Jordan Peterson Destroys a Feminist Thirty Years Later
This is another email to my brother. Background: I can't debate him at all, hate it, don't want to, but I allowed my beloved brother an opening: I told him I am listening to this guy JP on the Joe Rogan Experience podcasts, and he sounds reasonable in his arguments - on the JRE podcast! But put him in a different element and he unleashes what to me is unreasonable argument. See below. I'd like to hear your honest opinions of this guy. THANKS!
YouTube video of an angry white guy speaking to younger angry white guys about why the concept of white privilege is bunk.
I googled Peggy McIntosh and found this.
Well, she seems to lay out the parameters of her approach to feminism and what drove her to write the 46 points of White Privilege. This passage in the link is telling:
I noticed that, three years in a row, men and women in the seminar who had been real colleagues and friends for the first several months had a kind of intellectual and emotional falling out. There was an uncomfortable feeling at the end of those three years. I decided to go back through all my notes, and I found that at a certain point the women would ask, “Couldn’t we get these materials on women into the freshman courses?” And, to a person, the men would say, “Well, we’re sorry, we love this seminar, but the fact is that the syllabus is full.” One year, a man said—I wrote it down—“When you are trying to lay the foundation blocks of knowledge, you can’t put in the soft stuff.”
The thing was, he was a very nice man. All the men who attended the seminars were very nice men—also quite brave men, because they’d catch flak on their campuses for going to a women’s college to do a feminist seminar. And I found myself going back and forth in my mind over the question, Are these nice men, or are they oppressive? I thought I had to choose. It hadn’t occurred to me that you could be both. And I was rescued from this dilemma by remembering that, about six years earlier, black women in the Boston area had written essays to the effect that white women were oppressive to work with. I remember back to what it had been like to read those essays. My first response was to say, “I don’t see how they can say that about us—I think we’re nice!” And my second response was deeply racist, but this is where I was in 1980. I thought, I especially think we’re nice if we work with them.
In other words, nice men can still condescend and doubt a womans' worth unconsciously. Men, living in a man's world (don't need to add the word white), are Taught things at a very young age that aren't necessarily true. Remember the above passage happened in '88. We need to re-consider our attitudes toward women. The point McIntosh is making is quite reasonable, even from a behavioral perspective; i.e., a behavioral scientist would ordinarily be interested in what PM is saying, metrics notwithstanding. This can be creditable qualitative observation, and useful when pondering the problem.
So we take JP's discourse and deconstruct it:
He dissects some of the points. "Methodological critiques", he says at 57:31 (with JP you can’t let a single iota slip by). Here is what a Methodological critique is:
Methodological criticism may be defined as the critique of scientific practice in the light of methodological principles, and critical methodology as the study of proper methods of criticism; the problem is that of the interaction between the scientific methods which give methodological criticism its methodological character and the critical methods which give it its character of criticism. These ideas and this problem are illustrated by an examination of Karl Popper's critique of Marxian social science. It is argued that though Popper's favorable articulations of Marx are valuable, his unfavorable criticism is invalid, the grounds of my argument being certain ideas in critical methodology relating to the distinctions between theory and practice, between inaccurate and invalid criticism, and between the justification of favorable criticism and the justification of unfavorable criticism.
I love long-form explorations into these topics, and I have listened to at least four hours (ED: probably 6 or more) of discussion between JP and Joe Rogan, sometimes with Bret Weinstein. I want to get a few things straight
- JP is applying Methodological Critique, and I admit that I don't know what that is, but he is attacking it in a traditional manner, treating it (I suppose) like a psychology paper, which it may be, but it may be unwarranted as the points she made are equally as observational as they are scientifically verifiable
- JP is more pissed off at the communists of the Bolshevik Revolution than he is at liberals, and I don't want to get into the specifics, but he is attributing murder to Communism. That's like attributing murder (on a grand scale, to be sure) to Capitalism, isn't it? Just saying..
-Finally, You've got a guy schooling a 79-year-old woman on a tract she wrote 30 years ago, ignorant of the obvious irony of a white male screaming to a dozen (or so) other white males about how wrong a woman is at a TRUMP HOTEL, and practicing the very thing she pointed out in the article I linked, i.e., men judging women by their manly standards. I'm a fucking Scientist. I know the Scientific Method, and I am aware of many testing flaws and bad practices. None of that should be applied here. But her observations are valid sans SciMeth, IMHO.
Maybe JP needs a grant where he can go and show that White Privilege is a false notion, maybe he is blind to his own biases.
You are, by definition, blind to your own biases if you are unconscious of them.