Justin Trudeau, the Canadian leader who has declared himself a feminist and oversees a cabinet half-filled with women, has found himself in hot water after he interrupted a young woman to tell her to use the word “peoplekind” rather than mankind.
The Canadian Prime Minister was hosting a Q&A session at MacEwan University in Edmonton, when a young woman from the World Mission Society Church of God, a feminist church founded in South Korea, stood to ask a question about volunteering.
The unidentified woman asked Mr Trudeau whether the Canadian government could ease regulations that limit volunteering with religious organisations.
“So, that’s why we came here today to ask you, to also look into the policies that religious charitable organisations have in our legislation so that it can also be changed because maternal love is the love that’s going to change the future of mankind,” she said, according to the Toronto Sun.
Mr Trudeau stopped her and said: “We like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind because it’s more inclusive.”
The woman reportedly took the Prime Minister’s intervention in good spirits and replied: “There we go, exactly.”
But Mr Trudeau, 46, was more than gently mocked on social media where he was accused of mansplaining. Moreover, he was truing to mansplain the meaning of mankind.
The Canadian leader has been one of the most outspoken male leaders for pushing for gender equality, at least in terms of optics. Last year, he wrote an essay in Marie Claire in which he said “our sons have the power and the responsibility to change our culture of sexism”.
Last month, speaking at Davos he said: “MeToo, TimesUp, the Women’s March, these movements tell us that we need to have a critical discussion on women’s rights, equality and power dynamics of gender.”
He added: “Sexual harassment for example, in business and in government, is a systemic problem and it is unacceptable. As leaders we need to recognize and to act to show that truly time is up.”
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