Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
SPOTLIGHT: Young men are in crisis. Responding with compassion is apparently a bad thing.
BIG PICTURE: The Internet is awash with Jordan Peterson videos. He’s the mild-mannered Canadian psychology professor whose just-released book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, is a best seller across the English-speaking world.
Enthusiasts snip YouTube videos into pieces and splice those pieces together again. Here’s an example titled All the times Jordon Peterson broke down talking about the state of young men. Posted 10 days ago, this 8.5-minute video provides a marvellous introduction to Peterson’s empathy and humanity.
Whenever he speaks in public, young men are a large part of his audience. They frequently remain behind afterward to shake his hand and thank him for helping them get back on track.
On the video, after a radio interviewer mentions that suicide is a leading cause of death for men, Peterson says of those who attend his talks: “it’s so sad that so many of these men, you know, they’ve not had an encouraging bloody word, a real encouraging word in their entire life…It’s just a catastrophe that that’s so rare in their lives.”
He continues: “We’re alienating young men. We’re telling them that they’re patriarchal oppressors and denizens of rape culture and, you know, tyrants-in-waiting…It’s awful. It’s so destructive. It’s so unnecessary. And it’s so sad.”
At the end of the video, he reveals how extreme anti-male attitudes have become: “I’ve also been described as misogynist because, you know, I’ve been trying to strengthen young men. Of all the ridiculous ideas – that strengthening young men is somehow misogynist. I mean, God.”
TOP TAKEAWAY: A culture that devalues half the population – denying its anguish and neutering its aspirations – is an unhealthy place for anyone.
|12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
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