-On C-16: The two cases are significant because each represents an attempt by bureaucracies to constrain freedom of speech regarding contentious issues. The idea that either showing a clip from public television from a debate or questioning proposed legislation should result in such actions taken on the part of educational institutions is alarming. Listen to the Shepherd audio if you get the chance. The people reprimanding Shepherd offer flimsy arguments and display a clear lack of respect for the purpose of an educational institution. I am tempted to go off on a tangent here about the deleterious effect of diversity deans and the like but will touch on that at another time. I bring it up briefly here because I think that they are part of the problem. (If you have people paid to promote and enforce ‘diversity and inclusion,’ they will look for cases to justify their own existence.) Back to Shepherd: we will have to wait for the current legal case she is bringing against Wilfrid Laurier to play out. However, it still stands that the interpretation of recent Canadian federal and provincial legislation has been misinterpreted by bureaucrats in two universities to the point that showing a brief clip (from public television and presenting both sides of the gender debates) was deemed problematic. Moreover, the bureaucrats at Wilfrid Laurier explicitly lied to Shepherd about a student filing a complaint against her.

-On outlandish/non-standard pronouns: I am of the opinion that one should be open-minded enough to accept new ideas but not so open-minded that one’s brain falls out. While ‘outlandish’ is indeed subjective, the sudden concoction of dozens of new pronouns is suspect to say the least. First, many transgender individuals want to be referred to by the opposite pronoun (and from my experience a very small number want to be referred to as ‘they’). Second. the sheer lack of specific cases for the dozens of nonstandard pronouns (from ‘zhe’ to ‘wormself’) suggest that the push to include them stems either from virtue signaling or a power play (or both). Personally, I actually think that the root cause of the proliferation of such pronouns is decadence. I have yet to hear of any case in which Jordan Peterson has refused to use a student’s preferred pronouns. He has stated that he will not use concocted pronouns, but (to my knowledge) there has been no case of a student seriously asking him to do so. The two statements in your next brief critique are not necessarily contradictory. There is a massive difference between different types of requests. Asking someone to use nonstandard pronouns, which are not even widespread in the transgender community, is not disrespectful (particularly if one cannot even find a single case of such a request). It appears that the usage of nonstandard pronouns is an issue for a tiny minority of a tiny minority. The creation of a legal framework around such issues for such a tiny fraction of the population (largely, it seems theoretical rather than actual) should be met with a great deal of skepticism. Your interpretation in your brief critique appears to leave no room for polite disagreement about a contentious issue. Additionally, I still have not seen a single case in which Peterson refuses to use a student’s preferred pronouns. You previously cited the professor’s statements in theoretical contexts where he is stating opposition to state intervention in such matters.

-This disagreement will look stupid in 20 years but not because nonstandard pronouns will become normal or widespread. I would argue that such pronouns (from ‘zhe’ to ‘wormself’) will appear as a mere theoretical fad. Acceptance is one thing. I hope that societies become more accommodating of transgender individuals, including the use of standard pronouns (though with no state intervention). The proliferation of nonstandard pronouns would not be progress but chaos. However, I am convinced that, even among the transgender community, the overwhelming will continue to prefer standard pronouns. I would also caution against conflating acceptance of nonstandard pronouns (which are used by hardly anyone) with real civil rights advances.

-On the language of C-16: Again. my main concern is how it plays out more than the theoretical aims of the bill. C-16 and surrounding legislation has been cited to justify constraining free speech in several cases recently. Brown is a competent lawyer as I’m sure the lawyers you have consulted. Rather than continue looking to cite experts, I think a better approach would be to recognize the complexities which surround this legislation and exist throughout Canadian law. The contours of free speech and individual civil liberties are contentious. No one is advocating genocide. The language of the bill, notably terms such as ‘gender identity and expression,’ are not universally accepted by experts in the relevant fields. None of the legislation you cite explicitly states that a person will not be fined for not using nonstandard pronouns. Again, I think this whole this is a non-issue from a practical standpoint because all of the controversy so far has been about theoretical pronoun usage by a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population. In general, I am in favor of legislation protecting the rights of individuals, not groups.

-On law, progress, and society: I’ll begin by directing you, again, to the statement at the end of the previous paragraph. That is a true foundation for a robust legal system. Group ‘rights’ do not equate. The solution, I would argue, is to have judges punish discriminatory behavior based on the specifics of a case, not have group rights put into law along with a substantial legal framework to deal with increasingly small minority groups (many of which often fractionate into smaller groups).

-On the alt-right: one is a small (though very loud) group of people, the other is a far-left projection which often groups moderate, classical liberals, and conservatives into the same camp.

-On Weinstein: this is one case but not the only one. Dave Rubin used to be on the left. He has since left. David Horowitz was on the left. He has since left. as was Peter Hitchens. While the latter two were on the left in earlier years, the influence of radical SJWs and Antifa has negatively impacted the left.

-We can agree that extreme partisanship will be the downfall of the republic.

Written by

Artist | Content Creator | Pantheist | Bohemian | Philosopher | Juggler | Anti-Authoritarian, Pro-Decentralization/Localism| http://www.instagram.com/kevinshau/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store