I concede that it’s possible that Jordan Peterson’s objections were purely 100% about compelled speech, and didn’t arise from any particular wish to behave in ways that trans people find unpleasant. My own impression is that other things he’s said—e.g., that people wanting to be referred to with neopronouns like “xe” are usually making a “narcissistic power grab”—make that a bit difficult to believe.
I do, in fact, share Peterson’s objections to compelled speech, and if I thought he was right that the bill he was complaining about proposed to make it a crime not to use the pronouns someone says you should use for them, then I would agree that he was right to complain about that. My impression—though I am neither a Canadian nor a lawyer—is that in fact that isn’t true, and I would bet heavily that since the bill passed the number of people convicted of a crime on account of their pronoun use is zero.
that people wanting to be referred to with neopronouns like “xe” are usually making a “narcissistic power grab”
Frankly, I can imagine someone having a “I wish I had a male/femaly body” dysphoria, but not someone having a “I wish people called me xe” dysphoria in similar sense. So, from my perspective, gender dysphoria is a legitimate thing, made up pronouns are not.
I mean, without Twitter, the number of people feeling they were born in a wrong body would be about the same, but the number of people using “xe” would be much smaller.
Unless you are Finnish or Hungarian, the pronouns are “he” and “she”, choose one. Anything else is a jargon no one outside your group is obliged to use. (It would be like, dunno, a Less Wrong user asking people to call Less Wrong users “sane” and everyone else “insane”, because we like it so.)
Would you also refuse to use religious or aristocratic titles from other groups?
Ha, good point! I once met a queen and I addressed her “Your Majesty”. My only excuse is that these rules are older than both of us, so it’s not like I was obeying her recent whim inspired by Twitter.
Last time I met a priest, I called him by his first name, because he was my former classmate. I don’t remember talking to a priest before that. My guess is that if I met a priest today, I would likely call him “father X”, simply because that’s how he would likely be introduced to me.
To me, religious and aristocratic titles are “job names”, kinda like calling people “professor” or “general”. And they are supposed to imply higher status… at least in eyes of those who respect the job. (Also, they are not pronouns, so the usage is a bit different. In the previous paragraphs I have described the queen as “her” and the priest as “him”.)
Oh, for sure dysphoria is not the kind of thing that can specifically make someone need to be called “xe”. I think it can specifically make someone find it upsetting to be referred to with specifically-male or specifically-female pronouns, though, and my sense is that Jordan Peterson isn’t any happier being asked to refer to someone as “they” than as “xe”.
If both “he” and “she” give someone feelings of dysphoria, then I think it’s rude to require that they pick one of those. Singular “they” works pretty well, it has a long history of use in English, and it seems churlish to insist on giving a particular gender to someone who doesn’t feel like either is right for them.
(In some quarters it is claimed that calling someone “they” whose chosen pronoun is “xe” or vice versa is misgendering them, which seems to me just plain wrong. I can imagine a world where we have different standardized neopronouns for different nontraditional gender identities, and in that world maybe it would be so, but we are not in that world. If someone picks a particular set of neopronouns and considers it abusive to be referred to by other pronouns that have essentially the same meaning as theirs, I think that’s mostly their problem. I don’t think that’s at all common, though.)
 This is sometimes overstated. There aren’t a lot of examples until very recently of “they” being used to refer to a known person of known gender. But there are plenty of examples, including plenty from prestigious authors, of “they” being used when a single person is meant.