Jordan Peterson (Image: AP)

Crikey readers had a lot to say about Tory Shepherd’s recent Jordan Peterson evaluation, as well as offering their views on topics from Hillsong to superannuation rule changes.

On Hillsong

Grace McCaughey writes: All churches are rich and own mammoth stretches of land, buildings, even one form of Buddhism. So they ought to pay their taxes like everyone else. Church may get tax relief on their projects to “relieve poverty” as ASIC requires for DGR states. But that is where it needs to end. Nothing less than an independent royal commission into churches, their finances, their payments or non-payments to victims of sexual abuse, etc.

On Jordan Peterson

Richard Gotch writes: I find the whole dichotomy of Peterson’s argument mind-blowing and unbelievable. The fact that someone could say those things is most worrying. To assert that men represent order and then jump to the accusation that females represent chaos just smacks of opinionated arrogance and bitterness towards females. I suspect that Peterson is an “incel” himself, and I would say that is because in his case females are “choosy maters”. Who could blame them? Misogyny and ignorance are hardly a glowing invitation for a romantic/intimate relationship.
The most dangerous aspect of people like Peterson is their appeal to reactionary thugs who see modern society as a threat to their perceived power and status, and plays into the hands of people like Trump.

Anthony Jebb writes: I suggest it would be to the increased quality of Crikey’s editorial comments if contributors like Tory engage some reflection at owning their own patriarchal mindset before evaluating that of others. Yes, owning one’s inappropriate projections. One’s positive and negative varieties, obviously the negative in this case. Wouldn’t this be part of the training for any competent journalist?

Neal Ames writes: For the first time I started thinking about cancelling my Crikey subscription. There is no such thing as toxic masculinity. There is the feminine and the masculine. There are good and bad with both. What would you think if I started saying toxic femininity? Peterson is talking about hypergamy. The proven fact that the female of all species selects the highest value male with which to breed. Your quote is exactly what he is talking about … Very lazy writing I would think, Tory. And a very powerful and dangerous bias.

Malcolm Harrison writes: Calling Jordan Peterson a “thug” is ridiculous, over the top, and completely discredits the person making such assessments. The man has high qualifications in psychology, and has taught at Harvard. One can disagree with him for many points he makes, and for many of the ideas he has. He may be wrong, but he is no charlatan, and calling him one simply suggests that Tory Shepherd is a bigot of some kind, as well as sounding culturally inept and unhinged. Insults can only escalate from this point on.

Russell Searle writes: Hi Tory. You write an impassioned and scathing critique. Jordan Peterson has my curiosity and I have read, viewed and listened to many of his utterances. He claims to have the backing of history and science … I don’t accept without question what he writes but I don’t have the motivation to research his claims. You are publicly very critical of his messages. Have you researched his claims? Have you engaged him in a critical dialogue to prove that what he’s saying is indeed bullshit? I’d be interested in hearing about that investigation rather than what you wrote, which seems like an angry unsubstantiated character assassination rather than a factual critique.

Luke Janssen writes: I don’t agree with Tory about Jordan Peterson. Jordan helps far more people than he harms (zero unless you count people who are harmed because they are “offended”) and is doing amazing things for many young men and boys. Tory comes across as an angry feminist who is just attacking Jordan Peterson because most of the media are and it is fashionable to do so; without trying to understand what he is saying … his message of personal responsibility is great. Just what the world needs now.

Kevin Griffith writes: I think Jordan Peterson is a little boy who dropped his ice cream.

David McIlveen writes: Firstly, it’s articles like Tory Shepherd’s that make me grateful for Jordan Peterson. Secondly, these sorts of opinion pieces — their tone, lack of level-headed critique, etc — really do a disservice to the Crikey brand. The heading “Self-styled self-help guru Jordan Peterson is a dangerous thug”, being obviously fatuous and exaggerated, is the sort that would look right at home in any Murdoch tabloid, in one of those stupidly oversize fonts. Crikey doesn’t need to do the trite, shallow culture war stuff — leave that to lesser publications.

A couple of semantic points: if you’re a trained clinical psychologist and run an actual clinical practice, you’re at least a cut above what your average reader would typically understand by the description “self-styled self-help guru”. So that characterisation is false. And I think Tory abuses the term “toxic masculinity” in her article. It’s a real thing. Don’t diminish the term by throwing it around and lumping JP in with the sort of deranged men that inhabit the Australian Parliament, for instance.

On coal votes

Ben Laycock writes: It is about time the Labor party abandons their attempt to woo the coal miners. They should have learnt that lesson a few elections ago. The coal miners are not stupid. They will not change their vote until they leave the industry. When they get a job in the alternative energy sector, they will vote for alternative energy. That is only natural, common sense: Job first, principals second! To win the next federal election Queensland must build a shitload of renewable energy, then convince the coal miners to go and work there. It is not enough to promise “transition” some time in the distant future.

On proposed super changes

Lloyd Judd writes: I don’t want Frydenberg or any politician to decide where my money is invested. The industry funds have proven themselves year after year to deliver superior returns for profit funds. The governance model is sound with the appropriate mix of union and business representatives. I trust them far more than I would some “suits”. My life’s savings are not the Liberal government’s playthings!