Is Justin Trudeau a Feminist?

“Because it’s 2015.”

I was pleasasntly surprised to see this clip of PM Justin Trudeau’s response to a reporter’s question about why he was so insistent on having gender parity in his cabinet:


*mic drop*

The Liberal Cabinet will be comprised of 15 women and 16 men, compared to the Conservative Cabinet of 12 women and 27 men. So, what is more spectacular here: adding 3 female Cabinet Ministers, or cutting 11 male Cabinet Ministers? The power is in your perspective.

Is this piece of strategy a reinforcement of affirmative action? Are these women simply filling the 50/50 quota? Or, are these women the best for the job?

But why not put women, or people with disabilities, or visible minorities in the spotlight? Putting them in high-profile positions of power is a huge statement: They can do this job – and so can you. That sounds like a very inspiring and uplifting message to spread to all Canadians. It sets a good example.

I’m looking forwad to the day when gender equality, and equality for all people is simply a non-issue. We will know we’ve achieved true equality when we can stop prefacing everything in terms of gender and race.

Let’s address the issue: identify the problem, implement changes, and move forward. We are all Canadians and we are all equal. Now, let’s stop talking about fluff and move on to the important issues.

And, if you were wondering:

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How Much I Love Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ Music Video and Why

A rising tide lifts all boats.

Can we talk about Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ music video for a second? I absolutely love it! It’s definitely more Tarantino than Miller/Rodriguez in my opinion, but equally bamf #girlpower overall and the Kendrick remix is such a nice touch. I love how Taylor Swift has come out swinging in the last few years as a full-blown feminist.

Beyonce = Feminist

Honestly, I didn’t have an accurate definition of feminism when I was younger. I didn’t quite see all the ways that feminism is vital to growing up in the world we live in. I think that when I used to say, “Oh, feminism’s not really on my radar,” it was because when I was just seen as a kid, I wasn’t as threatening. I didn’t see myself being held back until I was a woman. Or the double standards in headlines, the double standards in the way stories are told, the double standards in the way things are perceived. A man writing about his feelings from a vulnerable place is brave; a woman writing about her feelings from a vulnerable place is oversharing or whining. Misogyny is ingrained in people from the time they are born. So to me, feminism is probably the most important movement that you could embrace, because it’s just basically another word for equality.

And with this new music video, she has shown us the true meaning of #girlpower: lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down. While, yes, I guess the girls in the video are literally tearing each other down Deadly Viper Assassination Squad-style, the most important thing to marvel at is the fact that Taylor Swift was able to wrangle such a huge cast of musicians, actors, and models (all her friends!) who are each killing it in their own industry.

This video is, above all else, a celebration of female friendship between strong and successful women of all ages. It is a refreshing and inspiring example of modern, moderate feminism (aka #modfem) and for that I say: Thank you, TaySwift!!

Meeting Hillary Clinton

Something wonderful happened yesterday.

I met Hillary Rodham Clinton. We talked. We made eye contact. She smiled at me. She signed my book.

My alarm went off at 4:00am on Monday morning. I, in typical fashion, snoozed until 5:00am. The subway was not even running yet, so I walked to the Indigo at Bay and Bloor. I was one of the first in line around 6:00am. I waited in line for an hour or so. A very nice lady from the Starbucks inside passed me a coffee. She said: “It’s our Blonde Roast!” I thought: “How are you so peppy right now?”

Among the other rules of the signing, you had to show up early, buy the book in the morning, get a wristband, and return in the afternoon to get a signed copy. I happily paid and put out my wrist for a bright yellow badge of honour.

I returned to the lineup at noon. The Indigo event staff, plus the security teams and Secret Service (indeed), really ran a top-notch show. Our bags were checked, I brought a handy stool to sit on, and the lineup was mostly pleasant. Sun News was walking up and down the line asking loaded questions.

Following her speech at the Board of Trade, a video of which can be found here, along with her Q&A session and her interview with Peter Mansbridge on the National, Hillary Clinton traveled to our local store for a signing.

We were led in groups of ten through the store, down the steps, and snaked through the bookshelves. Hillary was wearing a bright turquoise outfit, and she was smiling, laughing, and engaging with the folks ahead of me. She was flanked on both sides by aides and security, but they were in good spirits as well, smiling and pleasant.

I snapped a few pictures from the line, but we were told to put everything away and to have nothing in our hands as we approached. Somehow, she signed 900 books in one sitting.

There was one man ahead of me who had a nice chat with her. But the next person did not ask or say anything, so all he got was a signed book and barely a look. The trick was to engage her first, and ride the wave. I approached, trying to hide my beaming smile, trying to appear like a normal adult, and keep my fangirling to a minimum. I stepped up to the table.

“It’s such an honour to meet you. Thank you for coming here today,” I said. She signed my book with a blue pen.

“Well, thank you. It’s nice to meet you too.”

I was chuffed that she responded, and then started to mutter something along the lines of “Hope you enjoy Canada… ” and then went on my way.

I feel very lucky that I was able to be in the same room as one of my idols, heroes, and role models, let alone be able to speak to her face to face.

She is beautiful, poised, eloquent, friendly, polite, and gracious. Everything I could have hoped that she would be, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet her.

I greatly value the strong female role models in my life. Hillary Clinton has been one of these role models for over a decade. I remember being a university student, back in 2008, and watching her primary speeches, alone in the basement of my family home. I wept with pride and joy as I listened to her messages. She moved and inspired something in me that I carry with me to this day. I really wanted her to beat Obama, and I was so sad when she did not.

I am hopeful and excited at the thought of being able to listen to her primary speeches once more.

Clinton 2016. Let’s go.