Jordan Peterson, the University of Toronto professor who sparked a firestorm of protest last year for being politically incorrect, has been nominated to become the Rector of Scotland’s prestigious Glasgow University.
Peterson entered the public spotlight when he rejected the use of manufactured gender-neutral “preferred pronouns” rather than “he” or “she.” His objection to the Toronto government’s move to criminalize pronoun misuse earned him the ire of the progressive left, who accused him of bigotry against transgender-identifying students, who insist gender rests on a spectrum, and not a binary.
A psychologist by trade, Peterson is vocal opponent of “safe space” culture on campuses and argues that progressives threaten freedom of speech through their attempts to police language through public shaming and acts of physical violence. The professor often expresses his views on his YouTube channel, where he also shares his lectures on Western philosophy and dissections of popular culture.
Students at Glasgow University backed Paterson for the 565-year old position, which is currently held by Edward Snowden, the transparency advocate and former NSA contractor who leaked top-secret documents to WikiLeaks. The prestigious position was once held by philosopher Edmund Burke, the great economist Adam Smith, and poet Thomas Campbell. It is regarded as one of the most senior positions at the university.
Peterson received enough votes to make him eligible for the position, which he intends to stand. He will go up against other nominated individuals for the position when the ballot is held next month.
According to The Times, Peterson expressed humility and gratitude for the nomination by students who support his free speech advocacy. He says he will continue to stand his ground against the enforcement of gender-neutral terms and the calls to silence speakers who reject it.
“What I would consider manufactured pronouns stem from the operation of a philosophical and political agenda that I don’t agree with at all,” said Peterson.
If Peterson is awarded the position of Rector, his views will most certainly be at odds with Glasgow University’s own policies on the use of “preferred pronouns,” which may be just the right thing to shake things up in the world of academia.