If you think Peterson has only said 3 or 4 offensive things, you clearly haven’t watched enough of his stuff or you just aren’t paying attention. You are right to be concerned by the danger of his certainty in himself, which betrays a real lack of self-reflection or awareness. He’s deeply misogynistic, meaning not that he hates women or thinks they are naturally inferior (that’s sexism) but he does believe that women belong in their place — at home, having babies. They probably can’t really work with men (read, shouldn’t) and wearing lipstick to work is likely inviting sexual harassment, nevermind that harassment isn’t actually about sexual attraction, but is about exerting dominance and power using sex as a weapon.
There’s no white privilege despite a host of easily verifiable facts that say otherwise, including the recent Starbucks incident and this one, “Unarmed black men are seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire,” the Washington Post reports on police brutality targeted at black Americans. The report estimated that an unarmed black man was shot and killed by police every nine days in 2015.” Just as he’s not a sexist, but is a misogynist, he’s not a racist but what ever the corresponding term is that applies.
I used to find him interesting, but the more I watch, the more disturbed I become. For a psychologist, he’s clearly not done very much of his own inner work and just projects his shit all over the place. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’s got “mommy” issues. Beyond that, I don’t give a fuck what he has to say anymore because it’s coming out of the mouth of such a regressive and unempathetic human being. If you are not applying philosophy in a way that overwhelmingly improves things for the vast majority of people the vast majority of the time, I’m not interested in it. It belongs in academic discussion and not as some kind of roadmap for life.
My first exposure to him was the fascinating talks about the mythological origins of our concept of god, which I really liked at first glance, but I’ve come to realize that he takes this “myths as the basis of real life” to the extreme. Just like the Babylonian, Marduk, he feels the need to subdue Chaos in the form of the great mother goddess Tiamat. Sure, she births the world and all that, but what is actually needed is some good old male-enforced structure here!
What might actually be useful to advise a generation of men who are dealing with shifting expectations and identities is to take a good hard look at their own shit…. beyond cleaning their rooms and standing up straight. Everyone needs to look at their own stuff — in deep detail, because ultimately nothing is more empowering. Look at how you Be in the world and how you treat other people. Look at how it’s possible that you needlessly contribute to negative experiences for others and see if it’s possible to mitigate some of those as you are working your way towards creating a life for yourself. That’s actual self-responsibility! Consider how continuing to embrace zero-sum outlooks is harming not only you, the individual, but all of your personal and professional relationships as well as society at large.
He has so much potential, but good god, the man is a menace! I hope you will enjoy your philosophy books but also embrace more real world solutions that take into account all of the circumstances in play and not just the ones that conveniently make Peterson’s point in the moment.