What to Say When Someone Says “So You’re Saying”

What to Say When Someone Says “So You’re Saying”, by Steve McAlpine. More fallout from the Jordan Peterson interview with PC postmodernist Cathy Newman.

Every time Peterson advocated an approach to gender pay gaps, psychology of men and women, the sociology of the work place that suggested complex and long-standing reasons behind his conclusions on the subject, Newman came out with those words followed by a straw man version of what he was, you know, actually saying. …

There’s a lot of “So you’re saying” followed by outrageous statements being put into our mouths; the classic non-sequitur. …

What did Peterson do that was so effective when an increasingly desperate interviewer continually and deliberately misrepresented his position, and shifted the goal posts of his argument in order to try and point score? …

Here are four ways to behave:

1. Stay Calm

What was astonishing was how calm Peterson was in the barrage of misrepresentation and absolutising of his position by a hostile interlocutor. The “So you’re saying..” technique backfired on Newman because he refused to rise to the “quick bait”. He simply paused, regathered his argument and repeated what he had actually said and invited her to consider the nuances. …

2. Stay Gracious

Peterson was the model of graciousness. He never said a rude word. He praised Newman even as she was being aggressive. He extolled the virtues of her own intellect even as she was trying to denigrate his. …

3. Stay on Message

It was astonishing how self-disciplined Peterson was in the whole debate. That’s partly because he is a seasoned veteran in taking on opponents who hate him and want to see him crash and burn … Newman attempted to take Peterson off in different directions to trap him, but he kept bringing it back to the observable facts around his claims and rejecting the embellishments she lured him with. He wasn’t biting. …

4. Stay Realistic

It’s astonishing how many misleading articles I read in the days following the debate from those whose a priori position is to despise Jordan Peterson and everything he represents. Many simply parroted Newman’s “so you’re saying” conclusions. … It felt a little like watching a toddler who puts their fingers in ears and squeezes their eyes closed and goes “I’m not listening, I’m not listening!”

But Peterson has been realistic about this in the aftermath. He is not expecting his opponents to give an inch or conclude that he may be right. He knows that he cannot win everyone over and doesn’t appear to lose too much sleep over those who continue to misrepresent what he says.

hat-tip Matthew