Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has always identified himself as a feminist. Time and again, the 45-year-old politician has spoken vehemently for the cause. In fact, after joining office in 2015, Trudeau had appointed a Cabinet that had equal representation by men and women. Trudeau, who has a daughter Ella-Grace Margaret Trudeau and two sons Xavier James Trudeau and Hadrien Trudeau with wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, recently wrote an essay in Marie Claire, in which he stressed on the importance of raising children as feminists irrespective of the gender.
Speaking about his daughter, Trudeau wrote that he is proud of the way she is growing up “kind, super-smart, a passionate debater, open to the world around her”, and yet he knows “there will still be people who won’t take her voice seriously, who will write her off—simply because of her gender”. In such situations, like all parents, Trudeau and his wife would be helpless and thus the most they can do is raise her as a feminist. They can help “Ella learn, unshakably, that she is enough, exactly as she is. That she has immense power, and intrinsic worth, which no one can ever take away from her. That she has a strong voice, which she can use, and trust”. He also writes that it was his wife who had reminded him to raise their son as feminists too, as “Gender equality is not only an issue for women and girls. All of us benefit when women and girls have the same opportunities as men and boys—and it’s on all of us to make that a reality,” he writes.
The politician wants his sons “to escape the pressure to be a particular kind of masculine that is so damaging to men and to the people around them”. “I want them to be comfortable being themselves, and being feminists — who stand up for what’s right, and who can look themselves in the eye with pride,” he writes. Feminism, he writes, is not just believing that men and women are equal.”It’s the knowledge that when we are all equal, all of us are more free.” Such a world, he understands, does not exist yet but he has faith that it can be built “by people who have a strong sense of justice and empathy, who stand up for the rights of others, and who seek out their own unique ways of creating more inclusive communities”. And this is the world he, along with his children, wants to live in.