Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau has come under fire for recently telling a Quebec magazine that she struggles to keep up with her responsibilities as the wife of the Canadian Prime Minister. Justin Trudeau’s wife admitted “I need help,” with her role and duties, and faced “sexist” criticism for requesting extra staff to help her keep up with the immense responsibilities associated with family and public servitude.
Sophie’s conversation with Le Soleil was met with controversial and impassioned criticism, with opposition politicians touting her “out of touch” as wife of Canada’s youthful prime minister, Justin Trudeau. An array of media and policy commentators responded by coming to Trudeau’s defense, calling criticism of her admission of struggling to juggle domestic and professional life — particularly as PM Justin Trudeau’s wife — sexist and spiteful.
In an interview with French-language magazine Le Soleil, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau discussed the immense number of duties that come with the role of being the prime minister’s wife, and the difficulty to keep up with them and serve the people.
“I’d love to be everywhere but I can’t. I have three children and a husband who is prime minister,” Sophie told Le Soleil of the weighty expectations upon her as Justin Trudeau’s wife.
“I need help. I need a team to help me serve the people.”
When Justin Trudeau’s wife admitted “I need help,” with her role and duties, she faced criticism for requesting extra staff to help her perform as the prime minister’s wife to the best of her ability. According to Global News, her statement triggered immediate, outraged remarks from politicians, including opposition MP Niki Ashton.
“Hearing statements like that certainly does not speak to the reality that Canadian women face and the kind of struggles that, you know, that they’re undertaking day in, day out,” Ashton told Global News.“Certainly the kind of statements we heard from the [PM Justin Trudeau’s] wife, you know, speak to that disconnect with the reality that Canadian women face.”
Fellow opposition politician Candice Bergen joined Ashton in criticizing Justin Trudeau’s wife for requesting more staff to assist with her role and duties.
“Tory MP Candice Bergen told reporters that former prime minister Stephen Harper’s wife, Laureen, managed with just a single aide,” reports Global News. “Bergen wondered how the government could hire more staff for Gregoire when there are Canadian families who are struggling to make ends meet. Bergen said the couple had to be aware of what they were getting into when [Justin] Trudeau sought the Liberal leadership.”
Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau’s request for additional staff to help her with her role as PM Justin Trudeau’s wife, a high-profile public figure and mother-of-three registers as “sexist and spiteful” to others, who see Sophie’s admission to struggling with her challenging role as brave, honest, and realistic. Specifically, Gregoire-Trudeau said that she receives enormous numbers of requests from charities and organizations to attend events and promote their causes, and simply cannot respond to all of them without an office — corresponding from her kitchen table — and with one aide.
“It’s hard to choose, because it’s touching when people ask for your help. People really lay out their suffering in some of the letters I receive,” Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau told Le Soleil.
According to The Guardian, many have taken to social media and editorial publications to dub the comments about Gregoire-Trudeau sexist and spiteful.
“The instant, often spiteful reaction from both social media and other politicians who should know better smacks of ignorance about the requirements of the role the prime minister’s wife has taken on,” reports The Guardian of an editorial published in Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau’s defense in The Toronto Star.
“But some on Twitter suggested the hounding of Grégoire Trudeau was not just about politics, but sexism, while an open letter to her on Facebook noted ‘society seems to have a problem when women ask for help’.”
When Justin Trudeau’s wife admitted “I need help,” with her role and duties, and faced “sexist” criticism for requesting extra staff, it was not the first time she had come under fire: Sophie has previously been criticized as a “tall poppy” for other movements in the public sphere.
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