Blog highlights sexist tweets about Canada’s premiers
A B.C. blogger has set out to prove that despite Canada’s record number of female premiers, women in politics continue to face a barrage of shockingly sexist remarks and critiques of their physical appearance.
On the Madam Premier website, political consultant Diamond Isinger has compiled dozens of tweets and social media messages directed at any of the country’s six female premiers.
Isinger told CTV News she’s publicizing the messages, which include a range of vulgar sexual remarks, derogatory slurs, violent threats and wardrobe judgments, as a wakeup call for anyone who believes Canada’s female politicians have achieved full equality.
“A lot of people I know, both my friends and colleagues and whoever else, often say women have now made it because there’s a certain number of female premiers,” Isinger said. “I’ve always argued no, there’s still a pretty hard fight that needs to be fought.”
Last month, Kathleen Wynne made history becoming Ontario’s first openly lesbian leader, and helped Canada reach a record of six sitting female premiers.
But Isinger, who has worked for the BC Liberal Party, argues that despite their success, female premiers still face a double standard because they’re more harshly criticized for their appearances and lifestyle choices.
She acknowledged that male politicians are also subjected to unfair abuse online, but said the plight of women is more important to address because of their historical under-representation.
“The struggle women have had to be fairly represented, to have the full amount of rights and respect that men do in Canadian politics, I think it’s much more noteworthy for us to be looking at comments made about women,” Isinger said.
“Those kinds of comments are a huge barrier to more women getting involved in politics to fix the imbalance.”
B.C. Premier Christy Clark said she hasn’t read the blog, but applauds the attempt to open a dialogue about sexism in politics.
“It’s a good discussion to have because of all the thousands of women who experience things like that every single day,” Clark said. “None of us want our daughters, or our sons, to find themselves in workplaces like that.”
Isinger said she hopes her blog will make some potential perpetrators think twice before posting sexist remarks, if they realize their comments could reach a wider audience than they intended.
“The comments these folks are making online are certainly not things that they would ever say in a conversation with their mother or a conversation with their female child,” Isinger said.