ANU students slam Canadian guest speaker

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Students protest against Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson

ALMOST 100 ANU students are preparing to speak out against Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson when he speaks at Llewellyn Hall on February 15.

ANU student and protest organiser Grace Hill says it’s about exposing his reactionary views to show there’s opposition to his normalising and mainstreaming of conservative ideas. 

Mr Peterson shot to fame by promoting right-wing, pseudo-scientific ideas and has since published a New York Times bestseller, “12 Rules for Life”. 

In response to the “incel” phenomenon, Ms Hill says Mr Peterson posed “enforced monogamy” for women as a solution and suggested that it’s problematic that violence can’t be used to control “crazy women”.

“He appeals to young disenfranchised men who feel short changed by society and are looking for a narrative to explain feeling a lack of control and meaning in their lives,” she says. 

“The problem is Peterson is not just a humdrum life coach and professor. His political views come straight from the 1950s: he’s advocated for enforced monogamy, recycles biblical myths and discredited social darwinist theories to justify women’s unequal position in the workplace, and wants to push back against the gains trans rights activists have won.

National Union of Students ethno-cultural officer Hersha Kadkol says they’re not calling for his visa to be revoked or his speech to be cancelled.

“That’s not effective and more importantly it doesn’t stop the growth of these bigoted ideas. We want to show that these ideas are contested and not normal or mainstream common sense for most of us,” Hersha says. 

“We want to use our right to organise a public event to express our opposition to people like Peterson cohering an audience around these right wing ideas in Australia.”

The protest will be held at Llewellyn Hall, 7pm, February 15. 

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  1. Hi – Its important to discuss things openly. Civil society relies on respecting alternative views and not demonizing individuals. Ideas are interesting – no one has all the answers. Most people don’t even know what the questions are.

  2. How the hell does uncritically parroting a radical far leftist student ideologue count as even basic tier journalism?! ‘Reactionary’? News reporting using such language is highly reminiscent of that of Cultural Revolution era China.

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