Candice Malcolm: Monsef is no feminist hero

Maryam-Monsef.jpg

(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

After spending a relaxing few days on a private island in the Bahamas, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was back to work this week. And he managed to do something rather productive.

Trudeau shuffled his cabinet – demoting ineffective and problematic ministers, while promoting the more capable and impressive ones.

Perhaps most interestingly, Trudeau moved Maryam Monsef from her role as Democratic Institutions Minister to the lower-profile position of Minister for the Status of Women.

It was a clear demotion.

Electoral reform was a key Liberal campaign promise, and is central to Trudeau’s legislative agenda. And Monsef utterly dropped the ball in her role as minister.

First, she mocked the opposition, suggesting that social media sites like Twitter were a better platform for democratic engagement than tradition voting booths.

Then, she belittled a parliamentary committee, saying they didn’t get the hard work done – simply because their recommendations didn’t match her stated preferences.

Oh, and there’s the whole being-born-in-Iran thing, and apparently not knowing about it despite making visits to the country she once fled.

After a run of bad publicity and countless unanswered questions about her mysterious past, Monsef was demoted to the position of Canada’s official government feminist.

When it came to firing one of the worst performing members of his cabinet, Trudeau – the avowed feminist – put Monsef in charge of the ‘Status of Women,’ a junior portfolio inside the Ministry of Canadian Heritage.

While hypocritical, it’s also rather fitting. The Status of Women ministry is as unnecessary in Canada as Monsef is in cabinet.

The idea that Canadian women need a special government agency is both demeaning, pejorative and, frankly, out of date and out of touch.

Canadian women are not victims in need of special government assistance. We don’t have a single set of issues that require subsidies and handouts from the feds. And we certainly don’t need a department of professional feminists telling us which issues are “ours.”

Feminism has lost touch with promoting equality, and instead often focuses on undermining men and attacking traditional societal roles.

Besides, the major issues within Status of Women – domestic abuse and missing and murdered aboriginals – are issues relating to crime and security, both already under the purview of the Department of Public Safety.

These issues also effect men, and it’s wrong and unhelpful to...(READ MORE)