When I first heard that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau interrupted a woman during a town hall meeting to suggest she say “peoplekind” instead of “mankind”, because it was more inclusive, I laughed. I assumed it was a mistake, as to my knowledge there is no word or term in the English language for “peoplekind”. He meant “humankind” right?

Apparently, that wasn’t the mistake he made.

“I made a dumb joke a few days ago that seems to have gone a little viral in the room, on the peoplekind comment,” Trudeau told reporters after the fact. “It played well in the room and in context. Out of context it doesn’t play so well, and it’s a little reminder that I shouldn’t be making jokes even when I think they’re funny.”

This is disappointing. Essentially, he was saying his mistake wasn’t the word, but rather the Canadian prime minister, someone who describes himself as a staunch feminist, said he was joking about inclusivity. Not only that, but he interrupted a woman with a legitimate question to do so.

This is not just a matter of a joke not playing well. It’s proof that even the Prime Minister still has a patriarchal mentality.

Oh, and the international media is having a field day.

Trudeau’s comment, in addition to the way he injected his opinion overtop of that of a woman, is the reason why no progress can be made in the feminist movement. Women are fighting to be heard, to be considered active citizens and get involved in politics. Yet, they are being shoved out, belittled with fake expressions of equality.

This woman’s question was about a policy that would see religious charities lose funding, not a light-hearted topic. However, the condescending way in which she was treated at the town hall meeting diminished the importance of what she was saying. It also acted as an embarrassment technique. This woman was essentially corrected in front of a couple hundred people, told she was being sexist and politically incorrect.

Trudeau’s boyish charm will only get him so far if he continues to act so cavalier when speaking with the people of Canada, especially women. It’s important to remember that everyone has the vote now — and this silly, stupid “joke” may have lost him some.

Featured Image: Justin Trudeau | by JustinLing

Author

Katherine DeClerq is the editor of Women's Post. Her previous writing experience includes the Toronto Star, Maclean's Magazine, CTVNews, and BlogTO. She can often be found at a coffee shop with her MacBook computer. Despite what CP says, she is a fan of the Oxford comma.

2 Comments

  1. Robert White Reply

    I was a Progressive Conservative until MPP Jack MacLaren decided to act in a misogynist manner against Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon. I enjoyed watching Premier Kathleen Wynne advising the PC Party to oust MacLaren from the party caucus, and I realized that Wynne was exactly what I was looking for in a legislator, and helmsperson. Now I’m a Liberal, and Trudeau is a better leader than Harper was. Trudeau’s comments were taken out of context, and the woman he was talking over was preaching to him about some right-wing church she belonged to, and she was not asking the PM a question for the Town Hall. Trudeau handled it by attempting to deflect attention away from her rhetoric, theology, and tangential so-called ‘question’.

    Trudeau claims he is a feminist, and from what I know about Feminism he appears to be sincere at least. Don’t forget that the ‘Conservatives’ are now referring to themselves as ‘Feminist’ too. I doubt most Feminists agree with men characterizing themselves as ‘Feminist’, but Trudeau is at least closer to an approximation than Steven Harper would be.

    I’m a Grumpy Marxist so I naturally support Feminism & feminists due to perspectives on Conflict Theory.

    RW

  2. Jack Dakasic Reply

    So a Man (JP) correcting a woman is wrong? What about if it was the other way around?

    What ever happened to the whole equality? If there is going to be true equality, feminists need to stop bitching when women get corrected, if THEY want to correct men then the other way should be ok too. Women being able to correct men but not the other way around, is not equality.

Write A Comment