The Jordan Peterson Interview Was A Cultural Watershed

It is important to step back from the negative backlash to the interview Cathy Newman conducted with Jordan Peterson and look at the big picture.

Since it took place, Peterson and his supporters have been accused of inciting a mob against Newman and other Channel 4 journos. There are, unfortunately, always inarticulate fools who take things too far and Twitter provides a convenient platform for them to do so. It is pathetic that Newman has been called “a bitch” for that interview. The fact is that if she hadn’t opposed Peterson so strongly, the debate would not have been as thrilling to watch as it was.

There is a real back and forth now; a genuine dialectic.

Instead of getting too embroiled in the he said she said drama of it all, I think we need to take note of what a cultural watershed the interview was. A whole new (non SJW) discourse around gender, being and identity is being created (those of us who read and contribute to this website have played a part in this). There is a real back and forth now; a genuine dialectic. This is partly why Newman didn’t have the language to respond to Peterson’s arguments. This stuff is really new. At least in terms of mainstream public discourse anyway. Right now, we are having a difficult and complex discussion about morality and culture. Not just in obscure intellectual circles, but in front of mass audiences (the Channel 4 video has gained millions of views in a very short space of time).

It is incredibly heartening to see someone as kind, thoughtful and well-rounded as Jordan Peterson rise to the top of this new movement. It shows that what it represents is not about misogyny and bigotry, but truth-seeking and puzzling through hard questions. Just a cursory glance at Peterson’s YouTube channel will tell you that. He has clearly spent a long time pondering these ideas and interrogating his own position on them. That is why people are drawn to him, because they wrestle with those issues in the same way

Things are about to get very interesting indeed.

Candice Holdsworth

Candice Holdsworth is the founder and editor of Imagine Athena. It is mythologised that she sprang fully formed from its pages. Candice has an MSc in Political Philosophy from the London School of Economics, and thus can be most commonly found discussing ideas and culture. Her writing can also be found on Thought Leader and On Netflix Now. Follow her on Twitter @CandiceCarrie and Instagram @candicecholdsworth