Trudeau talks the biggest game when it comes to feminism, but are his actions measuring up?

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Trudeau took a break from starring in his new role as Robin Hood to once again reprise his role as chivalrous Lancelot.  It’s a hoaky act we all know well by now.  On a stage in New York for the U.N.’s We Day a couple weeks ago, the New York Times gushed over how our “lovable” PM kept “preaching” feminism, giving an “impassioned” speech on the subject dear to his heart.  But looking at Trudeau’s first couple years in office, is Trudeau really living up to his soaring rhetoric about championing women?

In Trudeau’s quest to elevate women he has unquestioningly done some worthy deeds.  Reallocating Canada’s nearly $5 billion international assistance budget so that 95 per cent goes towards empowering women and girls in the developing world by 2022 was certainly honourable and worth mentioning.  It makes a lot of sense because helping women and girls attain equality has proven to be the best way to improve the quality of life for all in society.

Yet, the Trudeau’s Liberals’ erasure of the “barbaric cultural practices” section in their first draft of the new Canadian citizenship study guide, unveiled a few months ago, runs counter to the goal of empowering women and girls of these regions who emigrate to Canada.  Many new Canadian immigrants come from these developing countries where female genital mutilation (FGM), beating of women, honour killings and other wholly misogynistic and deplorable practices are tragically still legal and/or common.  The Liberals redirecting of Canada’s foreign funding towards women’s rights abroad is acknowledgement by Trudeau’s government of the oppression these women face in these regions.  So why, then, would feminist Trudeau not want to ensure new Canadians from these regions are informed at the outset of entering our country that these misogynist practices will not be tolerated here?

It’s not like these abhorrent — to use Trudeau’s government’s own word to describe FGM — behaviours aren’t already happening to women and girls in immigrant communities in Canada.  Back in July, Global News reported border officers have been warned to be on the lookout for genital mutilation practitioners traveling to Canada with the intention of committing the crime here.  The Toronto Star has been doing an ongoing investigation into Canadian girls being subjected to the outlawed procedure in Canada or overseas.  So far the government has laid out no real response or solution to this problem, instead deciding to keep new arrivals in the dark about this and other barbaric practices that are illegal in this country.

As the pro-abortion zealots in Trudeau’s government threw a tantrum over pro-life Conservative MP Rachael Harder being nominated to head the status of women committee (which isn’t even looking at abortion), unborn girls in this country continue to be aborted because of their sex.  Trudeau made it clear he is “resolutely pro-choice” when he dogmatically announced in 2014 that all Liberal candidates must be pro-choice.  This rigid pro-abortion stance means Trudeau will ignore the abhorrent practice of sex-selective abortions currently occurring in Canada and addressed in other Western nations.  Disturbing media reports be damned.  The CBC back in 2012 aired an undercover investigation exposing private ultrasound clinics that were offering to identify the fetus’s gender in the early stages of pregnancy.  Last year another study came out showing thousands of more boys were born compared to girls in a Canadian immigrant community, suggesting sex-selective abortion contributed to the skewed ratio.  Shouldn’t feminist Trudeau be making sure this odious practice of valuing and picking unborn boys over unborn girls is banned in Canada?

To be fair, the Conservatives cowardly avoided addressing the problem when they had the opportunity to do so, but Trudeau proclaims everywhere he goes that he’s a feminist, so shouldn’t he be held to an accordingly higher standard?     

Although the gender-balanced cabinet was argued by some as a sexist hiring practice and tokenism (Trudeau paying some women ministers less at first didn’t help) straying further away from meritocracy, the overall effect of having half the cabinet made up of women does send a powerful message to women and girls interested in joining politics.  However, Trudeau has extended “feminist” affirmative action to the last budget to help address things like the mythic wage gap (Men on average work longer hours and are more willing to do dangerous work, two factors of many contributing in a higher average income for men, as well as the lionshare of workplace fatalities).  Shortly after that, feminist Trudeau decreed universities give more Canada Research Chair Program grants to women, despite there being far less women in STEM fields and doctoral studies out of personal career choices.  Trudeau also ignored the imbalance in gender representation where women are overrepresented, like good-paying public sector jobs and all other professions when looking at the newest generation in the workforce.  The irony is only compounded by Trudeau paying his male diplomats with less experience more than seasoned female colleagues.

Instead of simply ensuring a level playing field, Trudeau’s third-wave feminist impulse has led him to tip the scales in favour of women based simply on their gender.  Meanwhile, Trudeau has stayed mum on real misogynist-based and oppressive problems some Canadian women face, like FGM, physical abuse, and sex-selective abortions.

Women don’t need a patronizing and pandering Trudeau being their white knight in lecturing men about the following: “Don’t interrupt women and notice every time women get interrupted in conversations.”  Who knew women were such helpless pushovers?

Then there are many Canadian women and girls in immigrant communities actually vulnerable to very real patriarchal oppression.  Where is Lancelot Trudeau for these women and girls in actual distress?

More from Graeme C. Gordon   @GraemeCGordon

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