Justin Trudeau’s 'ladies' event gets Twitter takedown
Andrea Janus, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, November 7, 2013 1:00PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 7, 2013 4:01PM EST
A Justin Trudeau event that promises “cocktails” and “candid conversation” got some pretty candid feedback, with women from across the political spectrum decrying the invitation’s language as sexist, stupid and demeaning to women.
Trudeau tweeted a link to the invitation late Wednesday,and by Thursday morning the electronic invitation, or evite, was making the rounds on social media.
The event is dubbed “Justin Unplugged,” and says, “Ladies, you’re invited to (really) get to know the future prime minister.” Questions are written in cursive text such as, “What is the biggest issue facing women,” and “What’s your favourite virtue?”
The event is being held Thursday evening at Toronto’s Burroughes Building, and a single ticket is $250.
One of the first women to express her outrage was Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, followed by NDP Deputy Leader Megan Leslie.
Late Wednesday evening, Rempel tweeted: “What’s the biggest issue facing women? This kind of crap. #allissuesarewomensissues #patronizing.”
I don't agree with their politics, but JT has some #badass women in his caucus. They must want to....well, I can't imagine.— Michelle Rempel (@MichelleRempel) November 7, 2013
In a Facebook post, Leslie said the event “isn’t just demeaning, it’s stupid.
“Stupid stupid stupid. All issues are women's issues. And you know what, we can wear pants and drive cars and vote and have jobs and we can have political opinions. The economy is a women's issue, Justin. Health Care is a women's issue, Justin. And you know what? Keystone XL *ahem* is a women's issue.”
The backlash spurred Amanda Alvaro, a Liberal consultant, to defend the event and the evite.
"#askjustin is an event organized BY women, FOR women with a (clearly) intriguing evite designed to inspire dialogue. Proud to host tonight.”
Get a grip, people. It's an evite, not a platform. Reading WAY too far into it. Truly curious about the content? Join us tonight #askjustin— Amanda Alvaro (@amandaalvaro) November 7, 2013
Hours before the event was to get underway, Alvaro released a more detailed statement, saying the event is “intended to reach women who are not always engaged in the political dialogue by appearing fresh and thought provoking and posing intriguing questions.”
The evite, the statement read, was designed to “elicit interest and intrigue” and not to evoke a standard political invitation.
The questions it posed “are not sexist questions. These are questions, among others, meant to provoke conversation and inspire interesting dialogue. The intent was not to offend anybody.”
Alvaro said the invitation had been circulating for a month, and blamed the uproar over “partisan commentary” that came out over the last day.
The hashtag designed to get dialogue started before the event lit up Twitter late Wednesday and well into Thursday.
Let's be clear. Ldrs should engage directly w/ Cdn women at policy level not at bachelor-eque themed club night. Dumbing us down #askJustin— Alise Mills (@graciestyle) November 7, 2013
Why does it cost as much to meet you as it costs to see Beyonce live? Is that fair market value #askjustin— Laura Moran (@LauraAMoran) November 7, 2013
#askjustin In which political science text did your people unearth the idea that women enjoy political condescension?— Joe Fantauzzi (@jjfantauzzi) November 7, 2013
Dear Justin, Will the Keystone XL pipeline make my butt look fat? #askjustin— Tenzin N Tekan (@tenzinster) November 7, 2013
$250 for the privilege of having cocktails with Justin Trudeau?! If he were any kind of a gentleman, he'd pick up the tab! #AskJustin— Kathy Flett (@kathyflett1) November 7, 2013
And perhaps the question on everyone's mind:
#askjustin How much do you regret this right now.— Scaachi Koul (@Scaachi) November 7, 2013