I have never seen anyone deliver a speech quite like Jordan Peterson. Pacing across the stage, Peterson addressed the crowd seated in Constitution Hall in D.C. on Monday night for just over an hour. His eyes were closed, or nearly closed, for the majority of his speech—seemingly allowing the modern philosopher to avert distraction and articulate each of his arguments with rhetorical mastery. No notes aided him as he spoke out of the book of Exodus on leadership. 

Peterson, a 62-year-old Canadian psychologist and author, spent the evening presenting a powerful picture of what makes a leader using the story of Moses from the Bible. Like the roughly 2,000 or so audience members, I sat listening closely to Peterson. But nearly as fascinating to me as Peterson’s words was the crowd that had come to hear him. 

After living in Washington for nearly seven years and attending many speaking events and conferences, I will say the audience for a weekday lecture tends to skew older, and if young people are present in any significant number, they tend to be female.

But, as I looked across the room Monday at Peterson’s “We Who Wrestle With God Tour,” I saw many groups of men in their 20s and 30s. 

I shared my row of eight seats with one young man to my left and two to my right. The row in front of me was filled with a group of men that all looked to be recent college graduates, two of whom took careful notes while Peterson spoke. 

I had never seen so many groups of young men at a non-sporting event.

“What is happening here?” I thought to myself as I continued to see young men fill in the seats across Constitution Hall. 

For over a decade, Peterson has spoken a clear message of personal responsibility and discipline—a message that has and is clearly resonating with young men. 

“We’re built to contend with the world, we’re built to contend with reality,” Peterson says in one of his videos shared on YouTube. “We want a challenge … because a challenge fortifies you, so you don’t want to be secure, you want to be strong. And you get strong by taking on optimal challenges.” 

Peterson shared a similar message of the purpose of challenges during his speech in D.C., a sentiment that was received with applause. 

Unlike the Left’s criminalization of masculinity, Peterson is reminding men of who they were created to be. They were created to contend with the world to defeat the lion and the bear, as Moses likely did as a shepherd, but not for their own glorification. No, they do it for the betterment and protection of the weaker or vulnerable—the “lambs.”

My generation is desperately searching for purpose, and from what I saw Monday night, Peterson’s message is resonating with young men not because it is a novel message, but because it strikes a chord in the hearts of those who were created by God to contend with that which pushes them beyond their comfort. His message reminds them that they were made to use their power to conquer obstacles and protect the vulnerable. 

On this week’s edition of the “Problematic Women” podcast, in addition to discussing Peterson’s influence on young men, we break down the biggest “Pride Month” shenanigans, from kids’ Pride parades to Maryland crowning a man as Miss Maryland. Hunter Biden was found guilty of three felonies—we explain what may happen next. And as always, we’ll be crowning our Problematic Woman of the Week!

Listen to the podcast below: