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Feminism & Equality

Introduction to Jordan B. Peterson

Jordan’s website   &    Jordan’s YouTube Channel

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is a world famous clinical psychologist. He has a huge online following and has written a number of best sellers. One of which is below. I highly recommend this book. He is a clinical psychologist and professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, Canada. From 1993 to 1998 he served as assistant and then associate professor of psychology at Harvard. He spent fifteen years writing Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (1999; released in June 2018 as a now bestselling author-read audiobook). Maps of Meaning is a scholarly investigation into the nature of narrative and religious thought, the structure of perception, the regulation of emotion, and the motivation for atrocity in the service of ideology. Dr. Peterson also penned the popular global bestsellers Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life & 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, #1 for nonfiction in 2018 in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Brazil and Norway, both translated into some 50 languages. The latter book has sold more than five million copies; the former, released in mid 2021, 750,000.

NEW VOCABULARY:  Huge, following, Clinical psychologist, emeritus, served as, bestselling, 
author, scholarly investigation, narrative,  structure of perception, regulation of emotion,
atrocity, ideology, penned, global bestseller, nonfiction, former

AUDIO REVISION: Listen to the audio and read the paragraph at the same time. 

Section One:

Whatever else anybody might think of him, Professor Peterson is a man of remarkable learning and experience, and does not appear to have arrived at any of his views by the now common means of ‘I reckon’. Yet Cathy Newman, who approaches the interview for the BBC with the trademark sourness she employs for everyone she expects to disagree with, treats this as just another chance to burnish her own social justice credentials and expose her guest as a bigot. This was a big mistake. 


NEW VOCABULARY:    remarkable learning, trademark, sourness, treats, burnish, social justice, credentials, expose, bigot


AUDIO REVISION: Listen to the audio and read the paragraph at the same time. 

GRAMMAR SECTION:  Conjunctions  conjunctions list DOWNLOAD



Section Two:

Storming straight in with the differences between the sexes, in the opening minutes it is clear that Professor Peterson is willing to back up all his views with references, data and calm analysis. By 4 minutes in Cathy Newman is saying ‘What gives you the right to say that?’. One answer to which is ‘Because you invited me on your show.’ Another being ‘Because I have years of experience in these fields as a psychologist and academic as well as being a human being with eyes.’ Peterson is too polite to say this. But it becomes clear that in the face of the facts Channel 4’s prize interviewer has nothing more than stances. And not even especially intelligent stances.


NEW VOCABULARY: storming, the sexes, opening minutes, willing, back up, calm analysis, fields, prize interviewer, stances




Video Listening Section:   Watch and listen to the video of Jordan Peterson being interviewed by the BBC interviewer Cathy Newman who clearly has her own agenda.

The questions below are not in chronological order. Listen to the interview and answer as best as you can. Remember that most of the answers should be based on your own opinion.

          1. What does it mean when Kathy asks Jordan, “Does it bother you?”
          2. How many woman are there heading companies on the FTSE 100 at the moment. What is the FTSE 100?
          3. At what level does the ‘gender pay gap’ stand at the moment as a percentage (%)?  What is the gender pay gap? Explain.
          4. Do you think that either Jordan Peterson was answering questions  as a chauvinist or do you think that Cathy Newman was asking questions as a feminist. Or neither, or both. Defend your answer.
          5. After watching the interview do you think that Kathy Newman asked unreasonable questions?  If your answer is ‘yes’ how do you think Jordan defended himself? If your answer is ‘no’ can you defend Cathy’s methodology of questioning? 
          6. When talking about data analysis what is skewing?
          7. In your opinion is ‘gender equality’ a myth?

Section Three:

By 11 minutes in she is saying ‘I think I take issue with (that)’, before demonstrating that she can’t. Soon she is reduced to dropping the bombshell observation that ‘all women are different’. By 16.45 there is a palpable win, as Peterson points out that Newman has exactly the disagreeable and aggressive qualities that allow certain types of people to succeed. By 19.30 she is having to throw out things to him that he hasn’t even said, such as ‘You’re saying women aren’t intelligent enough to run top companies’. A minute later and she is reduced to countering empirical evidence with anecdote. Peterson presents the data about men in general and Newman responds with the ‘I know plenty of men who aren’t (like that)’ card. Shortly after that (at 22.25) Newman is reduced to spluttering and then silence. She tries to pull herself together. But she can think of nothing to say. She tries to whip herself back up to a fever of indignation, but that doesn’t work either. And then finally she tries to finish off the interview in the same way the Today programme did by taking up a half-humorous evolutionary case-study Peterson has written about (lobsters) and used it to try to present him as some kind of madman or imbecile.


NEW VOCABULARY:  dropping, bombshell, palpable, to point out, disagreeable, aggressive, throw out things, countering, empirical,
evidence, anecdotal, spluttering, pull herself together, whip up, fever of indignation, to finish off, half-humorous, evolutionary,
case-study, lobsters, kind of madman, imbecile




Section Four:

The general British broadcast media treatment of Peterson was not just ignorant and parochial (and aren’t some ‘internationalists’ just the most parochial people of all?). It showed that it has become acceptable for an interviewer to go in with nothing other than an ambition to demonstrate their moral superiority at the expense of the interviewee. This may be fun and help burnish the sense of moral preening of the presenter. But it allows the audience to learn nothing. Indeed the only thing it does do is to replace serious discussion with an embedding of existing prejudices. It is in places like this that the ‘division’ that we hear so much occurs. If you happen to share Cathy Newman’s views then you want her not only to show them but to crush or expose any and all enemies. But if yesterday’s interview is anything to go by, all she has is attitudes. And lazy attitudes at that. In the face of facts she is reduced to talking about people she knows.


NEW VOCABULARY broadcast, ignorant, parochial, internationalists, interviewer, ambition, demonstrate, moral, superiority, expense, interviewee, to burnish, preening, audience, indeed,  embedding, existing, predudices, division, crush, expose, attitudes, lazy




Writing Section:  Whilst watching TV in Brazil do you have a favourite political interview TV programme and interviewer. Can you remember a particular interview that sparked controversy. Write 150 words about both the interviewer and the interviewee. And your opinion about the interview.


Grammar:   In your text use a selection of the perfect tenses. Present, past and future. You may need to review the lessons on the link below. And, incorporate  as many conjunctions as possible. See download document in the GRAMMAR SECTION above

Free Downloadable English Lessons





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