Between a bizarre intrusion from alt right figure Milo Yiannopoulos and a man who decided to abandon his approved question, and instead ask what people would think if he were wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap, it was easy to miss the words of a stay at home mother, directed at international guest Dr Jordan Peterson.
“Do you believe full time stay at home mothers are valued in today’s society?” Tarryn Batten asked the panel.
“As a stay at home mother myself, I don’t feel valued by wider society, as most of what I hear focuses on women getting back to work as soon as possible…
“Nothing is said about why staying at home to care for your children is beneficial for society,” she remarked.
Watch Jordan Peterson’s response on last night’s episode of Q&A. Post continues…
Peterson, most often described as a voice for lost young men, agreed without hesitation.
When his wife, who was the primary carer for their two children, would go to restaurants, “she was treated with less respect than if the kids had not been with her,” he said.
And that’s when Peterson took perhaps his most controversial stance of the night.
“We do an awful lot of lying to women in society,” he said, by telling them that “career is the most important thing in life.”
The 56-year-old psychologist argued that he thinks career is more important for men that it is for women, however, for most people, family rather than career is the most important commitment they will ever make.
“We lie to 18 and 19 year old women non stop, by telling them that career is going to be the fundamental purpose of their life.
“For most people that’s not going to be the case, nor should it be,” the best-selling author of 12 Rules For Life concluded.
Listen to our Mamamia Book Club episode of Jordan Peterson’s book, 12 Rules For Life. Post continues.
Labor MP Terri Butler was quick to disagree with Peterson on the point that women are ‘lied to’ when they’re told their careers matter.
“Women who go to work often feel undervalued… women who stay at home longer feel undervalued,” she said.
“One of the great things about being a feminist is that you want everyone to be valued for the inherent dignity they have as a human being,” she added, concluding that “strict gender based roles damage everyone.”
The overarching theme of the night, it seemed, was people feeling undervalued, unseen and unheard.
Though there were some tense moments, and Twitter was (predictably) in a state of fury, surely giving individuals who feel invisible a platform to air their grievances is the first step in making them feel less so.