Backlash continues as Jordan Peterson prepares for New Zealand visit

Author
Kirsty Wynn, NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Saturday, 16 February 2019, 10:55a.m.
Jordan Peterson's Auckland show has already sold out. (Photo / Getty)
Jordan Peterson's Auckland show has already sold out. (Photo / Getty)

A Canadian professor who became an internet sensation almost overnight and with a cult-like following is touching down in Auckland to speak about his book, 12 Rules of Life: The Antidote To Chaos.

People say the life lessons in Dr Jordan Peterson's self-help style book can't be argued with. They include things like standing up straight with your shoulders back, making friends with those who want the best for you and not bothering children while they are skateboarding.

However, the clinical psychologist's views on gender politics and his opposition to the recent Canadian law making it illegal not to use preferred pronouns for transgender people have been greeted with a strong backlash.

Peterson's unflappable interview with Britain's Channel 4 news host Cathy Newman skyrocketed him to fame.

The interview - in which he argues his views on transgender pronouns, gender equality and equal pay - has more than 15 million views and bumped up sales of his book.

The interview also resulted in the creation of countless memes, coffee cups and T-shirts listing Peterson's 12 rules and parodies of Peterson as Kermit the Frog - a character even he admits he sounds like.

Activist group Auckland Peace Action has accused Peterson of homophobia and racism.

"In the lead-up to Jordan Peterson's visit to New Zealand we have a duty to condemn his sexist, queerphobic, racist and deeply reactionary views," Iris Krzyzosiak, of Auckland Peace Action, said.

Peterson turned the opposition into an opportunity for ticket sales and took to Twitter: "Apparently my 'presence in New Zealand is worrying as it threatens many of the basic values of our society'."

He then directed followers to a link for tickets.

On his recent tour of Australia, Peterson sold out Sydney's Opera House in three minutes and scalped tickets to the show were reportedly on resale sites for upward of $900.

In New Zealand, his first Auckland show has sold out and tickets for a second show, which are priced from $98, are selling fast.

The most expensive tickets - which include a meet and greet - are $319.

He is also speaking in Christchurch, to a sold-out crowd, and in Wellington.

Promoters for his show said it will feature "revolutionary talks on overcoming life's biggest obstacles, how to improve oneself, the psychology of religion, mythology, and much more".

Followers on Twitter and YouTube credit him with changing their lives.

At Harvard, he was nominated for the prestigious Levinson Teaching Prize.

At Toronto University his lectures were so well received they were turned into a popular 13-part series on TVO.

His YouTube channel has more than 1.5 million subscribers, and videos average a million views.

 

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