On The Unwarranted Backlash Over Trudeau’s “People Kind” Comment

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Justin Trudeau encouraged a woman to use the word “Peoplekind” instead of mankind, hence drawing some unwarranted backlash worldwide. While addressing a woman, who had asked Trudeau to look into policies on volunteering for religious charitable organizations have in the legislation, that can also be changed. She then said, “Maternal love is the love that is going to change the future of mankind.”

At this point Trudeau waved at the woman and said, “We’d like to say ‘Peoplekind’, not necessarily ‘Mankind’.

A major part of conservative media and personalities took offense at Trudeau’s statements. Calling out his extreme political correctness and surrender to radical feminism.

He was also accused of, wait for it…mansplaining

While there were some who thought the English language was being unnecessarily tortured.

Some are in fact more bent on taking the entire incident out of context.


At no point in the entire footage does it appear that Trudeau is mansplaining. It feels more like a suggestion, which is applauded by many in the audience, including the woman he has supposedly cut or mansplained.

It seems like it has become a habit of media and the social media to skin every statement and carve out a desirable analysis, which can then be criticised, upheld or blamed for all the faults in the world. From changing loyalties towards feminism, to the butchering of English language, in this case.

Trudeau’s statement deserves constructive discussion, not unwarranted backlash

Right now, the world is in its most unsure phase. The lines between radical feminism and feminism have been convoluted by endless discussions. Thus, we are debating new aspects of sexual harassment, gender equality and gender pay gap every single day. Like Trudeau most men and women want to bring in a new culture of gender equality in the society as well as speech. But all these suggestions need to be properly analysed by both men and women. We need to understand how and why exactly these cultural changes need to be implemented.

The English language has suffered far worse travesties

A man just puts out an idea for gender-neutral speech, and all he got accused of is butchering the English language.

Keep in mind that words like meh, skort, photobomb and drumble have all found their way into the Oxford dictionary in recent times.

However, what Trudeau is suggesting would mean reworking the entire framework of the language. We have been through debates Miss vs Missus umpteen times, certainly we could have another one on “Peoplekind”.

 Trudeau’s stand on oil pipeline expansion or selling weapons to Saudi Arabia needs more discussion than him using the word “Peoplekind”. He has displayed his commitment to feminism in his cabinet and policies. So, instead of picking up words from his statement and shouting them out of the megaphone that is social media, we should instead constructively discuss the change needed or not, in our daily lingo.

Also Read : Stop Gendering Words: The Androcentric Approach of Language

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own