Biography Profile / Wikipedia Information
- Lindsay Shepherd, a young woman with long, brown hair, is a TA at Wilfrid Laurier University for first-year students.
- In the end of 2017, Lindsay was thrust into the spotlight because of a controversial lesson she gave in her class.
Personal Life & Trivia :
- Lindsay is a vegetarian and environmentalist, and is said to be dating her longtime boyfriend Mahdi Ghodsi.
- She speaks English, French, Farsi, and Spanish.
Education & College :
- Lindsay first began her time in higher education at Dalhousie University, a school based in Nova Scotia.
- Shortly after enrolling, she transferred to a school in Montreal, then transferred back home to British Columbia, where she enrolled at Simon Fraser University.
- After graduating with her bachelor’s, Lindsay was offered a teaching assistant, or TA, position to go along with her enrollment in her master’s program at Wilfrid Laurier University, and took it.
- She is currently still enrolled and studying cultural analysis and theory. Her academics may be on pause as she handles her current controversy.
Classroom Incident :
In the Class :
- Lindsay prepared a lesson on the use of gender pronouns for her grammar class.
- Her intent was to show a discussion on the use of non-binary pronouns that people who identify as gender non-conforming and trans usually use, and have the class talk about whether that usage changes how their society thinks of gender and whether they should be used at all.
- She showed a clip of Jordan Peterson, a controversial professor, and his opinion that the refusal to use proper pronouns when addressing people in the workplace or in schools should not be counted as discriminatory.
- Shepherd told the class, “I’m just going to show this for the purposes of discussion. I’m not going to choose a side.”
- After the clip, students began to debate about the use of the pronouns, but skewed away from Shepherd’s intended points. The debate left some students feeling as if the discussion denounced the existence or validity of the trans community.
- On November 8, Lindsay met with her supervisor and head of the department. They told her that a student had complained about the class, and reprimanded her for showing the clip without providing context and acknowledging the discriminatory factors in Peterson’s debate.
- She said that she shouldn’t have had to—she told the class she was on neutral ground. Shepherd felt that all perspectives should be welcomed at a university.
- Her superiors told her that wasn’t necessarily true, and equated her neutrality on Peterson’s words with someone showing a clip of Hitler’s speech and claiming neutrality on his words.
Media Response & Aftermath :
- Shepherd took a recording of her meeting to the media, thus sparking a debate between conservatives looking to protect non-politically correct free speech and the LGBTQ community looking to denounce the use of free speech as an excuse to discriminate against people.
- The debate spread across Canada, and people are continuing to talk about it. Shepherd is continuing to fight for her viewpoint.