Oh Boy! Jordan Peterson Wants Us Ladies To Go On A Maternal Adventure!
Hey! Remember Jordan Peterson? He is back! And this time, he's not talking about lobsters, but is rather on some kind of jag about how us uterus-havers need to be having babies in order to fulfill our true purpose in life, and not-not having babies because of climate change. Oh joy.
In a recent convo with Bishop Robert Barron (who Wikipedia tells me is an "auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles" who founded "Word on Fire Catholic Ministries," whatever that is) that was breathlessly reported on this week by both Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire and the forced birth site Life Site News, Peterson waxed on about evil feminists who are going around telling other women that they are cruel for wanting to have children and fulfill their "moral obligation" to have a "maternal adventure."
There's a serious conversation to be had with young women. A woman asked me a question on my Q&A this month. She said that her friends are really down on her, because she claims to not be a feminist, but even more importantly, because she wants to have children. And they're telling her that only an evil and cruel person would bring a child into a world this terrible, and worse, to do the damage to the planet that that child will inevitably do. And people are very serious about this. And they are very hard on young women.
Oh, for sure. This is a totally normal interaction that we feminists have almost every day. I simply can't tell you how many times a friend of mine has expressed a desire to have kids and I have responded by calling them a "cruel and evil person" who wants to murder the planet. Surely, it is not possible that this young woman interpreted her friends' own feelings as a personal attack on her own desire to have children. And surely, these friends of hers represent the entire cultural zeitgeist and not just this one random lady's group of friends.
Because there are of course people out there who don't want to have kids for that very reason. That's fine! That is their choice. But there are also a whole lot of people — in the US at least — who also don't want to have kids because they cannot afford to have kids. They can't afford childcare, they can't afford healthcare, they figure they're never going to be able to buy a house, and they don't know how they'd afford college for their kids when they can't even pay off their own student loans. They'd rather just not deal with that shit.
Peterson then goes on to talk about how women should just say "fuck the environment, I am going on a MATERNAL ADVENTURE, because I am morally obligated to do that!"
I always think of the Pieta because I kind of think of it as the Christian equivalent of the crucifix, you know, you have Mary there with her broken son in her arms. And I think that the great adventure for women, at least in part, this is the maternal adventure, is to bring a child into the world, knowing full well the consequence is a crucifixion-like brokenness. And that it's still a mark of faith in the possibilities of being, to participate in that and not to hide from it and to say: 'Well, despite everything, I'm going to act out my faith in life and in the possibilities of being and I'm going to bring someone into the world who will be a net force for good rather than evil. And that's my moral obligation.'
I think to present that to young women as a major part of the adventure of their life, which is certainly the truth, is something that is attractive to far more of them than would be likely to admit it in today's time and age.
Sexy, sexy moral obligations. Plus, you know, all the rest of it.
There are various testimonials on Reddit from pretty much every vantage point: from Peterson fans who have been broken up with or are about to be broken up with, from people who broke up with Peterson fans and/or who don't know how to deal with their boyfriend's Peterson obsession or are not into their partner's Jordan Peterson-related erotic fantasies. And judging by the sheer volume, Jordan Peterson might be just as responsible for people not procreating as fear of climate change is. Dude is out there creating legions of completely unfuckable men.
I don't know a woman on earth who wants to spend the time it takes to have a cocktail with the kind of fella who would pedantically cite a conversation they heard about second-hand as evidence that all the feminists are going around being terrible to people who want to have kids, and then going on to tell her that the real adventure for her in life is being a baby machine and then watching her children be crucified just like Jesus. That sounds like a terrible time! Getting us to procreate with such men is even less likely. So if he truly wants more of us to go on this "maternal adventure," he might want to consider shutting the hell up.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse