As rousing posts about women filled newsfeeds across the globe for International Women’s Day, Canada’s First Lady took a slightly different tack on her public Facebook page yesterday.
Under a photo of herself hand-in-hand with her husband, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau called for women to “celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls and women with respect, and who aren’t afraid to speak up in front of others.”
The former journalist then suggested March 8 was the perfect date to highlight those “male allies” who help shoulder the burden of the fight for gender equality — by sharing photos holding hands with them.
Are you ready to ignite change? This week, as we mark International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the boys and men in our…
“Together, we can create a movement that inspires more men to join the fight to build a better tomorrow with equal rights and opportunities for everyone,” she wrote, alongside the hashtag #EqualityMatters.
It was a nice idea, sort of, except that many thousands of people thought it absolutely wasn’t.
First, the obvious question came:
“Why do we have to celebrate men on International Women’s Day?” a female commenter asked.
“364 days a year I am all up to holding hands with my favourite men and creating partnerships and alliances that will support equality. But today I don’t want to celebrate men. I want to remember all women who protested against not being able to vote, talked about unequal pay, stood up to the society protecting our rights and freedoms.”
It was a common theme, as the 41-year-old was repeatedly accused of missing the mark with her “tone deaf” call to arms.
“I think I would feel differently if the message had been directed to men asking them to take a picture with the women they celebrate and support. But that’s not what happened. The whole point of International Women’s Day is to bring the focus to women,” another woman added.