There are only a few ways for a woman to offend on International Women’s Day, a day meant to encourage and support fellow women. Talking about men is one of them.
Former television host Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, who is also the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, posted on Facebook on Tuesday, the day before International Women’s Day, for women to “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.”
The post continued that women should share a picture with their “male ally” using the hashtag #TogetherInHand. She attached a photo hand in hand with Trudeau.
Although the post had over 13,000 likes and 5,000 shares within 24 hours, many of the people who commented were not pleased.
“I think I’ll spend International Women’s Day focused on the women who encouraged me to be who I am instead. I can get back to celebrating how amazing men are the other 364 days... “ wrote one woman. “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 another.
“In case you missed it, Sophie, this is International Women’s Day. You don’t have to turn everything into a way to promote your husband. Shameful!” another person commented.
Some were a bit more charitable, writing that the post “misses the mark” or that “Although your heart is in good place ...” One even wrote: Thank you for remembering that the road to equality involves men. Thank you for remembering that many/most of us are not demons and villains.”
Trudeau, who often speaks publicly about women’s issues, responded hours later with a new post a few hours later addressing the comments. “Well, now we’re having a conversation! Thanks to everyone for your feedback and pics! Love it.”
Trudeau posted on Wednesday that she had spoken at an event with Plan International Canada. She wrote that “true equality for women comes when we break down gender stereotypes and have frank discussions about what boys and girls ‘should’ be, and ‘should’ do.”