Justin Trudeau promotes feminist movement of men sticking up for women

'Being a feminist means recognising that men and women should be, can be, must be equal,' says Canadian PM

Harriet Agerholm
Thursday 21 September 2017 19:31
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Justin Trudeau calls for male feminist movement

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for a movement of men who stick up for the rights of women, saying they must shut down "locker room conversations".

“Being a feminist for me means recognising that men and women should be, can be, must be equal and secondly, that we still have an awful lot of work to do" he told a crowd gathered for a United Nations (UN) youth empowerment campaign in New York.

He added that he was "proud" to stand as an "advocate for He for She", a UN movement "of men standing up for women."

He described it as men "shutting down some of those negative conversations that we get in locker rooms, in bro culture."

He added: “We need to know that we are better than that. How we treat our sisters, our girlfriends, our cousins, our mothers and the world around us matters. We need to take back what it is to be a man and that means being open, compassionate, respectful and brave about standing up for it.”

Sophie Trudeau, who appeared on stage alongside her husband, struck a personal note while asking for a redefinition of “normal”.

“You know I'm a mama of three kids and I have two boys. And boys are wonderful, creative, intelligent, wise human beings," she said. "And you guys when you live in a culture that sometimes narrows your notion of what it is to be male and masculine, it doesn't celebrate your intelligence and your potential.

"You are amazing human beings and we need you at every step in making this world a more just place for all."

The Canadian Prime Minister was in New York to attend the 72nd UN General Assembly. But he told youth gathered in Madison Square Garden that worldwide change would depend upon them, not just on world leaders.

“The world is changing, the rules are changing, but what they change into and how they change, depends not on leaders in government offices or in businesses, it depends on citizens, it depends on you, how you change the world will make the world we're part of,” he said.

Associated Press contributed to this report

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