Jordan Peterson is a public intellectual who has become a household name in within the last 5 years. He went from being an obscure Canadian university professor to an intellectual superstar seemingly overnight. His book, 12 Rules for Life, topped the Amazon Charts list for 7 weeks in 2018.
Jordan Peterson’s fame is not without controversy. There are as many headlines about his controversial statements as there are about his accomplishments.
Why Do People Hate Jordan Peterson?
Reason 1: Jordan Peterson Is Associated With the Alt-Right
The movement mainly consists of individuals who reject mainstream conservative ideas in favor of more extreme positions such as rigid gender roles or white supremacism.
Dr. Peterson does not align himself with the alt-right movement. If anything, he has in the past identified himself as a “classical liberal.”
The reasons below will show why his views appeal to the alt-right, despite the fact that he rejects any association with the movement.
Reason 2: Jordan Peterson Argues That Beauty Is Not Just A Preference
In May, Jordan Peterson caused a social media storm for his reaction to a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover, featuring the plus-sized model, Yami Nu.
According to Peterson, humans are hard-wired to find certain features – pouty lips, hour-glass figure, and youth—attractive.
These features indicate fertility and health. And the Sports Illustrated cover is just another left-wing progressive ploy to deny that what we are not hard wired to find these features attractive.
But this was not the first time that Dr. Peterson has expressed these views. In one Joe Rogan interview, he argues that women wear make-up to boost their sex appeal.
Wearing makeup in the workplace is sexually provocative and some have understood Dr. Peterson to be suggesting that women are “asking” for sexual harassment by wearing makeup.
Reason 3: Jordan Peterson Is Hypocritical
Jordan Peterson doubles as a public intellectual and a self-help guru. One of his most famous pieces of advice: do not even think about changing the world if you do not even clean up your own room.
You cannot make the world a better place if you cannot take of yourself.
This is a recurring theme in his lectures.
According to some, Jordan Peterson broke his own rule about “cleaning your own room” when he became addicted to anti-anxiety medication.
A man who famously preached personal responsibility and self-improvement to thousands all over the world did not live up to his tenet.
Peterson has been open about his struggle with addiction and it does not seem to have put a dent into his fame. If anything, it made him more relatable.
Reason 4: Jordan Peterson Justifies Inequality
One of Jordan Peterson’s more famous (and infamous) arguments is that inequality, or hierarchy, is a part of life.
More precisely, humans cannot function without some degree of inequality. Peterson has famously used lobsters as an analogy to explain why inequality exists.
According to Jordan Peterson, we cannot completely blame capitalism, racism, or sexism for inequality.
Fixing the world will not make it go away because someone will end up at the top, no matter what.
Reason 5: Jordan Peterson Uses A Lot of Jargon And His Followers Are Cultish
Jordan Peterson has been called the “stupid man’s smart person.” Words like “postmodernism” and “Cultural Marxism”…or “postmodern neo-Marxism” were probably not household buzzwords before Peterson’s rise to fame.
At one point, these were words that never left the halls of academe. They make a regular appearance in Dr. Peterson’s lectures and interviews.
Now anyone can walk around and talk about what’s wrong with society – and sound smart by tossing around buzzwords like “postmodern neo-Marxism” or “woke moralists.”
Jordan Peterson’s academic background gives him a lot of credibility among his followers and his denunciations of his opponents.
A cultish following has also been attributed to Jordan Peterson and one of the reasons why people seem to detest him.
Reason 6: Jordan Peterson Misrepresents Opposing Views
Jordan Peterson does not hold back when speaking out against what he sees as “political correctness” or “postmodern neo-Marxism.”
But gets quite a bit of backlash for misrepresenting the ideas against which rails. One of the criticisms is that he does not clearly define what he is attacking.
Even his criticism of climate change was dismissed as unscientific “word salad,” which brings us to #7…
Reason 7: Jordan Peterson is a Climate Change Denier
Jordan Peterson has outright stated that there is no such thing as climate change. He went on to suggest that the alleged science behind is based on faulty models.
He went so far as to question to use of models for climate research. But it turns out that Jordan Peterson based his claims on an Exxon-funded study.
Reason 8: Jordan Peterson Is Hostile to Trans People
Some of Jordan Peterson’s controversies involve the trans community.
He has made the headlines criticizing Elliott Page’s public transition from male to female – and called the actor’s doctor a “criminal physician.”
But Dr. Peterson’s beef with identity politics and LGBTQ activism goes all the way back to the very incident that catapulted him to fame.
In 2016, he made a video criticizing the Canadian Bill C-16, which he opposed as an assault on free speech.
To this day, Peterson refuses to use gender-neutral pronouns and does not recognize gender identity as being non-binary.
Reason 9: According to Peterson Women Want Dangerous Men
According to yet another infamous quote by Jordan Peterson, feminists secretly wish for “brutal male domination.”
This is rooted in his idea that gender differences are biological and not just the product of our environment.
Peterson has claimed that women desire “dangerous” men because they are competent and, therefore, more capable of protecting them – than “weak” and “safe” men.
Because of his view that gender differences are rooted in biology, Peterson’s critics view him sexist.
Reason 10: Jordan Peterson Believes That White Privilege Does Not Exist
Jordan Peterson is renowned for his opposition to what he perceives as political correctness and the identity politics that comes with it.
It is not surprising that he rejects the idea that white privilege exists.
Because of his popularity, his opposition to movements such as Black Lives Matter can be seen as undermining efforts to achieve racial justice.
Reason 11: Jordan Peterson is a Hack
Jordan Peterson has been accused of peddling pseudo-scientific claims (see his stance on climate change above).
While he has a notable background in clinical psychology, he also draws on philosophy and evolutionary psychology for his content.
He can be seen as stepping out of his lane in terms of expertise.
To some, the fact the he loosely uses terms such as “postmodern neo-Marxism” suggests that he does not have a solid grasp of the referenced schools of thought.
Many hail Jordan Peterson as a champion of free speech and an inspirational figure (especially among disgruntled and alienated young men).
But Jordan Peterson draws as many critics as he inspires followers. Those who are curious should read his books and listen to what he has to say – and reach their own conclusions.