An ArmchairMayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
IS FEDERAL Heritage Minister Melanie Joly over-reacting to being called “hot” by Junos co-host Russell Peters during the awards show Sunday night?
Peters is getting raked over the coals in social media for the remark. Joly called the comment inappropriate, and is saying that kind of humour has no place in the Junos.
Sure, any woman, or man, appreciates a compliment, depending on how it’s delivered.
You might wonder why nobody gets criticized for calling Justin Trudeau hot. Both Trudeau and Joly were at the Junos and while Peters didn’t offer the same “compliment” to Trudeau on that occasion, he’s been on the receiving end of it many times.
Foreign media are especially guilty of focusing on Trudeau’s looks, being as he’s a new experience for them. The American TV tabloid show TMZ even did a ludicrous segment on his buns.
So howcum it’s OK to call a man hot but not a woman? Double standard?
Definitely, but sometimes double standards are necessary. Objectifying men is no more defensible that objectifying women, but men don’t face the same challenges as women do. As Joly pointed out, she represents an industry worth $53 million.
As a minister of the Crown, she deserves the respect of the office, and she deserves better than being the subject of a sad attempt at sexist humour. Peters would have been better making a lawyer joke, since Joly is a lawyer by profession.
By the way, it wasn’t the first time Joly’s looks have been reviewed in the media. In October 2015, BuzzFeed ran an item called “15 of the sexiest Liberal Members of Parliament in which it said this: “A lawyer by training, Mélanie has served as a board of director on many different organizations. She also happens to look like a sexy Disney Princess, which is never a bad thing.”
Good grief, comedians and media need to start acting like adults. Yes, Peters was out of line and, no, Joly wasn’t over-reacting to his dumb remark.