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It's 2015, Folks. Trudeau Story!

09/11/2015 9:54 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
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OTTAWA, Nov. 4, 2015-- Newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, front, delivers a statement after his swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Canada, Nov. 4, 2015. Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Canada's 23rd prime minister and named a 31-member cabinet here Wednesday. (Xinhua/Chris Roussakis via Getty Images)

Trudeau On Why Gender Parity Is So Important

Trudeau drops the mic: http://huff.to/1WAOupi

Posted by The Huffington Post Canada on Wednesday, 4 November 2015

On November 4, Justin Trudeau, son of Canada's perhaps best-known Prime Minister -- to date at least -- Pierre Trudeau, was sworn in as the 23rd Canadian leader.

Much like his father, he is already inspiring an age of 'Trudeaumania'; lauded by the majority of Canadians for his intelligence, his sense of social justice, and his abhorrence of the conservative, 'cynical' witch-hunting approach to governance of his predecessor Stephen Harper.

At the press conference following his investiture, a journalist asked Mr Trudeau why 'gender parity' in his new cabinet -- made up of 15 men and 15 women -- was so important.

He gave the best answer I think it was possible to give in an age where weasel words are used to exhaustive lengths, and politicians are notorious for -- well, for speaking out of their shiny-bottomed trousers.

Trudeau shrugged and said: "Because it's 2015."

Now, I realise this may seem laughably obvious to the majority of you out there, but for a hell of a lot of people, it ain't 2015. It isn't even 2005, or 1995 for that matter. It would be fair to say that for some, including former Prime Minister Harper, (not to mention a certain former premier of our own), societal thought processes are firmly stuck in -- oh, let's say 1958.

And there are two areas of Mad Men Redux where this seems to be particularly prevalent, not just in Australia, but also worldwide; politics -- and -- you guessed it -- sport.

This was firmly illustrated with the backlash against Michelle Payne last week. Realistically, though, this is an ongoing illness, and she is a casualty of it. Call it the plague of fluffy little bunnydom; because women shouldn't forget their place, and certainly shouldn't strive to be the best in a field not their own.

It's tempting to put those who feel like this behind the rabbit-proof fence.

If anyone thinks I am on a feminist rave, that's OK. I actually believe it's only by working together -- much like Justin Trudeau is clearly illustrating -- that we genuinely achieve any kind of equality. I am not anti-male, and I am not saying this is an attitude coming only from men.

But it is an attitude driven by a lack of willingness to see women achieve in traditionally male-dominated areas. It's why Trudeau's answer has made waves around the world, when really those three words said why the question shouldn't even have been asked.

Because it's 2015.

And yet...

Elle Magazine's #MoreWomen video clearly and cleverly illustrated just how few women sit at the top of the global political totem pole by removing the men from group images. So we see Angela Merkel with David Cameron, Barack Obama and other world leaders -- and then alone, after they are Photoshopped out. Then one of Hillary Clinton in the War Room with Obama and staff... And it goes on. The same would have been shown of Julie Bishop pre-PM Turnbull, and I am certain in her role as Foreign Minister it occurs all the time.

In a similar way, the continuing yawn that is sexism is brought out with intent by the #CoverTheAthlete campaign on YouTube. It shows 'questions' being asked of male athletes such as 'how does your weight gain impact on your performance?' and 'so... are you going to give us a twirl?' (thank you, there, to the Australian Open commentators).

These are real questions, of course. They just weren't ever asked of male athletes; only of the fluffy little bunnies (and their skirts) who couldn't possibly do anything like smash through a gender barrier and the number one barrier at Flemington on the same day.

I want to reinforce that this isn't about achieving through quotas, or because there have to be X number of women involved in an area or team. On Friday last week, the Australian netball team, the Diamonds, retained the Constellation Cup against New Zealand. They have the distinction of being the only team in any sport, male or female, to have won 10 world championship/world cup equivalents. Netball was also the most popular team sport for both sexes in the last census, and yet TV coverage tends to run on 'if there's nothing else on' at times.

Imagine that happening with rugby.

I applaud Justin Trudeau. The main reason I applaud him is the reason I applaud others like him, who just want to cut the crap and get on with the job.

#MorePoliticalLeadership. #MoreSportsCoverage. #MoreGenderParity. #More2015.

Because, apparently, it is.

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