Politics

What Justin Trudeau Really Thinks of His Anti-Feminist Haters

March 26th 2016

By:
Kylie Cheung

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a long history of progressive politics and, more recently, enthusiastically promoting a feminist agenda and encouraging other men to do same.

Trudeau himself readily identifies as a feminist, and in January said, "We shouldn't be afraid of the word feminist. Men and women should use it to describe themselves any time they want. ...Men have to be a part of this conversation." As a man, his words about feminism carry substantial weight in a society where feminism is frequently misrepresented as antagonistic toward men.

Most recently, Trudeau starred in the first episode of Vox's webseries "2016ISH," led by renowned feminist journalist Elizabeth Plank.

"If you’re a progressive, you really should be a feminist because it’s about equality, it’s about respect, it’s about making the best of the world that we have," Trudeau said. He identified his wife Sophie as an inspiration and an adviser to him in all things feminist, particularly when it comes to raising their sons and daughters. "How are you training your sons to be focused on women’s rights and women’s opportunities the way you’re focused on telling your daughter that she can be anything? That for me was a really important wake-up.”

While Trudeau has acquired a significant fan base among feminists since becoming Prime Minister, naturally, many people still take issue with a man in a position of power advocating feminist policies and ideas. But Trudeau's solution to this, which he revealed to Plank, couldn't be more perfect.

"Quite frankly I talk about the fact that I’m a feminist as often as I can, and every time I do it gets huge reaction and media reacts and the Twitterverse explodes and things like that, because here I am saying I’m a feminist," the Canadian PM said, revealing his desire to consistently spread a feminist message as far as possible. "I will keep saying that until there is no more reaction to that when I say it, because that’s where we want to get to."

To Trudeau, in an ideal world, not only is feminism no longer the object of hate and trolling, but ultimately a norm so pervasive that the media ceases to explode over leaders who advocate it.

Since he became Canada's Prime Minister in November, Trudeau has earned praise from feminists everywhere for his diverse cabinet of men and women in equal numbers, and his iconic response "because it's 2015," when asked about this gender-balance.

Trudeau also spoke at the World Economic Forum in January in favor of measures to promote wage equality.

justin-trudeau-and-google

The feminist father of three has always been ambitious about changing the way feminism is perceived, starting from how people react to his words and deeds. "I look forward to a point where people don't notice the diversity in cabinet or that it's 50-50 men and women, that it's just, yes, this is a government that looks like Canada and it will engage with Canada the right way," Trudeau said at the World Economic Forum. "People have to know that before I could say, ‘Because it’s 2015,’ an awful lot of hard work went into 2012, 2013, 2014. I personally convinced a number of extraordinary women to step forward."

Trudeau is ready for a world in which gender equality is the norm, and it seems he's not about to stop promoting it until this is the case.