Appointing Cabinet Members Based On Genitalia

So Canada now has a ‘gender based cabinet’, which means it is comprised of 50% males and 50% females.

Sounds good right?

I want to take a closer look at the speech Justin Trudeau made following the implementation of this gender based cabinet, and explain why I don’t agree with moves such as this one.

So he starts off his speech with saying his wife, Sophie, has helped him become a better advocate for women’s issues:

Sophie is a phenomenal mother, a fearless partner, and a committed advocate for issues facing women and girls. Tomorrow, she’s speaking at the Not The Cost event, hosted by the National Democratic Institute.

Good stuff. Okay, what are you going to do with this new awareness, Justin?

I know this firsthand. I’m here this evening because I helped to bring about Canada’s first-ever gender-balanced Cabinet. But we arrived at that goal only because of the years of effort that preceded it.

Perfect. Now how did you achieve this goal?

Here’s an interesting fact: studies have shown that women are 50% less likely than men to consider themselves potential candidates for elected office. We didn’t need a study to tell us that, though. We saw it firsthand every time we asked women to run.

When we’d ask a man if he wanted to run for office, he’d most often say, “When do I start?”

But we found that when we asked a woman the same question, her first reaction was different. Most often, it was surprise. She’d ask if we were serious. She’d want to know why we thought she was qualified for the job.

Those questions they’re asking are pertinent questions. I’d ask the same thing if you asked me to run for office. I’d ask what makes you think I’m qualified and I’d be surprised as hell you think I’d make a good candidate.

What we did to try to make a difference was launch a campaign called “Invite Her to Run.” We reached out through social media and other channels to ask Canadians to invite women they knew—women who were already making their mark as hard workers and community leaders—to put their name forward and run for office.

And to help interested women follow through, we had a process in place to help them figure out the next steps.

Other women came to public service after being asked… repeatedly.

So you badgered them until they agreed with you and ran. Are you seeing the problem with this yet?

If you ask a woman if she’d like to run (and I don’t understand why you think they need you to ask) and they say ‘no’, then that should be the end of it.

However, that wasn’t enough for Trudeau, he had a quota and an agenda to fill and therefore this man needed to tell women what they should be doing instead of what they decided to do.

Carry on, Justin.

As many of you know, I am a feminist, and proud to call myself one. I believe that women can do – and be – anything they want. But I also know that meaningful cultural change can’t and won’t happen when only half of the population works toward that change. Men need to act, to set examples, and be role models, too.

I never would have guessed you’re a feminist, Justin. Never in a million years.

The last bit of his statement really sticks with me.

“Men need to act, to set examples, and be role models, too.”

Isn’t this against feminism?

Why are you treating women like children who need a male role model in order to achieve their goals?

News flash: Women are capable human beings. They are intelligent, driven and fully capable of achieving political office if they choose. If they don’t choose to do so, then that’s fine as well.

I’ve always tried to make sure that my daughter feels empowered, that she understands that her gender does not – and should never – determine the limits of what she can accomplish. But Sophie reminded me that I need to spend just as much time and effort engaging my sons, talking to them about feminism and the importance of equality.

Men have a critical role to play in demanding and supporting this societal shift. We need to speak out in support of gender equality, and we need to get comfortable identifying ourselves as feminists.

Yeah, it’s not a cult.

You don’t have to identify as a feminist in order to value equality, women’s rights or society. Women don’t need you to tell them what they should be doing, whether that’s running for office or anything else.

Now, true courage, if you ask me, is when a woman decides to throw her hat in the political arena—even after witnessing the hostile environment that so often awaits her.

Or when you badger the shit out of her into doing it.

Politics is hostile no matter what. It’s a fucking rat-race. Your entire life will be examined.

True courage is fighting for that raise, because you know you deserve pay equal—or greater—to that of your male colleagues.

It takes courage to ask for a raise. I recently asked for one and I was scared shitless.

And why would I deserve pay greater than someone else based on gender? I mean, I might think I deserve more pay because I’m more qualified, have been at my agency longer etc, but never based on whether I’m a man or a woman or whether the other person is a man or a woman.

In fact, that would be against Canadian human rights and if that’s happening to someone, they should immediately call the authorities.

But there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. We need to do more to address issues that negatively impact women each and every day. Issues like pay equity, access to quality child care, and achieving parity, not just in Cabinet, but Parliament as a whole.

Well, we’ve already established that you can do something about pay equity, no matter whether you’re a male or a female. So that’s good.

Child care I’m down with talking about. I’m sure all parents will be happy when they can have access to affordable child-care. I know when I was raising my kids alone, child-care was always an issue. Many fathers and mothers I knew would decide not to work because there was no point. Once they paid their childcare costs, their pay would be almost gone.

And in our humility, we should always remember the extraordinary position of privilege we are in, simply by being gathered in this beautiful room, in this great city. We must use our privilege to be advocates for change, both within our own communities and on the international stage.

So these privileged 1%ers need to tell us plebs what do do?

WTF.

These four values—empowerment, accountability, courage and humility—are not ones that we should embrace because they win us awards, or make us feel better about ourselves.

Yeah, I’m sure you didn’t badger women to join your cabinet because it makes you feel good or because it makes you look good. Never.

You have already admitted that when you asked them, they weren’t interested. Why can’t you let people make up their own minds about what they want to do with their lives?

Justin, you’re being ridiculous. You’re advocating for collectivism instead of equality of opportunity. When a man leaves that cabinet, are you only going to let another man in because you have to keep the 50/50 quota or are you going to allow the most qualified people to run, including women?

And same vice-versa.

I get it. You have good intentions but this is madness. And where does it stop? Do you just order men and women to do jobs based on numbers?

I’m in a field with about 10% men. When I go to a conference, I’m in a sea of women. I would never in a million years say that we need to fire 40% of those women and demand that men apply for those jobs, and then discount any women who applied, based on their fucking sex.

Do you not see how totalitarian that concept is?

If men want to apply for a job at my agency, they can. But not a lot of men want to work in social work. My class had two men in it.

However, there is nothing stopping men from taking the same course I took and applying for a job at my agency. If they’re qualified, they’ll likely get a job. If a woman applies for the same job and they’re more qualified, they will get the job and so on.

Tonight, I’m asking you to challenge those around you, your peers, your friends and most importantly the people who are not in this room.

After all, we’re all converts.

Jesus Christ. It’s a cult. We don’t need to be converted, Justin. That’s not your job.

And if they ask you if there is truly more work to be done, tell them to ask any woman they know.

Are you speaking for women now, Justin? Are you saying not one woman would disagree with you or this absurd initiative?

You shouldn’t be appointing people based on what genitals they have! You are regressing us backwards, Justin.

You did ask women and they said no. But that wasn’t good enough for you. Of course there is work to be done. There’s work to be done on all sorts of issues, and not just women’s issues. You don’t have to be a feminist to do it either.

This is a world leader. He is telling women what they should be doing and then going on to tell them they need a male role model in order to get there. He’s also trying to create converts.

 

 

 

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51 Comments

      • Okay … you did ask.
        In areas traditionally dominated by women … such as your profession ( and my former profession – Hairdresser – too for that matter) there is less hostility towards men from joining from the female members than there might be if the roles were reversed.

        Politics has traditionally been regarded as male dominated; we are , after all a Patriarchal society/world.
        Considering what women have been brought up to believe and to endure there is every reason to expect them to believe that they will be subject to similar levels of derision and abuse in the political arena as well.
        Thus, while maybe not the best approach, Trudeau is trying to accelerate a positive situation that should have been addressed a long time ago.
        And while it might seem patronizing now, later, such an equally balanced political system will regarded as the norm.

        • “there is less hostility towards men from joining from the female members than there might be if the roles were reversed.”

          You base this on?

          “Considering what women have been brought up to believe and to endure there is every reason to expect them to believe that they will be subject to similar levels of derision and abuse in the political arena as well.”

          Do you have such a low regard for women that you believe they should be given cabinet positions based on their genitalia because they can’t achieve it on their own?

          “Thus, while maybe not the best approach, Trudeau is trying to accelerate a positive situation that should have been addressed a long time ago.”

          Yeah, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

          “And while it might seem patronizing now, later, such an equally balanced political system will regarded as the norm.”

          Maybe. You have no way of knowing that. Just like I have no way of knowing if males will be equally represented in social work or hair styling. And that’
          s okay. As long as I CAN be a social worker or hair stylist if I want and I have equal opportunity to achieve that goal if I want. If I don’t want to be a politician or social worker, I don’t have to be. I should never, ever be given a job based on whether I have a penis or not.

          People have to be allowed to make their own choices and women are fully capable of doing so on their own. Just like their male counterparts.

          • “there is less hostility etc….” You base this on?

            Working in a female dominated profession for nearly 20 years Though I did initially get flak from many of my mates who thought I must be gay.

            Do you have such a low regard for women that you believe they should be given cabinet positions based on their genitalia because they can’t achieve it on their own?

            Not at all. I am saying they maybe because of past experience the average woman might feel reluctant to enter into a profession that is male dominated and where she is likely to be regarded as inferior and almost certainly subject to harassment.

            Yeah, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

            Ooops, do I detect a touch of snark, GC? Maybe your initial swipe at Trudeau is not so well founded after all and maybe the man is at least making an effort when others simply couldn’t even be arsed?

            I don’t have to be. I should never, ever be given a job based on whether I have a penis or not.
            I whole-heartedly agree. But we both know this is not always how it is in the real world, and therefore, sometimes it might be considered necessary to give ”history” a bit of a nudge from time to time. and speed change along a bit. And maybe this is one of those times?

            People have to be allowed to make their own choices and women are fully capable of doing so on their own. Just like their male counterparts.

            Of course they do/are. But this has not always been recognised by the other half of society and these are the ones with their heads up their arses that need to be made aware of this fact.

  1. “…when we asked a woman the same question (about running for office), her first reaction was different. Most often, it was surprise. She’d ask if we were serious. She’d want to know why we thought she was qualified for the job.”

    Wow. That looks synonymous like the word ‘No’ to me.

    Oh wait…

    According to you, GC, this means Trudeau is badgering them, refusing to take ‘No’ as an answer. That comes from you, GC. YOU.

    You transparent attempt to present yourself as if an observer by stupidly pretending to wonder why women might need more convincing than a man (something Trudeau specifically mentions but that you simply ignore) and that your imaginary world where women say No to the suggestion and Trudeau doesn’t respect that answer represents what is the case.

    That’s called ‘Make-believe’, GC. You are making shit up. And this is the third post you’ve done this in your zeal to vilify feminism. One must wonder why. Stooping to making shit up to support your belief is not a good tactic if one is trying to present one’s self as interested in finding out what’s true, respecting what’s true, willing to align one’s beliefs and opinions with what’s true. You’re demonstrating that you’re not interested. You are interested in vilifying feminism. That indicates to me that your motives are highly questionable because they are disreputable.

    GC at the very least you really should review your reading comprehension. It is being led by your beliefs. This is a problem. Your interpretation is so poor and in such spectacular fashion in this post that is no surprise you end up so far off the mark of what is clearly the case. Now, I realize the only way you can come up with your skewed and highly negative interpretation is if you actually believe you’re anti-feminist belief is in full possession of unassailable truth to begin with. That’s a problem, too. What you think Trudeau said and what you take it to mean are in different realities. Yours exists fully in your own head, which then informs and pollutes your opinion. This is a clue about its truth value quality…

    • Dear Tildeb, did you read this part:

      “Other women came to public service after being asked… repeatedly.”

      Repeatedly. He didn’t take the first answer he received.

      “That’s called ‘Make-believe’, GC. You are making shit up. And this is the third post you’ve done this in your zeal to vilify feminism. One must wonder why.”

      I find it interesting?

      Not sure what you’re implying.

      And it’s the fourth. I actually posted a video last night about a feminist woman who lived like a man for several months. It’s very interesting.

      You also castigated me for only picking on fringe elements. So here is a world leader. My Prime Minister, actually. I hardly think people would call this a fringe element, right?

      “You’re demonstrating that you’re not interested. You are interested in vilifying feminism. That indicates to me that your motives are highly questionable because they are disreputable.”

      So you believe that cabinet positions should be given based on whether you have a penis or not?

      And actually, I think this flies in the face of feminism because it treats women like children, as I pointed out in my post. If I were a feminist, I’d likely be angry that Trudeau thought I needed him to role model for me or give me permission to go into politics.

      “Now, I realize the only way you can come up with your skewed and highly negative interpretation is if you actually believe you’re anti-feminist belief is in full possession of unassailable truth to begin with.”

      I’m not actually anti-feminist. I’m anti-bad ideas and I think this is a bad idea. I certainly don’t think feminism has never come up with good ideas. And I applaud some of their achievements, especially in first and second wave feminism. I don’t admire SJW feminism I suppose.

      “Yours exists fully in your own head, which then informs and pollutes your opinion. This is a clue about its truth value quality…”

      Okay. So then pretend I agree with everything you just said.

      Do you then support giving out positions based on gender?

      • “Other women came to public service after being asked… repeatedly.”

        Repeatedly. He didn’t take the first answer he received.

        See? There you go making assumptions again. Just because someone is asked more than once doesn’t mean the first answer was ‘no’. Nor does it mean Trudeau himself did the asking. You presume whatever interpretation best suits your belief. This is a mistake in METHOD.

        So you believe that cabinet positions should be given based on whether you have a penis or not?

        Did I say that? No. Do you think I mean that? Yes.Do you want to know what I actually think? You don’t ask because you assume you already have the answer. You presume too much. And then you continue on your merry way slotting your imaginary meaning on to people who have not said what you assume they meant to say. This is a mistake in METHOD.

        And actually, I think this flies in the face of feminism because it treats women like children, as I pointed out in my post. If I were a feminist, I’d likely be angry that Trudeau thought I needed him to role model for me or give me permission to go into politics.

        You’ve gone off the rails here and don;t even know it. Nothing Trudeau says here ‘flies in the face of feminism’. What flies in the face of feminism are people who presume that correcting systemic gender imbalances by policy is itself an even worse kind of gender based discrimination! This is just how skewed is your reasoning… what is often called male privilege writ large!

        I’m not actually anti-feminist. I’m anti-bad ideas and I think this is a bad idea.

        That’s rich. If you were so ‘anti-bad ideas’ you’d fix your own methodology first and then support conclusions that align with compelling evidence from reality rather than make shit up, interpret whatever particulars you can find with as negative a meaning as possible, and then ‘arrive’ at you blatant anti-feminist opinions.

        I certainly don’t think feminism has never come up with good ideas (you have yet to demonstrate any value to it whatsoever) And I applaud some of their achievements, especially in first and second wave feminism (well, aren’t you suddenly and by your own fiat the enlightened one).

        Okay. So then pretend I agree with everything you just said.Do you then support giving out positions based on gender?

        Oh, I’m way worse than that: I think all systemic discrepancies in gender have to be correct by exactly such policies. In the same way, I think community policing should represent the same community make-up as they oversee. I think all public institutions should implement policy adjustments to correct these imbalances… including more men in social work, daycare, and teaching. Again, these public institutions need to reflect the public and not the old networks that have gone on forever favouring and privileging one over the other.

        Now, I understand that you’re going to decry gender policies as gender-based, discriminatory’. But that is the only way to achieve gender neutrality in the public services so that the old barriers are removed The same will either be implemented for race and language and ethnicity willingly by various regions and municipalities or they too will be mandated by public law. We already see this in action in many venues where no law is required. It is an evolution aided where necessary.

        • “See? There you go making assumptions again. Just because someone is asked more than once doesn’t mean the first answer was ‘no’.”

          It means they are aware of the opportunity and no longer need to be asked repeatedly.

          “Did I say that? No. Do you think I mean that? Yes.Do you want to know what I actually think? You don’t ask because you assume you already have the answer.”

          No. I genuinely want to know.

          “Nothing Trudeau says here ‘flies in the face of feminism’.”

          I explained why I thought it does.

          And here’s a link to plenty of people who would likely agree: http://time.com/3028827/women-against-feminism-gets-it-right/

          “This is just how skewed is your reasoning… what is often called male privilege writ large!”

          Classic SJW. Your opinion doesn’t matter. You’re male!

          Imagine if I said that to you or any other female.

          “well, aren’t you suddenly and by your own fiat the enlightened one).”

          So you mock me even when I agree with you?

          And not by my own fiat. I didn’t say I was enlightened. That’s by your mocking fiat.

          “Oh, I’m way worse than that: I think all systemic discrepancies in gender have to be correct by exactly such policies. In the same way, I think community policing should represent the same community make-up as they oversee.”

          Yes. It’s a slippery slope and here we go!

          Do you not see how fucking discriminatory that would be? Say, for example, you’re in a district with lots of white people and only a few percent black people. Using your nutty method, some of those black people couldn’t be hired because of the color of their skin. If more than the allotted amount went to police school, they would get turned away based on their skin color.

          People should have free agency. Equal opportunities. And their success should be based on their merits, not because they have a certain skin pigmentation.

          “Now, I understand that you’re going to decry gender policies as gender-based, discriminatory’.”

          Well yes, it is. Towards both males and females depending on the circumstances.

          “But that is the only way to achieve gender neutrality in the public services so that the old barriers are removed ”

          It’s the only way is it? It’s for the greater good after all. We have to discriminate to stop discrimination.

          “The same will either be implemented for race and language and ethnicity willingly by various regions and municipalities or they too will be mandated by public law.”

          damn. You’ve got it all planned out. Do you give them a number as well? Maybe just dole out where they should work, because under your system there are likely going to be people who don’t want to fill a specific role and you’ll need them to in order to fill your quota.

          This scares the crap out of me.

          “We already see this in action in many venues where no law is required. It is an evolution aided where necessary.”

          Bloody hell.

          Do you not see the discrepancy in your own argument?

          You said above it was the only way, yet here you say it’s already happening NATURALLY.

          There’s the answer. Continue to support equal opportunities. It will happen naturally if people are given free agency and the tools they need to do what they want.

          • You presume we live in a meritocracy. We don’t (laws intended to promote an egalitarian meritocracy but failing to accomplish this goal notwithstanding). And we know we don’t by large discrepancies in rates. That’s the point you just wave away – as if these ongoing rates don’t matter and shouldn’t be pointed out those most adversely affected by them and should not be addressed because da laws donchaknow already do this. You don;t stop there; you continue to argue that addressing these discrepancies by the nature of their discrepancy (gender for gender imbalances, race for racial imbalances, and so on) is itself a terrible idea and will magically cause a much bigger problem than the bias already fully implemented!

            Bullshit.

            Has the government collapsed into anarchy because half of its members are of each gender and therefore have no other merit because of that requirement? No. Your fears are groundless. But we do have many examples now for the younger generation to use as a role model – not just girls looking up and seeing important government ministers who are women but ministers who are of different ethnicity and religion just like the wider community they represent. Far from dastardly effects you presume will inevitably follow, we see a government that better reflects its constituents.

            Watch out; expect the sky to fall any day now that the feminist influence is at play in our government leadership.

            Oh, and then there’s the gay marriage fiasco that will have men marrying trees for their knotholes and children irreparably harmed by same-sex couples wearing a wedding band. Good grief. The same broken method of thinking produces the same kind of fear-based idiocy.

  2. While I typically am very skeptical of the feminist nonsense going on these days, a government in a “representative democracy” ideally should be fairly representative of society and should be democratically elected.

    While I scoff at Trudeau suggesting this is right “because it’s 2015” while there is a huge lack of voter equality here in Canada, if he wants to have a cabinet that fairly represents Canada along gender lines, then that seems alright with me – as long as there isn’t discrimination against those who are clearly better qualified for the jobs.

    I often wonder how many people in politics are really even qualified enough to be involved in running a country anyways.

    • “then that seems alright with me – as long as there isn’t discrimination against those who are clearly better qualified for the jobs.”

      Agreed. But under this system you can’t help but discriminate because only one gender can get in at a time.

      So if a man leaves, only a man can get in. Not based on whether or not that man is better qualified than the other candidates, including women, but based on him having a penis.

      And vice versa. It’s discriminatory by its very nature.

      • That all depends how flexibly it is handled. If it is done strictly, then yes, that is a problem. If wiggle room is left to ensure someone more qualified still can get in regardless of gender, then it shouldn’t be an issue. The government is reshuffled every 4 years (or less) anyways.

        Now if it were any job that is not meant to represent a population, then it would be nonsense. When a group of people are intended to work while representing a greater group of people, then I think it is of importance to have decent representation of different groups.

        • “That all depends how flexibly it is handled. If it is done strictly, then yes, that is a problem. If wiggle room is left to ensure someone more qualified still can get in regardless of gender, then it shouldn’t be an issue.”

          This is where we would disagree. He’s touting that the cabinet is now 50/50, do you really think he’s going to break that for a more qualified individual, whether they are male or female?

          I don’t care if the cabinet is 80% women. All I care about is whether they represent me well as a Canadian. I care that they are the most qualified to do the job, and their gender means not one whit to me.

          That’s all that should matter in my opinion.

          • I get your point of view, but in politics I think it is more difficult to know who really is more qualified than in other lines of work. I did not hear much backlash to this move that I can recall saying “so-and-so should have been included as they are more qualified”. I don’t think that is a very strong argument in this case, and I think being able to represent different sections of society actually is a part of the qualifications in this case as well.

            Yes, he is touting that the cabinet is 50/50 as it never has been so before. I don’t recall anything suggesting that it must continue to be exactly 50/50.

      • Ideally, the electoral system should be set up in a way that allows for more fair representation of all citizens. That may be happening here in Canada as well, so the gender-balanced cabinet may partly be symbolic of how things might look going forward without it seeming as forced.

        As far as I can tell though, everyone in the cabinet is qualified to be there. I have heard that men still have more of the positions that are typically considered to be more important though, so it’s not as rigid a gender divide as it may seem on the surface.

  3. And that’s news? You all are having a supposed good time at both genders’ expense. Of course this policy discriminates, seems obvious to me. My opinion is that a decent man or woman knows to stay out of politics altogether. I think some wonderful people who may be qualified should run for office, but by the time their political machine gets through with them, and their opposition finishes dragging out the time they stole a pack of gum at the age of eight, they would probably give up. Not to mention the money it takes to even register as a candidate. Just look at the shameful example of our election year. I am embarrassed and ashamed of our choices. There’s no taking gender out of this political farce.

    • I guess. I’m getting called an idiot in another thread. When I pointed out they used an ad hom attack, they said it wasn’t an ad hom because it’s true. Even when I said it’s cool for them to hold other opinions. I’m good with it. I’m comfortable not agreeing on every subject, they continue to attack me on a personal level.

      I’m not sure why people get so angry when someone disagrees with them. *shrug*

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