In January Jordan Peterson was interviewed by journalist Cathy Newman, on Britain’s Channel 4 News. The exchange quickly went viral, with more than 9 million watching the half-hour interview, and millions more watching clips from it.
Why did so many watch? Because here we had a battle of heavyweights – a politically incorrect professor who wouldn’t let his words be twisted vs. a mainstream media journalist who wouldn’t stop trying.
Her favorite trick was to restate whatever Peterson had said in her own words. But every time she did so – each time she led with a “So you’re saying…” – what followed was never an accurate summary of Peterson’s position. A clip from this interview gives a good illustration of why so many Christians admire the courage of this man. He was bullied and unfairly treated, just as Christians often are by the mainstream press, but he never let it bother him, and he never let her get away with it.
Newman: Is gender equality desirable?
Peterson: If it means equality of outcome, then almost certainly it’s undesirable! That’s already been demonstrated in Scandinavia. Because in Scandinavia, …
Newman: What do you mean by that? Equality of outcome is undesirable?
Peterson: Well, men and women won’t sort themselves into the same categories, if you leave them alone to do it of their own accord. We’ve already seen that in Scandinavia. It’s twenty to one female nurses to male, something like that. It might not be quite that extreme. And approximately the same, male engineers to female engineers. And that’s a consequence of the free choice of men and women in the societies that have gone farther than any other societies to make gender equality the purpose of the law! Those are in ineradicable differences! You can eradicate them with tremendous social pressure and tyranny! But if you leave men and women to make their own choices you will not get equal outcome!
Newman: Right, so you’re saying that anyone who believes in equality, whether you call them feminists, call them whatever you want to call them, should basically give up, because it ain’t gonna happen!
Peterson: Only if they’re aiming at equality of outcome.
Newman: So you’re saying give people equality of opportunity, that’s fine?
Peterson: Not only fine, it’s eminently desirable for everyone, for individuals and for society.
Newman: But still women aren’t gonna make it! That’s what you’re really saying….
This is a sidebar to Dr. Joel McDurmon’s feature article on Dr. Jordan Peterson that appeared in the March/April issue. The top picture is one of the many memes that quickly appeared all over the Internet soon after the interview concluded.
Never miss an article!
Sign up for our newsletter to get all the week’s posts sent right to your inbox each Saturday.