A month ago, I posted three videos to my YouTube channel, as a means of speaking out against our culture’s politically correct insanity. I specifically objected to Bill C-16, a bill that has now passed second reading in the House of Commons, which adds “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the list of attributes protected by the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, and to similar legislation already in place in Ontario and other provinces.
To say that the videos attracted a lot of attention is to say almost nothing. They produced two demonstrations at the University of Toronto, where I teach psychology, including a free-speech rally where the misbehaviour of social justice warrior counter-demonstrators was caught on cellphone videos that have now been watched by millions of people. They have been the subject of articles written by Canada’s most famous journalists. They have been covered extensively by CBC, CTV and TVO, as well as internationally. My story has been making headlines for more than a month, and the furor is not dying down. After writing me two cautionary letters, and then requesting my silence, the University of Toronto has agreed to host a public debate about the issues I raised.
One of the more controversial things I said in the videos was that I would not use what have come to be known as “preferred pronouns” to refer to people who believe that their gender does not fit neatly into the traditional categories of male and female. The gist of the counter-argument was: “Why won’t the mean professor change the way he speaks, if doing so would spare some vulnerable peoples’ feelings?” (A National Post columnist described me as a “jerk.”) There are a few reasons why I took this stand.
First, I will never use words I hate, like the trendy and artificially constructed words “zhe” and “zher.” These words are at the vanguard of a post-modern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century.
I have been studying authoritarianism on the right and the left for 35 years. I wrote a book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, on the topic, which explores how ideologies hijack language and belief. As a result of my studies, I have come to believe that Marxism is a murderous ideology. I believe its practitioners in modern universities should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to promote such vicious, untenable and anti-human ideas, and for indoctrinating their students with these beliefs. I am therefore not going to mouth Marxist words. That would make me a puppet of the radical left, and that is not going to happen. Period...