OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife set off a social media firestorm Tuesday, the eve of International Women's Day, by suggesting that men should be celebrated too.
"As we mark International Women's Day, let's celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls & women with respect," Sophie Gregoire Trudeau wrote on her Instagram account.
She posted a photo of herself and her husband -- who proudly declares himself a feminist -- showing them holding hands and gazing into each other's eyes.
Gregoire Trudeau urged women to post a photo with their male ally.
Joining in this way could help "create a movement that inspires more men to join the fight to build a better tomorrow with equal rights & opportunities for everyone... because #EqualityMatters," she wrote.
Her post attracted plenty of blunt criticism.
"I've never had to have my hand held," conservative MP Michelle Rempel tweeted. "Women's day is about women, not men!!"
A woman from Vancouver added, "This is so problematic I don't even know where to start.
Are you ready to ignite change? This week, as we mark International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls & women with respect, and who aren’t afraid to speak up in front of others. Take a picture holding hands with your male ally & share it on social media using the hashtag #TomorrowInHand. Together, we can create a movement that inspires more men to join the fight to build a better tomorrow with equal rights & opportunities for everyone… because #EqualityMatters.