There was a short discussion recently on UK Channel 4 between Canadian university professor named Jordan Peterson, and a radical feminist with an undergraduate degree in English named Cathy Newman. While you watch, imagine that she is teaching some non-STEM course that you’ve enrolled in. Would you dare to disagree with her?
First, the video, which has over 33 million views:
And here is an article from the UK Spectator: (paywalled)
Whatever else anybody might think of him, Professor Peterson is a man of remarkable learning and experience, and does not appear to have arrived at any of his views by the now common means of ‘I reckon’. Yet Newman, who approaches the interview with the trademark sourness she employs for everyone she expects to disagree with, treats this is just another chance to burnish her own social justice credentials and expose her guest as a bigot. Big mistake.
Storming straight in with the differences between the sexes, in the opening minutes it is clear that Professor Peterson is willing to back up all his views with references, data and calm analysis.
By 11 minutes in she is saying ‘I think I take issue with (that)’, before demonstrating that she can’t. Soon she is reduced to dropping the bombshell observation that ‘all women are different’. By 16.45 there is a palpable win, as Peterson points out that Newman has exactly the disagreeable and aggressive qualities that allow certain types of people to succeed. By 19.30 she is having to throw out things to him that he hasn’t even said, such as ‘You’re saying women aren’t intelligent enough to run top companies’. A minute later and she is reduced to countering empirical evidence with anecdote. Peterson presents the data about men in general and Newman responds with the ‘I know plenty of men who aren’t (like that)’ card. Shortly after that (at 22.25) Newman is reduced to spluttering and then silence. She tries to pull herself together. But she can think of nothing to say.
To be honest, Cathy Newman is nothing like the women I’m friends with. All of my closest friends are Christian women. All of them are anti-feminist to some degree, with the most successful one professionally (Dina) being the wisest and most anti-feminist of all. When I think of my panel of wise Christian women advisors – each with one or more STEM degrees – I don’t recognize Cathy Newman in them. But Cathy Newman does remind me of the radical feminists I encountered when I was doing my BS and MS degrees in computer science at the university.
In my experience, radical feminists debate using six tactics:
- Deny facts or evidence because men were involved in researching them or discovering them
- Countering empirical data with anecdotes and personal experiences
- Taking arguments and evidence as if they are personal attacks
- Becoming hysterical and crying
- Claiming that disagreement with feminism will produce violence against women and women committing suicide, etc.
- Trying to get you expelled, fired or silenced – often by making false accusations or faking hate crimes against themselves
It’s important for everyone to understand the views of others in order to know how defensible our own views are. In order to get the best scholarly case for radical feminism, I like to read feminist academics like Christina Hoff Sommers, Camille Paglia, Jennifer Roback Morse, etc. who evaluate and critique radical feminist scholarship. That’s how I encounter the ideas of those I disagree with (as well as listening to and watching debates).
Here’s a short Factual Feminist video:
I understand the claims that are made by radical feminists, but I am also aware of what the evidence says. I don’t try to stop feminists from making claims, I just study how to refute their claims.
But what about the radical feminists? Do they do a good job of understanding those who disagree with them? Let’s take a look at an example which I think is representative of feminist tolerance and open-mindedness.
The Toronto Sun reports on a sociology professor who gave her students an assignment – an assignment with some very peculiar constraints.
A Ryerson University student who wanted to write a paper on the “myth” of the male-female wage gap was told by her prof that not only was she wrong, she should only rely on feminist journals for her assignment instead of business sources which “blame women,” her sister says.
Josephine Mathias, 21, a fourth-year political science student at University of Toronto, took to YouTube Wednesday to criticize the assignment given her twin Jane for a sociology class.
[…]After Jane sent an email describing her intention to write about the wag gap, her instructor replied that her premise was wrong, Josephine said.
Here’s what the professor said:
“Perhaps you want to write your paper on the glass ceiling. You need to look at feminist sources on this issue…Do NOT use business sources. They blame women. The reality is patriarchy,” says the instructor’s email, posted online.
In a copy of the assignment provided to the Toronto Sun by Josephine, the instructor also notes that Ontario and Canada government websites and Statistics Canada will not be considered scholarly sources.
“Government websites state government policy that is devoid of analysis, and usually reproduces mainstream stereotypes, assumptions and misconceptions,” the assignment says.
What is interesting is that the professor makes about $167,000 a year – higher than the average professor’s salary. And she’s not teaching computer science or petroleum engineering. I find it interesting that another Canadian university reprimanded a grad student for showing a debate clip that offered both sides of the transgenderism debate. Leftist tolerance. Leftist open-mindedness.
Once you’ve paid your tuition, and the leftist has the grading pen, you lose every argument. Either you get an F, or you get expelled. If you’re in the workplace, you get fired. False charges are often made. Hate crimes are faked. Anything to play the victim, rather than address the arguments and evidence. This is how people on the left “debate”.
As I wrote previously, the more women embrace radical feminism, the more toxic they become to men. Not just in the classroom or the workplace, but in relationships. Who wants to marry someone whose only response to reason is fury? Men might be OK with temporary arrangements with abusive women. At least while those women have youth and beauty. But men don’t marry abusive women. At least, not if they have any wisdom.
(Image source: Independent Man)
5 thoughts on “Can feminism be defended with reason and evidence? Jordan Peterson vs Cathy Newman”
One of my sons, as an engineering major, had to take the obligatory English class. The femiNazi professor ranted the semester away about the misogyny of eating utensils. My son was so happy to finish that class and get back to the engineering campus. :-)
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Ugh! I can’t listen to women like that ! Or men who go along with them.
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Great article .
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The 6 tactics you mention are standard “praxis” for anything that Critical Theory supports, be it feminist, queer, race, fat or any other identity politic group. Dr James Lindsay does a great job of reading and commenting on Herbert Marcuse and Kimberle Crenshaw.
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While women in the family strongly admired real feminists like Susan B. Anthony, they had and to this day have nothing but contempt for the stranger than fiction modern feminists. “when they burned their bras, they destroyed women’s age old right,” my one grandmother said. What are they today? A piece of meat. When I respect a woman around here, opening the door for them, offering a hand with something, I get some major compliments. But then, I live in a very conservative community, mostly American Indian. Women were always held in high regard by us. Not like today’s woke society.
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