NDP MP Megan Leslie asks Tory minister to explain wife comment

Following on my post, NDP MP Megan Leslie demands a response from Tory minister during Question Period. Minister naturally gives ridiculous response.

Leslie shot back: “Leave it to the Conservatives to encourage young women to get married as part of their economic action plan, but his comments were disrespectful …. In other words, ‘There, there, stop planning for your future.” Ashfield then said the NDP could find little with fault in their budget if that was what they were choosing to ask about during question period.

Here’s the closing paragraphs from Josh Visser’s National Post article tonight:

“In what universe is it acceptable to tell a young woman that she’s going to make someone a great wife one day?” political analyst Lisa Kirbie wrote on her website, drawing attention to the comment.

“Shame on Conservative Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield, and shame on this entire government. I sure hope he, and his boss, get asked about this tomorrow.”


10 Comments on “NDP MP Megan Leslie asks Tory minister to explain wife comment”

  1. Mary Dafoe says:

    This man is from your fathers era where this was a complement stop wasting tax payers money on this CRAP!!

    • Heather says:

      In my era, we learn how to spell. You meant “compliment” though it was anything but. Why not suggest that good cooking skills would make her a good chef? If she were a man, would he have said he’d make a good husband?

      And regardless of what “era” Minister Ashfield is from, he lives and works in this one. It was a poorly thought out comment that he should apologize for. How hard is that to understand?

      • Stephen Ashfield says:

        To expect Mr. Ashfield to apologize for such a remark causes me to think Megan Leslie is a nitpicker of great proportion and all in her camp of thought are similarly so.

  2. Scot says:

    Hold the phone…. Keith Ashfield said what….Grace, you’re a great cook….”You’re going to make a wonderful wife for somebody.” what is the Problem here? these words have said since the Beginning of time. well at least we know that …Megan Leslie wont be wonderful wife someday.

  3. Michael B says:

    At this rate, it will soon be unacceptable to identify someone by their gender!! Bah!! This is one of the most ridiculous attacks I have heard yet, and it saddens me that we have swung this far in what is supposed to be the noble cause of empowering everyone by promoting equality and preventing biases. By categorizing the honourable and proud institution of marriage as a deadend and life stopping goal, we remove any sense of importance that people may have or seek from creating and being part of a family. Great job!!

    Grrr!!!!!!!!

  4. Alistair says:

    Lisa
    I’m sorry to here that you were so infuriated by the comments of Minister Ashfield. I am married to one of the most amazing women that I know. When I introduce her it is with great pride that I say ‘that’s my Wife’. Wife is a title of office not a derogatory reference. Just as i am sometimes introduced by ‘that’s my Husband’ normally followed by a chuckle. These references are used with love. I Hope that you find that one day. It sounds like you are still searching. When you do find that special someone you may not think so poorly on being someone’s wife.
    Alistair (The Husband)

    • Lisa says:

      You clearly missed the point, so I’ll repeat it here: Because a young woman is a “great cook” should not dictate that the application of those skills means she’ll make a wonderful wife. We no longer live in an era that grooms young women to become wives and when the minister made those comments, he suggested as much.

  5. Valerie Connell says:

    With respect, I feel that your reaction says more about your perception of wives. It really is an overreaction and is insulting to those of us who have chosen to marry and happen to be good cooks, as well as business owners and yoga teachers in my case. Your point is esoteric and only makes sense within the context of divisive, grievance-based gender politics in which I was well schooled at university. Have a nice day.

  6. manfredkintop says:

    I agree with the majority of people commenting here. If anyone has the right to get bent out of shape over the comment, shouldn’t it be Grace Moreno? What was her reaction?

  7. Rebecca says:

    It’s a shame that it seems inevitable that responses to this sort of criticism lurch into accusations of the critic’s marital status/prospects. For the record, I am a married woman, happily so, to an extraordinary man who thinks the same of me, and we’re both good cooks. None of that is relevant to my support of Megan Leslie and the point she is making here.

    I understand some think this point is petty or too trivial to be given attention. But I think these small comments and assumptions can connect together into something larger, a perspective that women face and sometimes even absorb that suggests there are limits to what a woman can be or aspire to.

    Of course there’s nothing wrong with saying she’s a good cook or with being someone’s wife. But there’s a subtle assumption at work in making and expressing a connection between her being a good cook and therefore a good future wife. (1) That part of a wife’s role is to cook–for some couples this may be how things go by preference of both parties and there’s nothing wrong with that but it ain’t necessarily so in this modern world, and shouldn’t be. (2) And that being a wife is in and of itself a point of aspiration–again, there is nothing wrong with being a wife, and in a wonderful marriage being a wife, or a husband, is wonderful. But we are coming out of a long period of history where “wife” was the pinnacle of a woman’s aspirations, while marriage was only one of any number of experiences and accomplishments a man could hope for.

    That’s why words that hint at that world view–in which a young woman is more likely to aspire to being a wife than a chef–sting and are not as trivial as they seem. Because if a young man was a good cook, an older man would not likely say, “You’ll make a good husband someday.” And in that inequality, there’s a history of male/female roles that were not fair to either party–to the wide range of ways a person can be, and things they can aspire to, male or female.

    I wish it were possible to discuss this without stooping to personal attack. The kind of vitriol that emerges in these sorts of commentaries sometimes only reinforces the evidence that some deeply unsettling ideas about men and women–and the relationship between them–still exist.


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