Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Troublesome pronouns in Canada
Premier Kathleen Wynne thinks we should replace words such as “mother” and “father” with gender-neutral (neutered?) terms such as “birth parent.” The federal Liberals, meanwhile, with Bill C-16, want to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of “prohibited grounds of discrimination.”
You can debate whether any of these measures are warranted, but there’s no question they are antithetical to free speech.
Just ask University of Toronto psychology Prof. Jordan Peterson. He was warned by university administrators to stop speaking publicly about his insistence on using gender-specific terms – “he” and “she,” in particular. “I don’t recognize a person’s right to determine what pronoun I use to address them,” he said in a YouTube posting. Peterson argues that Bill C-16, if passed, will make it a criminal offence to fail to use a person’s preferred pronoun regardless of whether that preference makes any rational sense.