Critics of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been sent into a lather after he corrected a woman for using the term “mankind”.
Trudeau was at a town hall event in Alberta on Friday when he interrupted a young woman from the World Mission Society Church of God during her lengthy monologue about maternal love.
“We like to say ‘peoplekind,’ not necessarily ‘mankind’ because its more inclusive,” the self-proclaimed feminist said.
The woman replied: “Exactly yes, thank you,” to a round of applause as Trudeau added: “We can all learn from each other.”
However, the 46-year-old has since been variously mocked for “mansplaining”, “virtue-signalling”, being “painfully politically correct” and even making up words.
“Justin Trudeau knows how to virtue-signal and mansplain at the same time,” tweeted Parker Hjelmberg.
“How dare you kill off mankind, Mr Trudeau, you spineless virtue-signalling excuse for a feminist,” complained Piers Morgan in a column for the Daily Mail.
Amid the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Morgan accused Trudeau of “biding his time, waiting for the perfect occasion to throw his virtue-signalling voice behind the feminist cause.”
Fox News sought comment from a psychology professor who has made headlines in the past for refusing to use gender-neutral pronouns.
Dr Jordan Peterson, of the University of Toronto, said: “It’s quite the performance. I’m afraid that our prime minister is only capable of running his ideas on a few very narrow ideological tracks.”
He added: “That indicates precisely the way he thinks, and I don’t think he does think. I think he runs an ideology in his head and accepts the output without question. And I think we’re really going to pay for it in Canada, in ways that we can’t yet imagine.”
However, Daniel Dale, Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star, said: “The US-right-wing pile-on re Trudeau’s ‘peoplekind’ is pretty misleading.
“He was lightly ribbing a woman who was rambling about the power of women, “God the Mother” and how the world needs womanly love. Fox excluded her response to him: ‘There you go, exactly. Yes. Thank you.’”
Vice columnist Drew Brown pointed out: “It seems like this is less a snuff film of ‘common sense’ than it is the prime minister doing a reasonably good job of handling an intensely religious Christian-adjacent heretic. The video clip is real, but it has been cut to play as a [funny and believable] lie.”
The row comes days after Trudeau praised a Canadian senate vote to make the country’s national anthem gender-neutral, hailing the change “another positive step towards gender equality”.
Trudeau, who appointed women to 15 positions in his first cabinet, making up half of the total of his 31-person cabinet (including himself), has a reputation for being a progressive, feminist politician.
In 2016 he urged both men and women to embrace the term “feminist”, adding: “We shouldn’t be afraid of the word.”
In October, the father-of-three penned an exclusive essay for Marie Claire magazine, explaining: Why I’m Raising My Kids To Be Feminists, in which he stated: “Feminism is not just the belief that men and women are equal. It’s the knowledge that when we are all equal, all of us are more free.”