Jordan Peterson Thinks Women Should Stay At Home
My Stance on the Issue
I tend to say I am central on many issues. I call myself an egalitarian and view both men and women as equals. In my past, my views were more centered on being a radical feminist. I read many theories based on the work of Gloria Steinem and Andrea Dworkin. However, with time, I shifted more towards a viewpoint emphasizing that both sexes needed empowerment. This brings me to an interesting video I found by the infamous Jordan Peterson. Peterson used to be a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, and he is also a clinical psychologist. He debated Matt Dillahunty, an atheist advocate, about the existence of God, and it went bad for Peterson in my opinion.
Peterson and Dillahunty's Debate on God.
Despite this, Peterson has interesting viewpoints on relationships and how to fix them. His one viewpoint on women is perplexing. In a video he released that just came to my attention titled, “The lie of career vs. motherhood,” he explains how women are not taught to seek motherhood, and it is what is leaving women unsatisfied. The proof he gives that women are unsatisfied is that he has “watched this” when counseling men and women.
"The lie of career vs. motherhood"
What's Up with this Video?
Now, I freely admit that I am a woman that is not interested in having children or even being married, so I may come across as biased when giving my opinion, but I believe guiding some couples through therapy is not enough to justify such a broad assertion. A lot of people walk dogs in my neighborhood, but I do not say, “most people have dogs in the United States.” I may confide in saying this to my family or friends, but when someone has a public platform, and they are looked at as an expert, it is irresponsible to generalize about the topic. How about the women that regret having children?
If I give Peterson any credit, there are studies that do correlate his claim that women do go through a “Mid-Life” transition in their forties. In a study titled "If I Had It to Do Over Again ... Midlife Review, Midcourse Corrections, and Women's Well-Being in Midlife,” Abigail J Stewart and Elizabeth A. Vandewater assert that women that are homemakers usually feel more regret in their life than women that are career women. The homemaker’s discontent was due to an “absence of a role in the labor force” (271). In fact, by the time a homemaker reaches age thirty-six, she may have a 48% desire to make radical career changes in her life.
He's Got Faulty Generalizations
In hindsight, it is dishonest to skew results to fit an agenda. Peterson provides zero evidence for his claims, and he makes this video as if he is selling a tonic. Yes, I have heard many times it is the ruin of society that we have done away with the nuclear family, but I think the nuclear family does work for some people, and it may not work for others. In the United States, most people have a choice of what they wish to do, and I don’t see it as a negative. I think it is in the hands of women to decide if they want to be homemakers or career women. We certainly don’t tell men to stay at home.
Stewart AJ, Vandewater EA. “If I had it to do over again”: Midlife review, midcourse corrections, and women’s well-being in midlife. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1999;76(2):270-283. doi:10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1680.