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Canadians Sickened By Conservative MP Cooper’s Verbal Assault on Female Colleagues

For years the Canadian political arena has faced accusations of sexism, misogyny, and chauvinism. Female members of Parliament have reported experiencing different forms of discrimination and harassment from their male counterparts. Sadly, these attitudes and behaviours are not improving; they are worsening daily.

Female members of Parliament rightfully and publically are speaking out on some of the toxic, inappropriate behaviours, discriminatory comments, and various forms of sexual harassment. These incidents are not just isolated cases; they represent a systemic issue that needs to be addressed urgently. It is well-documented that close to 60% of female Members of Parliament have been subjected to some form of sexual harassment while serving the House of Commons, which is a deeply alarming statistic.

Chauvinism, dismissive and degrading contempt towards female members of Parliament are behaviours that should have no place in the Canadian political arena. The political sphere should be a space where all members feel respected, valued, and heard, regardless of their gender.

However, it is disheartening to see how male members of Parliament continue to engage in unacceptable and unbecoming behaviours of leaders. Female members of Parliament are often subjected to ridicule, belittling, and are not given the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

The latest incident, which is more of a pattern of verbal assault on the female Members of Parliament, involves Michael J. Cooper, Conservative MP representing the riding of St. Albert—Edmonton, who made it a point of making personal attacks on the character and toughness of Canada’s Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly’s ability to do her job in a recent committee meeting.

“You’ve talked tough with your Beijing counterpart, so you say. You even stared into his eyes. I’m sure he was very intimidated,” said Cooper.

Cooper’s line of question, whether in committed or question period when it comes to female Members of Parliaments, is a perfect example of this contemptuous behaviour. Cooper is too often dismissive of his female colleagues, condescending and shows a lack of respect for them, which is an embarrassment to the office of a public official.

“My comments had nothing to do with the minister’s gender and everything to do with the lack of action by her and her government to hold the regime in Beijing accountable for interfering in our elections and harassing and threatening Canadian citizens,” said Cooper, in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Cooper’s behaviour is a clear example of an atmosphere of hostility, fear, and intimidation, undermining the efforts of female Parliament members and limiting their ability to contribute fully to the political process. The fact that this issue is still prevalent in Canadian politics today shows that there is still a long way to go in achieving true gender equality. In any other working environment, this would not be tolerated, and his refusal to give an apology further confirms the level of entitlement and hubris of this individual.

It is essential that we hold our leaders accountable for their actions and demand that they treat all members of Parliament with respect and dignity. We must also work towards creating an environment that encourages diversity, inclusivity, and fairness so that everyone can participate fully in the political process. It is time for all members of Parliament to take responsibility for their actions and ensure that they treat each other with respect and dignity.

Naomi Dela Cruz
Naomi Dela Cruz
I am a passionate writer who enjoys the literary world and reading gripping, thought-provoking novels.