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THE INSPIRATION

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

Reuters/Elizabeth Shafiroff
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  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

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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