The recent video about Jordan Peterson was mind-blowing and provocative. The alt-right conservative believes white men should stand up and be counted after decades of emasculation that has resulted in loss of power.

Here is a link to the video on the NBC News website:

Peterson advocates forgetting about political correctness to say what needs to be said; it is important, to his movement and his base, because it is the only way to shift power back to men, whom he claims have seen their stature dissipate over the years.

Attending my 40th anniversary of working at the UMass Daily Collegian, we reminisced about when feminists took over our offices in May 1978, locking us out and confiscating my only pair of shoes (as well as my books and notes for finals; it was that they wouldn't give back the shoes that got my dander up).

As negotiations broke down and it became obvious that my shoes and class notes were not getting out until after the revolution was over, my personal pleading fell on deaf and angry ears. The woman talking to me continued to get amped up, saying this is more important than your damned (she might have used stronger language) sneakers. For her and her mates, it was about women’s rights and equality, and they would accept nothing less.

As I shook my head and began to walk away dejectedly, her roommate followed me, tapping my shoulder. I stopped; she was gentler and took time to explain what the goals were and why it was necessary to take over the Collegian offices. She engaged in two-way conversation that ended in a life lesson that applies to myriad topics.

Did I understand the pendulum theory, she asked. I shook my head no. She explained that women’s rights had been suppressed for centuries and though movement was being made, it wasn’t enough to carry the day. You see, she told me, the pendulum needs to swing from the far right to the far left if it is to end up in the middle – which was the goal of the movement.

A pendulum, by nature, cannot go from the far right and stop in the middle; it must swing back and forth in a natural rhythm, with hopes of gently finding its center by swaying slower and slower.

As a moderate, this theory made sense to me. I walked away, still barefoot, but more at peace with the process. She assured me the movement for equality would benefit men because many would like to have women share the load in taking care of family in the financial sense, and because true equality was a more peaceful and meaningful place. Having a mate who was an equal, she said, should be more satisfying to men looking to share responsibilities, rather than paying the price that comes with dominance and control.

My feminist “friend” was right and Jordan Peterson is scary because he is encouraging followers to return the pendulum to the far right, instead of allowing the gentle sway and continuance of the equality movement.

It is hard to defend Peterson, who is riding the coattails of President Trump in riling up that base by criticizing political correctness. It is difficult to make a case that white male privilege doesn’t exist.

Politics aside, it is simply not right to tweet untruths, call names, and bully anyone who questions you; to call it a revolt against political correctness deflects the prejudice behind the movement to justify the hate message that underlies it.

Who will stop these middle-aged white men?

Can we count on this generation to make sure the gains made by the youth of the 1970s are not eroded? They need to say "Enough" when it comes to questions regarding morality and ethics.

If the pendulum has swung too far left, maybe an adjustment and a gentle nudge to the right is OK. But the facts don’t bear that out; wage comparisons between whites and all others continue to favor whites. The same is true in regard to men and women.

Harassment in the workplace and police brutality numbers point clearly to inequality – statistics do matter and until they change, pushing back to the right of center is not necessary, or desirable.

While the “me-too” movement might contain some left-pendulum activities, finding Bill Cosby guilty of aggravated rape and assault is a step in the right direction. To know that a multitude of women were drugged and raped over decades is the proof in the pudding that we have not reached gender equity.

We’ll know equality when we see it — that time has not yet come.

“Conscience is a dog that does not stop us from passing, but that we cannot prevent from barking.”

— Nicolas de Chamfort, writer (1741-1794)