In what has been described as a “train wreck” interview, Cathy Newman of Channel 4 in the UK attempted to pick apart Canadian Professor Jordan Peterson’s conservative views on gender equality. Safe to say, it didn’t go too well.
During the half-hour long discussion, Peterson continued to cite fact-based research on issues of gender, romantic relationships and employment. But Newman relentlessly accused him of being outdated, bigoted and offensive – without using any facts or figures to validate her assertions.
In the end, she was unable to answer to Peterson’s counter-arguments.
“Storming straight in with the differences between the sexes, in the opening minutes it is clear that Professor Peterson is willing to back up all his views with references, data and calm analysis,” wrote Douglas Murray at The Spectator regarding the interview.
Much of Peterson’s message comes down to urging men to take responsibility for their own lives, to treat women well and to stop acting immaturely.
“I don’t think young men hear words of encouragement,” Peterson said in the interview that aired Sunday morning. “The YouTube lectures that I have done have had such an impact and shown that young men are starving for this sort of message.”
Then, Newman quizzed Peterson on the gender pay gap. “You’ve got only seven women running the top FTSE 100 companies,” she declared.
“There are multiple reasons for that,” Peterson explained. “Gender is just one of those.”
He added, “The claim that the pay gap between men and women is only due to sex is wrong.”
Peterson said that the pay gap is “not necessarily” unfair as it comes down to a range of different factors. He admitted that gender is one of the factors affecting variance in pay, but that it is extremely small in comparison to several others. “There is prejudice, but it accounts for a much smaller proportion in the pay gap than the radical feminists claim,” he added.
Newman, looking for Peterson to disagree, snapped back that women should lobby their bosses for a pay rise. “Absolutely, they should,” the professor agreed. Peterson is a clinical psychologist who works with many female clients to develop assertiveness in order to help further their careers.
Peterson was repeatedly pushed as to whether he thinks gender equality is a myth. “We could get to a place where people are treated more fairly,” he responded. But he was quick to warn against the danger of “equality of outcomes.”
Equality of opportunity, Peterson said, is “eminently desirable,” but he also provided real-life examples to prove the disastrous consequences of legislating for “equality of outcomes.”
“That’s already been demonstrated in Scandinavia. It’s 20/1 female nurses to male and approximately the same male engineers to female engineers. That’s a consequence of the free choice of men and women in societies that have gone farther than any others to make gender equality the purpose of the law.
“Those are ineradicable differences,” he added.
“You can eradicate them with tremendous social pressure and tyranny, but if you leave men and women to their own choices you will not get equal outcomes.”
Newman then argued that people listening will think Peterson is “going back to the Dark Ages” in his views.
“That’s because they are not actually listening,” the professor quipped. “They are just projecting what they think.”
Newman went on to say that she thought Peterson was saying women should just give up because they will “never get the top job.” Again, Jordan corrected her. “I didn’t say women shouldn’t be striving for the top because I don’t believe that for a second!” he said.
Enjoyed doing Battle with you Jordan – thanks for being a good sport
— Cathy Newman (@cathynewman) January 16, 2018
Professor Peterson then addressed the presenter’s position: “you’re hardly unsuccessful” he said with a wry smile. “And I had to work quite hard to get to where I’ve got to,” Newman replied. “Exactly! Good for you! Why wouldn’t you have to battle for a high-quality position!” Peterson responded. But still, Newman searched for an area in which she could fight him.
“By 4 minutes in Cathy Newman is saying “What gives you the right to say that?” One answer to which is “Because you invited me on your show,” comments Douglas Murray.
“Another being “Because I have years of experience in these fields as a psychologist and academic as well as being a human being with eyes.” Peterson is too polite to say this. But it becomes clear that in the face of the facts Channel 4’s prize interviewer has nothing more than stances. And not even especially intelligent stances.”
Then, they got onto freedom of speech. Clearly, Newman was trying to paint Professor Peterson out as a bigot – it was painfully obvious. But he was not about to back down from his convictions. Peterson has previously refused to abide by the Canadian government’s attempts to pass a Bill that defines declining to call someone by their preferred pronoun as “discrimination.”
In response to the 2016 Bill, Peterson commented: “If the standard transsexual person wants to be regarded as he or she, my sense is I’ll address you according to the part that you appear to be playing.”
Newman touched on the issue in the interview, and Peterson’s response was very interesting indeed.
“Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans-person’s right not to be offended?” Newman asked.
“Because in order to be able to think you have to risk being offensive. Look at the conversation we’re having right now. You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why you should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable. You’re exercising your freedom of speech. That’s fine. More power to you as far as I’m concerned.”
That answer completely stunned Newman, who was lost for words. A fascinating moment.
Newman, now clearly unsure as to which way she should take the interview, started to resort to cheap baiting and accusations – incredibly, Peterson remained calm. The reporter pinned him on his assertion that radical leftwing trans-activists are following the same ideology as dictators such as Chinese dictator chairman Mao.
“There’s no comparison. Trans-activists aren’t killing millions of people,” Newman stated.
But Peterson argued that the philosophies were dangerously similar.
“The philosophy that is guiding their utterances is the same philosophy that already has driven us to the deaths of millions,” he said.
Newman pressed him to explain.
“Sure, that’s no problem,” Peterson said. “The first thing is that the philosophy presumes that group identity is paramount. That is the fundamental philosophy that drove the Soviet Union and Maoist China. And it’s the fundamental philosophy of the left-wing activists; it’s identity politics. It doesn’t matter who you are as an individual, it matters who you are in terms of your group identity.”
Newman, clearly without response, began to get angry. “You’re just saying these things to provoke, aren’t you? You’re are a provocateur!” Then, she raised her voice and bellowed “you’re like the “old right” that you hate being compared to!”
Finally, she added: “You wanna stir things up.”
Again, a calm response from Peterson: “I’m only a provocateur in so far as when I say what I believe to be true it is provocative.”
Watch the full interview below.