get a sense of what he’s all about.
Well, that might happen in two days, when he comes to my city to give a talk. I’m on the fence about going, but I figure this will be my best chance to see him at his best and decide if he has anything to say worth paying attention to.
Want to help make it happen? Here’s my Paypal.me link. If enough people chip in I will go, I will try my best to take it seriously, and I will live-tweet the talk with commentary (I think Storify’s no longer around, but I’ll find a way to compile those tweets into a blog post here).
I will say, though, that if he gets on the topic of how women wearing makeup in the workplace supposedly invites harassment, I may not be able to prevent myself from heckling. It’s victim-blaming and insulting, not to mention a reductionistic view of body art which I study as a scholar. It also ignores the reality that women who wear makeup in the workplace tend to earn more money and be viewed as more competent (both of which are backed up by studies, but there’s also a ton of anecdotal evidence from women who work retail and service industry jobs affirming that they’re treated better when they’re more made up – seriously, just talk to women…which is something I’m beginning to wonder if Peterson ever does).
Anyway, I’ll wrap up before this becomes a full-fledged rant, and return to the question with which I began this post: spend a couple hours maybe learning what Peterson is all about, or save my time and be more likely to actually enjoy my Friday evening?
Edited to add: the beauty of Paypal is that if I decide not to go, I can refund whatever folks have sent me. Just to be transparent about that!
Update #2: I guess this is a go. Wish me luck? (or send me beer money for after, hahaha)