Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Writes Op-Ed Explaining Why He’s Raising His Kids To Be Feminists

Following in the footsteps of former US President Barack Obama, current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently penned an op-ed explaining why he is a feminist and how he is raising his kids to follow suit. Writing for Marie Claire, the father of 3 (two boys and one girl) says he wants his sons to “escape the pressure to be a particular kind of masculine that is so damaging to men and to the people around them.”

In light of a number of industries exposing men at high levels for sexual harassment, rape and countless instances of misogyny, his essay is a welcome reminder that there are male allies out there who are willing to speak up and work toward change.

Justin mentions his daughter Ella-Grace, who he says he is proud of, but who he is also concerned of simply because of the world we still live in.

“I worry—because as a father, son, husband, and citizen, I witness the unequal obstacles women and girls face every day. It’s 2017, yet in Canada and around the world, women and girls still face violence, discrimination, stereotypes that limit them, and unequal opportunities that keep them from achieving their dreams. It is maddening to me that my brilliant, compassionate daughter will grow up in a world where, despite everything she is as a person, there will still be people who won’t take her voice seriously, who will write her off—simply because of her gender,” he writes.

As a parent and someone in a position of power to help create change, he says he will use these opportunities of influence wherever he can, but ultimately his daughter will be the one to fight against inequality she faces. Because of this, he says he is raising his daughter to be a feminist.

“The best thing we can do is to help Ella learn, unshakeably, that she is enough, exactly as she is. That she has immense power, and intrinsic worth, which no one can ever take away from her. That she has a strong voice, which she can use, and trust,” he said, explaining the values he and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau will instill in Ella-Grace.

But it’s not just his daughter. Thanks to the urging of his wife, Justin recognize that it is equally as important to raise his two sons Hadrien and Xavier with the same feminist ideals.

“Sophie continues to inspire and challenge me, and a few years ago, she helped me reach a turning point. I was talking about teaching Ella that she can be anything she wants to be. Sophie said, ‘That’s great—but how are you raising your sons to be strong advocates for women and girls, too?'” he recalled.

It is so important to raise the next generation of boys to grow up fundamentally understanding women as equals if we ever hope to see an end to systems of injustice and inequality that we see in society to this day.

“Gender equality is not only an issue for women and girls. All of us benefit when women and girls have the same opportunities as men and boys—and it’s on all of us to make that a reality. Our sons have the power and the responsibility to change our culture of sexism, and I want Xavier and Hadrien—when he’s a little older—to understand that deeply. But I want, too, to help them grow into empathetic young people and adults, strong allies who walk through the world with openness, love, and a fierce attachment to justice,” writes Justin.

The outspoken feminist world leader is well-known for sharing his potent quotes about feminism, whether it be at the United Nations, World Economic Forum or other major events that have a global audience. The videos of him giving these short statements have been shared far and wide. Because of this, leaders like him must be held accountable in terms of following through on promises to ensure equality and justice are seen for marginalized people and voices.

In his election campaign he was adamant about one major issue – creating a committee to investigate the missing and murdered indigenous women who were ignored by the previous Prime Minister. Recently, indigenous groups have been putting more pressure on Justin and his inquiry team for unsatisfactory results so far. At an event where family members and indigenous leaders were present, Justin listened as some took him to task for not doing enough.

“If you want to be remembered as a prime minister who is healing ties with First Nations, then you must start with our women and families,” said Maggie Cywink from Whitefish River First Nation, whose sister, Sonya Cywink, was found slain near London, Ont. in 1994 according to The Huffington Post.

The Prime Minister assured those present he will not give up on this issue, thanking family members for sharing their frustration and for challenging him to do better. As of now the inquiry is still ongoing and we hope the families of the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls will get the justice they deserve. Given that he spoke at the United Nations’ 60th Commission on the Status of Women in 2016, it is imperative that Canadians continue to hold his feet to the fire and implore him to continue to put his feminism into action. That is going to speak volumes and set a very powerful example for his children.

If feminism truly is about equality for all, it must absolutely prioritize the marginalized voices while also seeking to fundamentally change the culture to prevent the continual cycle of inequality and oppression.

“Feminism is not just the belief that men and women are equal. It’s the knowledge that when we are all equal, all of us are more free. It’s a relentless commitment to look for ourselves in each other, because that’s how we start to build a world where everyone is treated with respect and recognition. And it’s the unwavering conviction that all people have the same rights and freedoms—that my rights are your rights, and it is only when your rights are fully protected that mine are, too,” he wrote toward the end of his essay.

Here’s to more world leaders using their platform for equality.




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