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THE INSPIRATION

Watch the video that emboldened Justin Trudeau to publicly call himself a feminist

Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Geopolitics reporter

At the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Goalkeeper conference in New York City, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau spoke about how he came to call himself a feminist.

Trudeau remembered being an ally of women in university, where he was “one of their few male facilitators” in an outreach program for sexual-assault victims—and being told that feminist was a label reserved for women.

Influenced by this view, he said, “even with where I was comfortable with the idea of being a feminist, I didn’t actually come out and say that I was a feminist.” What changed his mind, he said—recounting the anecdote for the first time to an audience—was “a video in 2014 of Joseph Gordon-Levitt looking at the camera and saying ‘Yes, I am a feminist, I think men can be feminist and it’s important.'” Trudeau said he then realized “it’s OK for men to say that they’re feminists in a public sense. Great—I’m gonna finally do that.”

In January 2014, Gordon-Levitt, the American actor, mentioned being a feminist on the Ellen DeGeneres Show while talking about his mother’s impact on his life. A few months later, he published a video on his YouTube channel talking about his embrace of feminism:

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