On Wednesday, March 8, the world celebrated another International Women’s Day. The theme for this year was #BeBoldForChange, calling on the masses to create a more inclusive, gender-equal world for everyone. Controversy arose however, when the Prime Minister of Canada’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, suggested on social media that women celebrate their male allies. The Facebook post read:
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.
In response to the backlash she received over the post, Sophie said to media that the post was intended to encourage men, women and boys to “hold hands in the fight for equality”. Read the story here.
I’m not so narrow-minded as to have missed the point Sophie was trying to make but I have to respectfully disagree with her post. I encourage male allies to engage in conversation concerning feminism but as an influential woman, Sophie suggesting a “celebration” of male allies on International Women’s Day, was in bad taste at the very least.
If Sophie wanted to encourage men and women to hold hands in the fight, perhaps a better approach would have been to address the male audience and suggest that they hold their significant other’s hand and celebrate her accomplishments, rather than celebrate that there are men who agree with treating women like human beings.
Tell me what your thoughts are on Sophie’s post.