Last night I read with considerable dismay in The Varsity and the National Post about UofT professor Jordan B. Peterson trumpeting the nonexistence of nonbinary gender identities as part of an attack on Bill C-16. From e.g. the latter:-
He also argues against the existence of non-binary gender identities, or those that are not exclusively masculine or feminine , sayingI don't think there's any evidence for it.
All that is necessary to invalidate a faulty claim is one counterexample. In this case, I am that counterexample. I openly defy Peterson by existing: I am nonbinary and transgender.
As a private citizen, Peterson has the right to say whatever does not contravene the law. As a professor, he is held to a higher standard, one that includes a professional duty of care for the entire student body. I refuse to stand by and just let him harm vulnerable trans, genderqueer, and other marginalized members of the university community -- at UofT, in Toronto, in Ontario, in Canada, or internationally -- on my watch.
Academic freedom was never intended to be used as a general-purpose shield against professorial accountability. If Peterson fears the Trudeau government passing Bill C-16 into law, he should smarten up his act by upgrading his ethics circuits, not by marshalling opposition to basic and long overdue human rights protections for people he refuses to even try to understand.
The existence of trans and genderqueer folks (at UofT or elsewhere) is not up for discussion. It never was. We have existed for millennia.
Trans Media Watch:-