When asked why the new cabinet of Canada had an even split of men and women, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answered “because it’s 2015”.
Trudeau’s comment on social justice was preceded by an article from, of all places, The Onion.
“Because it’s the current year” will never be an effective argument in favour of anything. It’s a borderline nonsensical comment based on notions of modernity and a march of progress that does not exist. There’s nothing inherent about the present or future that means social justice ought to or will magically be achieved. This sort of thing will always be a struggle, and will always have to be fought for. Complacency – or worse, flippancy – insults the memories of those who fought for those liberal values of freedom and equality. To suggest that this sort of thing is happening because it’s the modern day, and that’s just how the modern day works, is a vapid, triumphalist argument that accomplishes nothing. It makes those concerned with social justice, representation, and equality look like we are incapable of making compelling cases for it, and fuels division.
Trudeau’s government has gender parity because Canada has taken significant steps to counteract the obstacles faced by women to achieving public office, and because of the social views of the party rank-and-file.