Edmonton trans singer to perform at anti Jordan Peterson rally

It started with a quibble about pronouns that escalated into a hill to die on – a bitter partisan war over free speech and gender politics that shows no signs of a ceasefire.

University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson started it with his outspoken criticism of Bill C-16, which is meant to protect a person’s right to express their own gender identity. Peterson comes across like a perfectly civilized man – despite a flair for alarmist sesquipedalian hyperbole – yet has unwittingly spawned, and is profiting from, an obnoxious group of so-called “alt-right” followers.

Way over on the other side, Peterson’s “alt-left” opponents have taken issue – and a terrible conflagration of online hate has been unleashed.

Now he’s coming to Edmonton. On tour to promote his best-seller The 12 Rules of Life: An Antidote to Chaos, Peterson had been scheduled to speak at the Citadel Theatre – but the theatre canceled his talk in the wake of protest, and later apologized for how they handled it. The event was moved to the Hyatt Place hotel for Sunday, Feb 11 – and sold out as soon as it was announced.

Meanwhile, the progressive non-profit group Progress Alberta has stepped in with an anti-Jordan Peterson rally happening on the same night, at La Cite Francophone. Performing at the “Free Expression Party: 12 Rules of Resistance” will be Cassia J. Hardy from the local band Wares. She identifies as a “queer trans woman” – and while she says she’s read a lot about Peterson, she has no intention of reading The 12 Rules of Life.

She says, “I think it’s funny he’s supposed to be giving intellectual heft to the alt right movement and he’s up here publishing a fucking self help book like Chicken Soup for the Alt Right.”

Peterson refuses to use what he calls “preferred pronouns” to refer to a person’s gender identity. He and others object to being forced to use the word “they” as a singular pronoun – which the Calgary singer-songwriter Rae Spoon prefers. Peterson wrote in the National Post in November 2016, “… it is absurd to insist that each person should have the right to, or could practically, choose their own pronouns.”

Cassia Hardy argues that it should be up to the individual, and that government, schools, and so on should respect it. Actually, it’s the law. Bill C-16 passed in 2016, with Criminal Code provisions covering “hate propaganda.” Hardy says that in defying the law, Peterson is effectively marginalizing queer and trans people as human beings, forcing them “to constantly have to explain themselves.”

Asked if Peterson should even be allowed to speak at all, if it were up to her, hypothetically, the 25-year-old singer takes a long time to respond. She talks about “acceptable terms of debate” running counter to Jordan Peterson’s “wilful” misunderstanding of laws meant to protect transgendered people.

Hardy says, “Judging whether or not people should exist, or whether or not it’s right for people to use certain words for themselves that express themselves properly, and to make them feel good – those are not acceptable terms of debate, and I don’t think those things should be heard.”

Is there any room for calm discussion of the issue at all?

“Once we’re not debating the validity or existence of trans people, once people get it through their heads that we exist, and that we’re not playing a big fucking practical joke on people, living the way we are, then perhaps we can meet on more equal ground,” Hardy says.

Although there wouldn’t be an anti Jordan Peterson rally if there were no Jordan Peterson, Hardy says she doesn’t want to focus on the negative in Progress Alberta’s weekend event. “Free Expression Party: 12 Rules of Resistance” is supposed to be a party, after all. There are also speakers, comedians, and DJ Hood Joplin will be spinning dance music later on.

“We’re trying to have a really positive night,” Hardy says. “In light of this person coming to our town, we need to be united and we need to do more than just survive. There’s room for joy, and there must be.”

17 Responses to Edmonton trans singer to perform at anti Jordan Peterson rally

  1. Shae Guerin

    February 5, 2018 at 1:00 PM

    Well, here’s hoping something positive comes out of this. Mountain out of a molehill, and I agree with Peterson; in civil communication, there’s no place for confusion in pronouns. One presents fem, that person is “she”, as male, “he”. But the victim mentality won’t allow that.

    • optinion

      February 7, 2018 at 2:43 AM

      Confusion? Confusion is perfectly fine. I believe is point is about dictating certitudes and ambiguities arbitrarily, at will, and with the threat of theft or kidnapping by the state.

      This wordcraft could have been as fine and useful as any other etymology. Every word we have came from somewhere and many have definitions that are totally irrelevant to one another. The childish policing of how words are to be used is what has changed, or I should say has startlingly been adopted from conservatives of yesteryear.

    • Shae Guerin

      February 7, 2018 at 9:39 AM

      When I first heard about Peterson’s stand on pronouns, that potential for confusion was one of his talking points. As a politically-conservative trans person (more nonbinary than anything), I honestly could care less about how I’m addressed – store clerks “Ma’am” me, cool. My friends refer to me as “him” and call me by my boy name, fine. It’s more important to have a beer with them and a good chat, rather than throw a damper on a good time. But having government insist on nonsensical terminology in response to a very small (though vocal) group of people, well, NO.

      Oddly enough, it’s not the conservative elements of today’s society that I have to be concerned about. My shooting clubs, the constituency associations I work with, the rural bars and shops I frequent have no problem with how I present. However, the liberals all insist on correcting my speech and constantly insist that as a trans person, I have to espouse their own misguided liberal polemic.

      But Hardy and other “trans activists” revel in their victim status, while insisting that others don’t have similar hard times. Special snowflakes all – this is what happens when a silver-spoon-fed drag queen like M. Panas buys a pair of tits and gets on a bandwagon to tell the world how his feelings were hurt.

  2. Jacob Xavior

    February 5, 2018 at 2:11 PM

    No problem making judgments about a book she refuses to read or a person she refuses to hear speak. Tells me all I need to know.

  3. Zainab Baqri

    February 5, 2018 at 3:46 PM

    “while she says she’s read a lot about Peterson, she has no intention of reading The 12 Rules of Life”

    Cassia sounds like another Cathy Newman, beating on a strawman that doesn’t exist. Peterson isn’t against trans, or denying their existence, he’s against government mandated, dictated speech.

    “those are not acceptable terms of debate, and I don’t think those things should be heard”

    This position is nonsensical, not to mention dangerously against democratic principles. Speaking as a liberal who voted Trudeau, acting like a caricature by trying to misrepresent and silence other points of view, is only driving more people away.

    • Shae Guerin

      February 5, 2018 at 6:19 PM

      Thank you. I’m trans as well, and you put the argument against Hardy’s stand eloquently. We don’t need protection; standing up for our rights in civil discourse is enough.

  4. Josh

    February 5, 2018 at 6:28 PM

    Debating existence……… my goodness, the delusional whining….

    How deep the termites have infested…..

  5. Truth

    February 5, 2018 at 7:57 PM

    But that’s not his position at all, it was never about not wanting trasns people to have protection under the law it was about being “FORCED” by the GOV to use words they choose for us. If you are going to write an article the least you could do is get at least one fact correct.

    It’s so weird how all the trans activists are up in arms but the regular rational trans folks have no problem with Dr. P…

    I guess some people just need to live in their little bubble.

  6. Lorne

    February 6, 2018 at 5:31 AM

    Peterson has stated multiple times that he has no issue with transgender people. Period.

    His issue is VERY simple.

    He does not believe in speech being legislated by the government. This is a government issue, and NOT about transgender people. This just happened to be the topic that the government was legislating speech on.

    Freedom of Speech… people. It has nothing to do with the transgender community. Make sure you are removing your heads from left-wing echo chambers before you make foolish assumptions.

    • Shae Guerin

      February 6, 2018 at 9:29 AM

      Bravo. It’s good to see others commenting like this. Demanding “respect” as opposed to actually earning it is silly. As one of those trans people just living a life, I’d love to heckle this “Free Expression Party,” but will instead be attending Peterson’s talk. There’s MY joy…

  7. Blake

    February 6, 2018 at 11:23 AM

    I’m no JP fanboy, and I unequivocally support trans peoples right to exist, express themselves and safely flourish. But this kind of argument, as expressed by some of trans activists within academia, does nothing to advance that cause and is a disservice to the community they purport to represent.

    First, it is clear to anyone willing to listen that the argument JP expresses regarding C-16 has nothing to do with trans peoples right to exist nor even their right to request any pronoun they want, but rather addresses whether we should cede the power to the state to legally compel specific speech via criminal penalty. Anyone who has reviewed the history of such linguistic compulsion must conclude that is a non-trivial issue worthy of discussion at the very least.

    Second, attempting to equate someone’s rational political disagreement with your position as hate speech, abuse and violence will lead others to conclude you actually care about acquiring authoritarian power and controllinng the terms of the discussion more than you do advancing social justice. You will loose many potential allies who care deeply about the advancement of social justice but see authoritarian state compulsion of speech to be in direct contradiction with that goal. I am one of those allies that you have lost, sadly, although I will always defend the rights of trans people to pursue happiness, along with everyone else.

  8. Jan

    February 6, 2018 at 12:58 PM

    How many times does Jordan Peterson have to say he has nothing against trans people? His issue is only with legislated compelled speech. He has also stated that he has received dozens of letters from trans people who don’t like compelled speech either. Actions by his opponents has propelled him into a world renowned figure. Think about that.

  9. Steve

    February 7, 2018 at 10:45 AM

    “Once we’re not debating the validity or existence of trans people, once people get it through their heads that we exist, and that we’re not playing a big fucking practical joke on people, living the way we are, then perhaps we can meet on more equal ground,” Hardy

    Actually we are through that debate. As a matter a fact the debate is not even remotely about that subject. When are SJW going to actually open their eyes and ears and have civil debate rather than project about what they think the debate is about?

  10. Sam

    February 8, 2018 at 3:25 PM

    Why do the lefty journos all write the exact same hitpiece that’s been debunked a thousand times in a thousand ways? It’s getting quite ridiculous. Thank God the masses are starting to see through it.

  11. Jason Way

    February 8, 2018 at 11:42 PM

    Y’all realize that C-16 is a symbolic gesture? It’s harmless. You know how difficult it is to get a hate crime recognized in the first place? Think of what the beurocratic process of someone being charged for this in the first place would look like.

    As a trans person, it would be difficult or near impossible to bring an employer far enough to court to get them convicted of transphobia in the first place. If it was about pronoun use? Even harder.

    This bill is symbolic. It’s the government giving a gesture that says “We no longer see this as publicly acceptable. Start treating the LGBTQ community like human beings.” This gesture is useless practicality wise, but the social impact is powerful and tangible.

    You can all feel safe knowing that the SCARY PC COMMUNITY OF QUEERS AND FEMINISTS isn’t going to actually show up to your house and throw you in jail for doublespeak. Like, really. Chill out. We’ll never have that kind of power and we don’t want it.

    Also super proud of my community in Edmonton for setting up such a constructive and bonding protest. Great job!!

  12. Jordan Peterson

    February 10, 2018 at 4:27 AM

    Peter Jordandad is greatly exaggerating the concern about this bill and it’s effects on free speech.

    He’s playing to a bunch of uneducated people who believe his conspiracies about postmodernism or communism (lol) are something profound.

    Meanwhile, he has the freedom to say whatever the hell he wants (even if it’s patently false or exaggerated) and gets paid for it.

    He’s just preying on people afraid of change.

  13. Jason Deez

    February 12, 2018 at 6:04 PM

    Classic neo liberal shenanigans. Just fabricating a monster so they can push their identity politics down everyone’s throats. Strawman should be the defacto mascot/superhero of the left.