Jordan Peterson Provides An In-Depth Analysis On The Dominance Hierarchy Of SpongeBob SquarePants
University of Toronto professor and controversial clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan B. Peterson sat down with Flake News reporters to discuss the dominance hierarchy in SpongeBob SquarePants, specifically within Goo Lagoon beach and the Krusty Krab. Peterson pointed to the character Larry the Lobster as perfectly representing the dominance hierarchy solely based upon his competence on the beach. The psychologist also makes note of SpongeBob's dominant nature as a fry cook and Plankton's most self-defeating character trait.
"When you look at a show like SpongeBob SquarePants and you visit a place like Goo Lagoon beach, you see a dominance hierarchy manifesting from competence," said Peterson. "The character, Larry the Lobster, is the benevolent king of the beach. He has risen to the top of the Goo Lagoon hierarchy not out of tyranny but out of competence. He bloody well saves lives, knows how to swim and rescue and all the things that makes a competent hero good."
When questioned whether or not these remarks make [Peterson] a misogynist and a white supremacist, the iconoclastic professor replied, saying that "I don't see how anything I said represents a narrative of women-hating and/or racial superiority for one particular group. That's just nonsense and done by people who just want to assassinate my character because they have no logical means to refute my arguments and they find me to be dangerous."
Peterson went back to discussing SpongeBob SquarePants almost immediately, possibly as a way to hide something dark.
"The SpongeBob character is another figure in a dominance hierarchy based upon competence. He's the master of the grill, the king of the fry cook who is quite possibly the best in the ocean at what he does," said Peterson. "But taken out of his realm of dominance, he's just as weak and inadequate as the rest of us. Although he has mastered one form of competence, he is severely lacking in other dimensions. For example, in one episode it's revealed that he's a bloody awful lifeguard and in another episode he's represented as a very weak and deceptive body-builder. And through life, we find what role best suits us based on our competence level on fulfilling the obligations of that role."
"SpongeBob is a terrible lifeguard and an excellent fry cook, much as we can assume that although Larry is great at being a lifeguard, he's probably out of his element when put into the role of a short order cook or in the very least isn't an expert like SpongeBob," said Dr. Peterson. "They're in their allotted roles because that's what best suits them and it's out of competence, not tyranny, that puts them there."
When questioned about whether or not his statements are emblematic of racist and sexist attitudes that support the idea of white male dominance in the West, Peterson replied by stating, "Again, with the race and gender-baiting. I'm not talking about race and gender, I'm talking about a dominance hierarchy based upon levels of competence. If that's widely considered racist and sexist then we, as a civilization, are in a heap of trouble and have a whole lot of work to do, buck-o. One can also argue that you're the one being racist and sexist, coming with the presumption that a dominance hierarchy based on competence will primarily benefit white males."
Peterson explained that tyranny also exists within SpongeBob SquarePants. "One could see the ultimate form of tyranny in the show exists within the realm of envy, as Plankton looks across the street at the booming business of the Krusty Krab and dedicates his life to sabotaging them without ever looking inward and seeing what ways he can clean up his bloody act and actually get his business moving. And ironically, his mission to destroy his opponent only leads to his own downfall and continued degradation. Basically, he's oppressing himself more than anyone else could ever imagine doing to him and I'm seeing a lot of that in today's youth."
When asked whether Mr. Krabs represented a tyrannical or competent archetype, Peterson replied with, "Sometimes both, as he is one to put a quick buck ahead of the well-being of himself and his workers. He has put people's very lives in danger for something as small as one dollar, and that's probably an overestimation. But on the other hand, he's very competent at making money and running a successful business. He has one of the best fry cooks in the whole damn sea. And at least he's not a bloody Marxist."
"And even though the world and the workplace isn't perfect, SpongeBob is that light that shines in the darkness and lifts the Krusty Krab up to being one of the most popular eateries in Bikini Bottom," said Peterson. "Really, Krabs is bloody lucky to have him as an employee, any employer would. And that's the type of ideal everyone should strive for. To be someone who works towards being exceptional at whatever it is that they do."
[Editor's Note]: During the interview, Peterson neglected to include Sandy Cheeks in the SpongeBob SquarePants dominance hierarchy. Cheeks is a brown female squirrel who is arguably the ultimate karate master and top scientist in all of Bikini Bottom. Her vast intellectual achievements allow her to live at the bottom of the sea despite her biology being designed for dry land. She is obviously very dominant and competent as a scientist and with karate. Peterson's omission of this character during the conversation is possibly reflective of his true racist/sexist attitudes that is tactically hidden throughout the discussion.
Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America | CC-BY-SA-2.0