What I Learned Criticizing the Mythic Jordan Peterson

I put his name in the title, knowing his fans would come out of the woodwork; here’s how it went

Mitchell Peterson

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Photo by Avery Evans on Unsplash

I recently wrote a piece about Jordan Peterson entering the global warming discourse. He said some ridiculousness, and I wanted to respond. By throwing shade at such an idealized figure, I knew what I was doing. I knew his name would generate some action and that his followers would dive into my comment section, and I was right on both counts.

But it was more chill than you might think, partially because I ignore the madness and engage the reasonable voices; we don’t have to agree with one another to have a respectful exchange of opinions — I am often wrong, that’s okay.

For those who know who he is, Jordan Peterson is a man that evokes a big response. There are either the dudes — 99% of the time — who are follow-him-to-the-grave die-hard fans, and then there are people like me who roll their eyes and don’t understand how people listen to his manner of speech and conservative takes for more than thirty seconds.

In my view, his fans get way too defensive. Jordan Peterson himself, in a spitting rage, is constantly calling people and ideas stupid — and even flirting with promoting violence (19:58). So, of course, people are going to counter when his ranting nonsensical soliloquies are misguided and vapid. It is the nature of the world and the internet.

For the record, he has the right to speak on whatever he wants, but attacking so many groups and being such a popular figure, others have the right to call him out.

I do find it funny how another best-selling author and Canadian psychologist, Gabor Mate, generates ZERO negativity and controversyit’s almost like Peterson ISN’T a misunderstood victim and simply says horrible things.

But because I have friends who love the man, I’m going to start — again — by extending an olive branch.

Some of his discourse can bring value

As I said in my original piece, I agree with some of his rules. A few of them put a smile on my face — the petting cats one is awesome, the cleaning your room one is so bat-shit dumb

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Mitchell Peterson

Freelance writer who spent nine years outside the US, currently in rural America writing the Substack bestseller 18 Uncles.