Why Justin Trudeau Is Raising His Kids To Be Feminists — Including His Sons

"To raise our kids feminist is to honor their future."

Today is International Day of the Girl, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is talking feminism. In a new essay for Marie Claire, Trudeau shares why it's so important for him to raise his children to be feminists — no matter their gender. It's a lesson many parents should consider.

Trudeau admits he is concerned about the world in which his daughter Ella-Grace is growing up. "It's 2017, yet in Canada and around the world, women and girls still face violence, discrimination, stereotypes that limit them, and unequal opportunities that keep them from achieving their dreams."

He and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, he explains, are raising Ella to know that she has "immense power," "intrinsic worth," and "a strong voice" — which "means raising her feminist."

However, it was his wife who pointed out that it was just as important to teach their sons, Xavier and Hadrien, the same feminist values, telling him, "That's great—but how are you raising your sons to be strong advocates for women and girls, too?"

Trudeau writes that he aims to teach his sons that they have "the power and the responsibility to change our culture of sexism," and alludes to the issue of toxic masculinity — an especially relevant topic in the midst of a current widespread discussion of sexual harassment and assault.

"I want my sons to escape the pressure to be a particular kind of masculine that is so damaging to men and to the people around them," he writes in the piece. "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."

The prime minister sets a great example, as he himself has been outspoken about his feminist ideals, saying last year, "I am going to keep saying loud and clear that I am a feminist until it is met with a shrug." He also made sure that 50 percent of his cabinet was female, explaining at the time that it was "because it's 2015."

Trudeau met with female leaders at a roundtable discussion in Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning, sharing how his wife inspires him to be a "better feminist" and saying, "How we empower women and girls around the world is going to make a difference, the defining difference in whether we make it as a 21st century species or not."

For Trudeau, that means ensuring the next generation takes gender equality seriously.

"To raise our kids feminist is to recognize that they ALL have a part to play to build that world," the politician ends his piece for Marie Claire. "To raise our kids feminist is to honor their future, because they have the responsibility—and the power—to shape it for the better."

You can read the rest of Trudeau's thoughts on MarieClaire.com.


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