Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau Makes Women's Day About Men

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Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau made a social media post Tuesday night urging women to celebrate men who promote gender equality- just a few hours before the start of International Women’s Day. Sharing the above photo of herself holding hands with her husband, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, she called for women to celebrate the men in their lives by taking a photo of them holding hands with their male counterparts and sharing it on social media.

Critics are pointing out this completely undermines the whole idea of International Women’s Day.

“I am puzzled,” Facebook user Bibi Ebel wrote, “There are so many things that can be done to celebrate women and yet the call goes out to celebrating men. Allies and unity are crucial, but so is womanhood...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 the women who protested against not being able to vote, talked about unequal pay, stood up to the society protecting our rights and freedoms.” That is the top comment from Gregoire-Trudeau’s post, with over 1000 likes to show solidarity.

The second top comment, with more than 500 likes, was equally critical.

“Ugh, really!?! Don’t we already celebrate men enough?? Do we really need to make International WOMENS Day about the men in our lives??? This seems to really miss the whole point,” wrote user Kristina Kurth Benoit. Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Michelle Rempel echoed the sentiment, sharing on Twitter: “I’ve never had to have my hand held.”

There has been support for the #TomorrowInHand movement online though, with some genuine posts of women with their sons or husbands amid much of the satire. I actually laughed out loud at a recent post of a young woman made of herself and her vibrator in hand. Late last night, Gregoire-Trudeau responded to the debate generated from her post:

“Well, now we’re having a conversation! Thanks to everyone for your feedback and pics! Love it. Our goal is gender equality, and fighting for it is going to require men and women working together--raising our boys and girls to make a difference, hand-in-hand. This is about recognizing that we should be allies on this journey. I look forward to talking more about this tomorrow at events with Plan International Canada and Equal Voice.”

I can understand where Gregoire-Trudeau is coming from. Women’s rights and the fight for equality can go nowhere without support from all genders. Although her heart is in the right place, International Women’s Day is the one thing that shouldn’t be made about men. The purpose of International Women’s Day is pretty self-explanatory; it’s right there in the title. It’s a day to celebrate women, women’s rights, and all the strong and brave women from all over the world who fought to get us where we are. It’s not that complicated. The fact that Gregoire-Trudeau still wants to make sure men don’t feel left out is pretty insulting.

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