Following Canada’s most recent election, in which Justin Trudeau became the newly elected Prime Minister of Canada, admiration ensued globally. Most of the admiration was due to the new PM’s good looks, with people across the world awarding him the nickname “Daddy Trudeau.” It wasn’t only his good looks that earned this admiration though, because this new PM was a breath of fresh liberal air, as Trudeau was open, welcoming, and non-discriminatory. If it didn’t get any better, Trudeau and his wife of 10 years, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau had both openly declared themselves as feminists.
This is why shock and uproar ensued following a seemingly innocent picture of Sophie Trudeau gazing adoringly at PM Trudeau, due to this statement from her following caption:
This week, as we mark International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls & women with respect, and who aren’t afraid to speak up in front of others.
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Are you ready to ignite change? This week, as we mark International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls & women with respect, and who aren’t afraid to speak up in front of others. Take a picture holding hands with your male ally & share it on social media using the hashtag #TomorrowInHand. Together, we can create a movement that inspires more men to join the fight to build a better tomorrow with equal rights & opportunities for everyone… because #EqualityMatters. 🤝 Êtes-vous prêtes à faire des étincelles pour allumer un changement ? Cette semaine, à l’occasion de la Journée internationale des femmes, célébrons les garçons et les hommes qui nous encouragent à être qui nous sommes vraiment, qui traitent les filles et les femmes avec respect et qui n’ont pas peur de parler haut devant les autres. Prenez une photo main dans la main avec votre allié et diffusez-la dans les médias sociaux avec le mot-clic #DemainEnMains. Ensemble, nous pouvons susciter un mouvement qui incitera davantage d’hommes à lutter avec nous pour des lendemains meilleurs, l’égalité des droits et des chances pour tous … parce que l’#Égalitécompte.
Many argued that on International Women’s Day, women should be celebrating women, not men. As a day dedicated to the highlighting the successes, achievements, and battles fought by women, it must remain as such, and not a day dedicated to glorifying the men in our lives. Telling a woman that she must give thanks to the men in her life on a day that’s supposed to be dedicated to her reinforces the idea that a woman is constantly in need of male affirmation.
when michelle obama tells young girls to strive for more, and sophie trudeau tells them to thank the boys first
— Annie Chen (@zooannimals) March 8, 2017
"When's International Men's Day?"
– Sophie Trudeau #cdnpoli
— Josh Hogan (@HogansBeard) March 8, 2017
Sophie Trudeau, you wanna celebrate your man for being there for women…. how about Indigenous women? Women refugees? What's he doin?
— Callum Green (@callummakes) March 8, 2017
There are so many women, such as Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Madam CJ Walker, and Frida Kahlo, for example, who deserve to be celebrated so why should the emphasis return to a man? Appreciating our allies and fostering unity within our people is crucial to the prospective equality of genders but on International Women’s Day, let us keep the focus on something often left out of discourse; womanhood. Instead of praising men for doing something that should come naturally, respecting women, we should be praising the women who aim to spread a feminist message and who work to support other women. If Sophie Grégoire Trudeau really wanted to spread the message about appreciating allies, she could have mentioned the marginalized groups that are often left out of white feminism, such as black women, colored women, and trans women.
Following the backlash, Grégoire Trudeau posted another Instagram post stating, “Well, now we’re having a conversation!” So, if Grégoire Trudeau’s original point was to create conversation about International Women’s Day by making people uncomfortable, there were many other ways she could have approached the situation. Perhaps she could have called out white feminists to make them feel as uncomfortable as women of color and transwomen feel when they’re excluded from discussion.
Fortunately, on the other hand, PM Trudeau promised to invest $650 million in reproductive health and rights worldwide, providing sex education, contraceptives, planned parenthood, etc. On top of that, it’ll aid in the funding of programs dedicated to combatting sexual and gender-based violence.
Hopefully Grégoire Trudeau will choose her words more carefully next time, keeping in mind that women should focus on uplifting each other before putting a man first.