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Photo by Justin Quaintance

Jordan Peterson speaks at U of C for Generation Screwed Action Forum

By Scott Strasser, March 27 2017 —

A speech urging women to “rein in their insane sisters” concluded a day-long conference showcasing conservative speakers at the University of Calgary on March 25.

University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson gave the last keynote of the Generation Screwed Calgary Action Forum, which took place in the MacHall Ballroom.

“This is a note to women,” Peterson said to the roughly 150 attendees. “You have obtained power, even equality. Even in some cases, superiority. But you have not taken responsibility for reining in your insane sisters. Men cannot do it. Men cannot oppose pathological women because chivalry demands they keep their most potent weapons sheathed. It’s up to you. The forces that have provided you with oft-unhappy freedom have also bred the shrieking harpies of fairness and victimization.”

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Generation Screwed was created in 2013 // Photo by Justin Quaintance

Peterson’s keynote was titled “Not Rights — Responsibility.” Throughout the 30-minute speech, he spoke about his contempt for egalitarian concepts like affirmative action, equity training in workplaces and “the self-righteousness of [social justice warriors].”

“You fought for opportunity and power. Now you have it. For better or worse, it’s time to use it responsibly. Sort out your sisters, because no one else can,” he said, addressing women.

Peterson made national headlines last fall after releasing a YouTube series criticizing political correctness on university campuses. He drew ire from many across the country after saying he refused to use the preferred gender-neutral pronouns of some transgender and non-binary students. 

“The very idea of man and woman has been transformed by a noisy and resentful minority into something that cannot be [challenged] without charges of bigotry, harassment and discrimination,” he said during his speech.

Generation Screwed is the student wing of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), a group that advocates fiscal conservatism and libertarianism. Started in 2013, Generation Screwed aims to promote conservative values on Canadian university campuses.

A cohort of high-profile conservatives spoke at the March 25 forum, most notably Peterson and newly elected Alberta Progressive Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney.

After a brief opening address, writer and entrepreneur Candice Malcolm and U of C economics professor Bev Dahlby gave talks about the worsening financial state of the federal and Alberta provincial governments. They cited debt progressions for the next several years and how running continual deficits would hurt the provincial and national economies.

“The debt-to-GDP ratio will explode if it’s not sustainable,” Dahlby said. “There has to be a change in government policy.”

Calgary-based entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den panelist Brett Wilson also gave a keynote. His talk, titled “The Lost Art of Critical Thinking,” was about a variety of topics. He spoke about his opposition towards the Canadian Olympic Committee’s “Own the Podium” program, his stance as a climate change denier — he says he’ll believe it when he sees more concrete scientific evidence — and his opposition towards economic diversification in Alberta.

“Economic diversification always seems to mean government-led diversification,” Wilson said.

After his talk, Wilson said he thinks the biggest issue facing young Canadians is “empowerment.”

“My intention was to take [Generation Screwed] to task and say ‘if you think you’re special and the only generation that is frustrated with what is happening, no, every generation has those issues’,” he said. “I love working with millennials and any people who are socially conscious about what the issues facing our province are. I consider that a good day.”

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Kenney was elected leader of the PC party on March 18 // Photo by Justin Quaintance

Kenney, who was elected PC leader on March 18, gave a keynote called “Restoring the Alberta Advantage.” Kenney worked for the CTF in his early twenties and campaigned for the PC leadership this year on a goal of uniting the province’s two right-wing parties — the PCs and the Wildrose.

The forum also featured speeches about Canada’s changing media landscape and pro-oil sands presentations from Canada Action founder Cody Battershill, Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors president Mark Scholz and Questerre Energy Chief Executive Officer Michael Binnion.

While the Generation Screwed Toronto Action Forum on Feb. 4 was shut down near the end of the conference due to student protests, the event at the U of C passed without incident.

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