Is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a Hypocritical Fair Weather Feminist?
Prime Minister Trudeau’s self-confessed feminist status has been questioned, after a woman in his cabinet, former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was harassed, pressured, even threatened and then demoted for her refusal toalter a decision she made as the attorney general of Canada in a matter of criminal charges against a Quebec company.
Trudeau has always been very vocal about being a feminist. The National Post puts it succinctly, “No one has sung hymns to strong, independent women more fervently than Mr. Trudeau.”
Speaking to BBC, in 2018, at a UN summit focusing on women, Trudeau said he will continue saying he is a feminist "until it is met with a shrug."
He was also once asked on CNN if he is a feminist, and he did not hesitate to reply, "Yes, absolutely, I'm a feminist, because a feminist is someone who believes men and women should be equal, and who believes that there's a lot more work to do to get there."
He has abundantly made this fact clear all through his tenure as a prime minister. He was even the first PM in history who mandated his cabinet to be 50% men and 50%.
The above is why it comes as a surprise that Wilson-Raybould, the strongest and most independent woman in his entire cabinet, could not work with him.
The National Post made the observation that, “It doesn’t wear well that a strong, independent woman, determined to secure the mast of the rule of law, is put under siege for months by a train of flacks and aides, principal secretaries and chiefs of staff”
“It doesn’t wear well that a strong, independent woman was subject to threats, veiled and not-so-veiled, effectively harried and harassed because she refused to politically oblige the big boys in the PMO. The Feminist-in-Chief took a massive hit.”
This is not the first time Trudeau’s self-proclaimed feminism would be questioned, last year he was involved in another scandal, now popularly known as the ‘Konakee grope.’ It was discovered that a local reporter had, back in the year 2000, written an unsigned editorial in a local B.C. paper called the Creston Valley Advance, about a 28-year-old Trudeau and accused him of groping and inappropriate handling.
Trudeau is quoted to have apologized using these exact words: “I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper I would never have been so forward.”
The Prime Minister’s Office had released a statement at the time these allegations resurfaced, with Trudeau claiming he does not recall any “negative interactions” during his visit to Konakee festival that year.
He had later said about the apology, “I apologized in the moment, because I had obviously perceived that she had experienced it in a different way than I acted or I experienced it,”
Trudeau has always said that women who come forward with complaints of sexual assault and harassment must be supported and believed. Fortunately, latest victim, Wilson-Raybould has been getting a lot of support since coming out with her story, even if not from Trudeau.