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The Atlantic: Why cant people hear what Jordan Peterson is saying?

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I don't believe that he meant regular monogamy with the term "enforced monogamy".  Let's revisit the Times article:

 

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Violent attacks are what happens when men do not have partners, Mr. Peterson says, and society needs to work to make sure those men are married.

 

“He was angry at God because women were rejecting him,” Mr. Peterson says of the Toronto killer. “The cure for that is enforced monogamy. That’s actually why monogamy emerges.”

 

Mr. Peterson does not pause when he says this. Enforced monogamy is, to him, simply a rational solution. Otherwise women will all only go for the most high-status men, he explains, and that couldn’t make either gender happy in the end.

 

Half the men fail,” he says, meaning that they don’t procreate. “And no one cares about the men who fail.”

It makes no sense to propose the status quo as a solution to what he sees as a problem of men failing (to find spouses) turning violent. Monogamy is very much the societal norm in Canada and the US, its obviously not resulting in incel losers getting married.  By proposing it as a solution he implied that it meant something beyond the current social standard.  But theres more...

 

 

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But aside from interventions that would redistribute sex, Mr. Peterson is staunchly against what he calls “equality of outcomes,” or efforts to equalize society. He usually calls them pathological or evil. He agrees that this is inconsistent. But preventing hordes of single men from violence, he believes, is necessary for the stability of society. Enforced monogamy helps neutralize that.

How is monogamy, as it exists today, something that could possibly be seen as "equality of outcome"?  It guarantees absolutely nothing, and so again this doesn't make sense if he's talking about the current social norm.  Either the writer really went overboard trying to frame his words dishonestly, which I doubt, or he's back tracking now that he realizes he went too far.

 

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4 hours ago, grego said:

https://thefederalist.com/2018/05/21/the-left-and-the-right-arent-hearing-the-same-jordan-peterson/

The Left And The Right Aren’t Hearing The Same Jordan Peterson

A New York Times Magazine hit piece says more about the mainstream media than it says about Jordan Peterson.
 

Dr. Jordan Peterson, who has enjoyed a surge into fame over the past year, has become a bit like the Yanny and Laurel audio meme. People listen to what he has to say but disagree wildly about what they are hearing.

Some hear a man with important ideas that can help people live a more fulfilling life, others hear a dangerous misogynist who wants to set back the cause of liberated women, trans people, and the rest of the cast(e) of oppression. In a feature for The New York Times Magazinethis weekend, Nellie Bowles clearly came down on the latter side.

 

 

(I see this all the time these days - people are seeing two very different things and that reliably seems to be determined by our political leanings) 

 

I am sorry but this is nonsense.

 

Peterson has a history of making absurd statements about the two sexes. We aren't reading Shakespeare or old English over here. Peterson's words and his views on sexuality, feminism and gender roles are crystal clear.

 

He along with many others like him just have a real problem with criticism and large chunks of society finding their views abhorrent. You can't make ridiculously sexist statements time and time again, and blame others for not understanding you.

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I think Peterson knew exactly what he was doing when he used the term "enforced monogamy".  The term's imprecise definition, yet evocative imagery, I'd bet, allows for certain type of response from his core followers.  Yet when called out on it, he can hide behind, that word doesn't mean what you think it does.  I doubt that the word choice accidental.  

 

Now at the core of things, Peterson and his defenders are still wrong.  They are conflating the definition of monogamy or socially promoted monogamy with enforced monogamy.  Some examples of how the term has been used in anthropological circles show that it is indeed reprehensible (as shown by Peterson's world view as described in that article, some examples which are cited by Destino, and requires no real parsing to understand what he's saying).  

 

Given Peterson's familiarity with lobsters, it would not be at all surprising if he came across the term in "Monogamy in Crustacea and Man".  That paper defines three categories of monogamy

 

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A monogamic (social or mating) system that for a certain time involves only one male and one female may be (a) mutual monogamy, if both partners pick on monogamy as the preferable type of association. Or it may be (b) enforced monogamy, if one partner is coerced into passive monogamy by the other. Or it may be (c) a circumstantial monogamy (= Facultative mono- gamy; KLEIMAN 1977), if e.g. a male despite polygamic tendencies can only get (or afford) one female; this in fact is a one-female-harem rather than selectively effective monogamy

 

So yeah, advocating enforced monogamy as a solution for guys not being able to find a willing partner is every bit as despicable as one would think, regardless of whether the method employed is physical, mental, societal, or any other means of coercion.  This isn't some bias of the reader showing through.   

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This is too funny/sad not to post. Here is Stefan Molyneux, another right wing “intellectual” with some solid advice for his thousands of followers: 

 

 

I remember the Jordan Peterson subreddit used to have links to online IQ tests in its side bar. I wonder if it still does. 

 

Insecure with fragile egos yet totally oblivious to who they are. 

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Re:  The Left And The Right Aren’t Hearing The Same Jordan Peterson

 

Is it left vs. right?  Or is it "people who would benefit from the institution of Jordan Peterson's ideas" (i.e., incels) vs. "normally functioning members of society"?  I think it's the latter. 

 

I think Peterson is speaking to a very specific market (because those are who he makes his $$$$ off of) and does not give a **** about how anyone else perceives him.  

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Posted (edited)

Here is some insight into the kind of circles that Jordan Peterson is popular in.

 

This is Gavin McInnes, founder of “Proud Boys”, a popular anti-feminist right wing club full of young men (mostly white). 

 

There initiation ceremony is the dumbest thing you will ever watch:

 

 

It gets worse. This group actively promotes violence against women:  

 

 

 

He has roughly 250K+ followers just on Twitter. 

 

While someone like Peterson gives academic credibility to violently anti-women ideas, people like McInnes are doing the grassroots work of organizing the **** boys of this country. 

 

At some point we will have to ask ourselves if we are ok with popular right wing men openly espousing violence against women. After all, they elected a mysoginyst who brags about sexually assaulting women. 

 

This is not a right vs left issue, but one of basic human decency.

Edited by No Excuses
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And if you report these guys who put their violent anti-woman speech on FB or Twitter as violating their terms of service or community standards, you get a reply back saying, No, no violations. 

 

And if you think this is bad, you should read some of the anti-woman filth that's allowed also. 

 

Misogyny is allowed on both of these platforms.

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41 minutes ago, LadySkinsFan said:

And if you report these guys who put their violent anti-woman speech on FB or Twitter as violating their terms of service or community standards, you get a reply back saying, No, no violations. 

 

And if you think this is bad, you should read some of the anti-woman filth that's allowed also. 

 

Misogyny is allowed on both of these platforms.

 

Yup. Facebook and Twitter execs are such chicken ****s and so scared of being labeled partisan that they have effectively created a safe space for violent right wing racists and misogynists on their platform. It's despicable. 

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Others have mentioned that "monogamy" is the norm and that therefore "enforced monogamy" as a solution must imply a change in the status quo.

 

I'll add another dimension to that, slut shaming is still a pretty common thing that many women will suffer through at some point, and heaven help them if its as a result of them sleeping with someone(s).

 

Indeed we basically have enforced monogamy for women in all but a legal sense, in the manner Peterson is suggesting (not so much for men though).  A woman who sleeps with multiple men in a short timespan will generally suffer at least some social repurcussions or attacks.  Polygamy is still outlawed, and indeed some states still have adultery laws (though they are admittedly rarely enforced).  Similarly, there are civil consequences for adultery, as they can lead to for-fault divorces (though this aspect is generally less gender divisive, generally the offending party pays the price).

 

Bearrock has it right.  This was a ploy by Peterson.  His followers know exactly what he means, but he's got enough wiggle room to pretend he didn't mean it that way, but a deeper analysis (which most won't do) will demonstrate one of two things; 1) Peterson was full of crap and forgot all the social norms that do currently encourage monogamy, or 2) he is aware of thise social norms and thinks we must go farther.

 

With option 1) he's a fool worth ignoring, as his ideas are ill formed.

With option 2) well, we know what he is.

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2 hours ago, DogofWar1 said:

 

Bearrock has it right.  This was a ploy by Peterson.  

 

How do you know? I mean you may be right for all. I know, but how do you know? 

 

It seems to be the case that people who are not in step with a group get accused of having some ulterior motive rather than the reason being that they actually believe what they say. 

 

There's also the perception problem - people think everyone sees and interprets things just like they or their tribe does. 

 

Remember the Google memo? When I saw Brooke Baldwin say that damore didn't want women anywhere near a computer, I thought it was some kind of joke because I read the memo and got a completely - in fact opposite - impression. 

 

You may be giving Peterson too much credit (in addition to possibly misunderstanding what he's saying). 

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Biologically speaking is monogamy even the "right" thing though? 

 

I sort of look at monogamy/monogamous relationships as a social construct created for the betterment of society as a whole. 

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If he believes what he says, that's fine for him personally. 

 

That doesn't mean that it should be promulgated and made public policy. 

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10 hours ago, grego said:

 

How do you know? I mean you may be right for all. I know, but how do you know? 

 

It seems to be the case that people who are not in step with a group get accused of having some ulterior motive rather than the reason being that they actually believe what they say. 

 

There's also the perception problem - people think everyone sees and interprets things just like they or their tribe does. 

 

Remember the Google memo? When I saw Brooke Baldwin say that damore didn't want women anywhere near a computer, I thought it was some kind of joke because I read the memo and got a completely - in fact opposite - impression. 

 

You may be giving Peterson too much credit (in addition to possibly misunderstanding what he's saying). 

 

He's either a blithering fool or a villain.  I don't particularly care which, but he's certainly one or the other.  For what its worth, his words portray him as the former, but that's not everything.

 

Peterson has this bit in the NYT piece:

Quote

“He was angry at God because women were rejecting him,” Mr. Peterson says of the Toronto killer. “The cure for that is enforced monogamy. That’s actually why monogamy emerges.”

 

An important point here, Peterson presents a problem (the anger the Toronto killer felt), and states "the cure for that is enforced monogamy."  That suggests a shift in the status quo.  There is an ill in the status quo, and a cure can be introduced.  Peterson's words suggest a change to the present situation, specifically, the situation the Toronto killer found himself in was one that lacked "enforced monogamy."

 

Indeed, the problem for Peterson is less the "enforced monogamy" part and more the portrayal of it as a "cure."

 

But more on that later.  So what the heck is enforced monogamy?  Well there are a couple possible interpretations of it.

 

One is as the NYT and many readers interpreted as, that is, enabling greater access to females of incel males.  The other is as he argues he meant in his own piece:

Quote

Here’s something intelligent about the issue, written by antiquark2 on reddit (after the NYT piece appeared and produced its tempest in a tea pot): “Peterson is using well-established anthropological language here: “enforced monogamy” does not mean government-enforced monogamy. “Enforced monogamy” means socially-promoted, culturally-inculcated monogamy

Another bit that seems to sort of sum up his point coherently:

Quote

Just the plain, bare, common-sense facts: socially-enforced monogamous conventions decrease male violence. In addition (and not trivially) they also help provide mothers with comparatively reliable male partners, and increase the probability that stable, father-intact homes will exist for children.

 

So he's defined his version of enforced monogamy as "socially-promoted, culturally inculcated monogamy" or "socially-enforced monogamous conventions."

 

 

Here's the problem.  Peterson never explains how to implement his "cure."  There's an ill he perceives, and he states something is a cure, but when challenged he basically just says "I meant monogamous social conventions."

 

Okay, but how does that apply practically?  Like what has to change to fix the situation of the Toronto killer?  Laws?  Well probably not, at least if you ask him straight up, since he says not using government.  Social norms?  Okay, but what specific social norms would be change and how?

 

Indeed, Peterson spends lots of time talking about and quoting works on how humans are "polygynous."  But Peterson doesn't address the fact that modern human society, at least in the vast majority of states (including the US and Canada), social norms and even laws have pushed society towards monogamy.  Adultery is illegal in Virginia, for example.  No one gets prosecuted but there is still technically a law on the book.  Women who sleep with too many men are called sluts.  Men who cheat are criticized.  People who break marriage bonds via affairs often get punished in divorce proceedings.  Holidays are based around pair bonding (Valentines), and marketing and advertising is geared towards "couples."

 

We are indeed constantly bombarded by information suggesting we ought to have a mate, BUT that information suggests a SINGLE mate, not multiple mates at once.

 

Which brings us back to the problem with Peterson.

 

Enforced monogamy is a cure for a present ill, as he stated.  The suggestion, just by the plain language, is that we have not achieved "enforced monogamy" socially, and that implementing enforced monogamy socially will help to fix the problem of angry young males who kill people with cars in Toronto.

 

Now perhaps some readers of the NYT article took their interpretation too far.  While Peterson implies that something more must be done in the direction of "enforced monogamy" he is silent as to what specifically.  He makes some vague implications but nothing really more.

 

Now, I will mention, the interpretation of many who read NYT is not unreasonable.  Kid is mad bc he has been rejected.  Solution is enforced monogamy.  If the way to make him not angry is for him to not be rejected, and enforced monogamy will lead to him not being rejected, by what mechanism does enforced monogamy lead to acceptance compared to the status quo?

 

Peterson, for his part, doesn't really delve into the mechanism by which enforced monogamy results in non-rejection.  His defense of himself is essentially to define what enforced monogamy means, literally.  But practically, we're still without an answer.

 

Hence, blithering fool.  He's states by saying there's a solution to the Toronto killer and then proceeds to not explain his solution in any sort of useful way at any point, while also not explaining why all our current society's monogamous social norms/laws fall short.

 

 

That being said, I don't think the man isn't smart, he certainly is, at least in an exploitative fashion.  He knows how to manipulate his followers for monetary results.  I suspect he knows the blank in between "1) enforced monogamy, 2)???, 3) pair bonding aka. vagina access" will be filled in by his followers with some sort of misogynistic social norm or law or something, and he's fine with that.  He also wants to be able to write defenses of himself while still sending winks to his people so they keep sending him money.

 

That is, ultimately, the most logical explanation.  If he doesn't know that his followers will fill it in, then his going on and on about enforced monogamy without actually providing a practical application for it becomes all the stranger.  Normal people don't act that way.  A normal person sees a problem, thinks of a solution, and then implements/conveys the solution in a practical sense.  Peterson does no such thing, which is weird, because if he's not expecting his followers to fill in 2), one would think he himself would fill it in for us.  But he hasn't, so if he's not engaged in trying to extract money, then I feel like it suggests he's not that bright.

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Posted (edited)

Anybody claiming that enforced monogamy in sciences can not mean just that in some cases is lying.  There are plenty of cases where scientists enforce monogamy on their subjects and study what happens.

 

Just as an example:

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/268/1467/557.long

 

Even when it is not experimentally enforced, enforced monogamy is about males manipulating females for the male's (evolutionary) advantage.  

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1046/j.1420-9101.2003.00654.x

 

Either way, Peterson is looking at the fact that we have a problem and lying the solution to the problem at the feet of females.  The solution to males walking into places and killing a bunch of people is for females to change their behavior.  It is the same thing he did with sexual assault.  It is the same thing he did with the sexual assault comments that started this thread.  The solution for sexual assault and work place harassment is for women to stop wearing make up.

 

For somebody that supposedly preaches growing up and self-responsibility, he's doing a lot of blame shifting here.

 

I have an idea, maybe the solution to men being violent lays at the feet of men, and the solution is for men to change their behavior/expectations.

Edited by PeterMP
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