Editorial – Trudeau’s Cabinet

Editorial for Nov. 12, discussing Trudeau's new cabinet ministers and the sexism he faces.

On Nov. 4, Justin Trudeau was sworn in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada. Almost as soon as he finished his oath, he made vast and sweeping changes, distinguishing himself from his Conservative predecessor, Stephen Harper.

The changes he made were making headline news, and even gaining traction with American news outlets (Canadian politics rarely does this – the last time was probably when Doug Ford announced his penchant for crack-cocaine). And it is noteworthy – he made his 30-member cabinet up of equal parts men and women and includes highly distinguished people. For example, Harjit Sajjan, the new defense minister, collected valuable data for the Canadian government while in Afghanistan. Other minorities are also included in the composition of Trudeau’s cabinet, including one openly gay minister, one quadriplegic, and two First Nation ministers.

Trudeau is surfing right on top of the media tidal wave. When asked by a reporter at a press conference why creating a cabinet of equal parts men and women was so important to him, Trudeau replied simply, “Because it’s 2015.”

And he’s right, it is 2015, and a person’s gender should not speak to how they will be able to do their job. Vice said it best when they released an article detailing all of the new ministers. With each one, it stated the gender of the minister and how it would affect their job. Listed under each one, it simply said it wouldn’t.

He’s only a week into his reign as prime minister, and already Trudeau is giving Canadians the progressive change they called for in the election. And it’s creating a celebratory atmosphere online, with memes, gifs and articles circulating with Canadian pride.

There is one issue that Trudeau’s victory has highlighted – sexism and it’s against Trudeau himself. Our new prime minister has been the focus of many headlines, talking about his chiseled features and strong genetics. It’s similar to that of which female movie stars face on the red carpets – people talking about their looks and disposition rather than the skills and qualities they possess to do their jobs.

Last week, New York Magazine published an interactive article in which people could dress up Trudeau in a variety of outfits, including boxing shorts and Superman underwear. The Trudeau paper doll, as it’s dubbed, starts with Trudeau in the buff, with a maple leaf covering his genitals, complete with his tattoo on his upper right arm. The instructions read: “Drag and drop the items below to play dress up with Canada’s foxy new prime minister, who is more than just a great head of hair.”

This is just part of the onslaught to sexually exploit Justin Trudeau. While he may be more attractive to people than Stephen Harper ever was, it should not speak to how he does his job leading our country. A good head of hair isn’t a fundamental condition for leadership, and if it were, Kid Rock would be running the White House.

While Trudeau is trying to make change and appoint ministers based on credentials alone, he’s going to have to battle the people who see his as nothing other than a pretty face. Almost ironically, he’s  battling a situation that most of his female cabinet ministers likely know all too well.

 

Just Posted

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

22 teams compete in Sweetheart Curling Bonspiel

From February 9 to 11, the Sparwood Curling Club hosted it’s annual… Continue reading

Political theatre shines light on womens issues

The Vagina Monologues returned to Fernie last weekend for the second time,… Continue reading

Local rink heading to curling provincials

The Mens Masters East-West playdown took place in Sparwood from February 2-4.… Continue reading

Kootenay East MLA reacts to Throne Speech

Tom Shypitka says speech falls short of intended mark.

VIDEO: Traffic-sign abiding Fernie deer caught on tape

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

NDP Health Minister calls to offer woman seat on Interior Health Board

Joyce Beddow-Buckland of Ashcroft was surprised by the call, and accepted the offer.

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Most Read