Jordan Peterson has become one of the most influential and recognized intellectuals in the media at the moment after his best selling book ‘12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos’ and has been selling out shows across the world since. The former Harvard professor is known for his controversial views and is not afraid to argue his point.
Peterson came under fire at the University of Toronto for refusing to use gender neutral pronouns for transgender students. Several videos eventually circulated of the arguments between him and transgender students and protestors
In an interview with Vice News, the topic of the #metoo movement came up and his response was interestingly unusual in true Peterson fashion. Not shocked of the information regarding sexual assault and harassment rampant among Hollywood’s entertainment industry because “Hollywood have been capitalising on sexual misbehaviour for like 100 years.”
Peterson said he believes in any workplace today, sexual misconduct is more apparent than it was 30 years ago, and believes “We don’t know if men and women can work together successfully in the workplace.” According to Peterson, when it comes to ‘sexualising’ the work environment, the average person has no clue as to what the rules surrounding the topic are
Peterson raised a troublesome argument regarding uniform that “why should women wear makeup”, and continued to argue that red lipstick is to mimic the colour of arousal. Peterson didn’t stop at lipstick, but brought facts forward such as High Heels were initially designed to make women’s legs appear longer, thus creating sexual attractiveness. As a male, to me this made sense, but blaming sexual misconduct, which has historically been overwhelmingly a male issue on women, is simply wrong. If we were to follow his logic of completely desexualising the workplace, it would require action by both parties of men and women.
If raising the question ‘why should women wear makeup?’, we should also ask why should men wear wear designer clothes or watches?? All things we might associate with looking “Professional”…
Peterson has become famous for his argumentative tactics that he often uses to avoid saying anything definitive as to what should be done, but offers his suggestions. This is clear from the interview that despite pointing the finger heavily at women, he’ll speak on a heavily general level on such a complex issue and neglect to mention other factors that contribute to sexual assault and harassment in a workplace.
“I’m not saying that people shouldn’t use sexual displays in the workplace… But I am saying that is what they are doing.”
For the entire interview, Peterson had inferred that if a professional woman doesn’t want sexual harassment in the workplace, she is making a critical mistake by wearing makeup. When ideas like this are put in place it takes the attention away from where the issue lies, which is clearly with the men who are exploiting and viewing women not as objects of professionalism and intelligence like they would hope for themselves, but creating the sexualisation of the workplace that is plaguing industries all over including Hollywood.
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