I couldn't properly explain why I was so disgusted by the way the monstrous Cons went after Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, for simply admitting she was feeling overwhelmed, and asking for help.
And why I was so bothered by the way so many other Canadians piled on.
It was the bullying of course, and the casual cruelty, and the women hate. And the indecent glee of her tormentors.
But there was something else that really bothered me, and I think that Neil Macdonald explains it very well.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is just the latest victim of our miserable tall poppy syndrome.
Tall poppies stick out because they're really smart, or really rich, or talented and famous, or, as Derek Zoolander would put it, "really really really good looking."
In the United States, people love tall poppies. The average American looks at a tall poppy and says: "I want to be like that."
In Canada, we look at tall poppies and cluck and disapprove and fervently hope somebody takes them down a peg or two. Who do they think they are, anyway?
And although this isn't the only country where the tall poppies get hacked...
Hang me kangaroo down sport. Or just hang me.
It does seem to me that a lot of people in this country get an unhealthy kick out of putting down our own.
Or trying to make them as small as they are...
For no decent reason.
Especially since Sophie is a good person.
I don't pay much attention to Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, but I know she's amazingly popular, and I understand why.
She puts her hand over her heart, and she empathizes, and she's very pretty, and open about her own shortcomings, and seems determined to help young girls navigate a fragile time of life and grow into mature, accomplished women.
And she has every reason to feel overwhelmed.
The Prime Minister's Office says she gets 50 to 60 requests a week to appear at some worthy event or other: speak at our commencement, act as our patron, speak at our fundraiser, use your blazing fame to help us….please. And she does. She tries to answer all the invitations with a yes or a no, because it is simply not possible to accept them all.
But here's what I really don't understand. How come we can be so big, and so decent, and so Canadian, when we ccme to the aid of the people of Fort McMurray?
And celebrate these heroes...
And then act so small, and be so mean, and so miserable.
As the ghastly Con Candice Bergen...
Who would act in such a porky manner.
And yet when gently rebuked by the decent Bruce Anderson.
A good piece. This is also not complicated. Not the finest work of @nikiashton or @CandiceBergenMP I'm afraid. https://t.co/wC9Xl7GNAE— Bruce Anderson (@bruceanderson) May 14, 2016
Would proclaim that she doesn't know what he's talking about.
As only a Con, or an idiot could.
Bruce, Bruce, please CLARIFY !!!!!
Oh well, I'm sure Sophie will be OK. I hope she gets the help she needs and deserves.
And I just want to say that even though I'm not rich, or successful, or talented, and will new be famous, thank goodness.
In a very small way I understand how Sophie feels.
Because sometimes I feel like I'm the tall sunflower in my little garden eh?
And believe me in this sometimes gloomy, grumpy country, that's not easy. Gawd.
But that's OK because I couldn't live like them.
I'm still happy that we defeated the most miserable leader ever. And his equally miserable wife.
And replaced them with this couple...
Who are making us look good all over the world. And better than some of us deserve.
Oh well, I notice that after not daring to come out for so long, thanks to this frigid Spring.
These tulips are finally getting ready to bloom...
Which can only mean that summer will be here soon.
And I'll soon be out there...
Great Polar Bear God of the Great White North, make the wild wind from the West hit me in the face and make me feel clean again. Make me forget the nasty little people of this country.
Fill my sails with hope.
And help me to try to be as big as my Canada...
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Great post Simon. The worst thing the Cons can say about the Trudeaus is that they stand out too much.Like their oily Messiah the only game the Cons know how to play is identity politics,"Vote for me we both hate..(fill in the blank)". The sad thing is the Canadian taxpayer is paying for these totally useless bunch of clowns to play their game while the real issues are totally ignored.
Tall-poppy syndrome is typical of egalitarian or would-be egalitarian societies. It is not altogether a bad thing. It is bad if it discourages, say, artistic pursuits or scientific research; but good if it promotes social equality and limits the spread in earnings between management and the lowest paid employees. It most certainly is a feature of life in the Nordic countries, and in the Netherlands.
Rightwing anglos like Thatcher and Trump LOVE tall poppies.
Getting "she's very pretty" is bad enough from heterosexual macho men. Galling to hear that kind of tripe from a gay lad. It is no fucking accomplishment; it is her parental genes and the money to pay for expensive highlighting and blow-dries, as well as yoga and Pilates classes.
the nail that sticks out gets hammered down- Japanese Proverb,
Yeah, screw the little people. Fuck the working class. Give their tax money to the rich and well connected. Comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. That's the Conservative/Liberal way.
Envy. Nobody in their right mind would envy the evacuees, but Sophie? For sure. Also notice that the most virulent attacks on her, at least from what I've seen, have come from women. Makes me ashamed to be one.
I've had a lifetime of studying envy and its manifestations at very close range, and I am so tired of it. With you, I'm just glad we got to pitch those knuckle draggers from the positions of greatest power. But the plague they carry and try to spread is still with us. Thank you for continuing to "stand on guard", Simon.
I don't think Canadians over all Simon want to bring Sophie down. In fact I think they are proud of how our New PM and his wife looks and acts. The opposition however continue with their attacks on her non-stop. Also the media pundits are getting in on the act. IN fact I think Canadians are getting tired of the Con. rhetoric toward Sophie. This is who the Con MP's attacking Sophie are, mindless gossips lacking any political ideas who bring everything down to the personal. The constituents should be embarrassed to have such vacuous MP's representing them. I've always said though that theses reform/alliance/cons. are not a political party. They literally know nothing about politics and government. They were an embarrassment when they were in government and their an embarrassment in opposition. They are an anti-intellectual group of thugs, who have formed a conservative party in name only. I mean, look at Elizabeth May. Whether a person is a green party member or not, when she speaks people listen. When Bergen or Rempel or Ambrose speaks, people turn the channel.
It's no surprise that the wicked witch of the west Candace Bergen and other jealous idiots would pile on Sophie over this. Bergen's hatred of the Trudeaus is no secret yet Rona seemingly allows her to spew her bile over and over again. I think we should all thank the wicked witch of the west for her candid and cancerous thoughts towards a truly special person that is Sophie, who tries her best to help young girls get through a most difficult time in their lives. She probably feels pity for Bergen and wonders how a woman like her could become such a despicable waste of skin.
So thanks Candace for voicing what you and most of your colleagues are thinking. Yours is a party of hate and division, slowly rotting into oblivion, where it belongs.
I read the Neil Macdonald article about the tall poppy. Not sure if I agree. I find the reaction of some Canadians to Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau is very odd and quite dated. To not recognize the time and energy it takes to do what she does is simply willfull stupidity. Her beauty may be the source of people's rancor, who knows...But from wherever this anger comes from, it is truly ugly. One just has to look at Margaret Trudeau and her past difficulties with mental health and her inability to handle the pressure of being the PM's wife to see how truly nasty the source of this anger can be. I don't think they caused her breakdown, but criticizing a woman in this position for any reason is just discusting. It is an UNPAID position! Anything that the wife of a PM can do which is positive and supportive, is wonderful, and quite frankly no ones business. The few dollars that are spend on salaries related to child care and other support services is a drop in the bucket compared with the benefits we Canadians get out of this deal. Some are more active than others, like Trudeau and Mulroney, but it's not in the contract.
On the other hand, I do think the analogy of Simon as a tall sunflower is right on. Thank you Simon for your sunny ways, and the way you continue to speak on certain points.
Hope you have great Sunday:-))
The Trudeau family is rich, if Sophie needs an assistant, hire and pay for one! This pity parade is sickening.
Look I believe living a spouse and childern out of it, but Sophie crossed the line and made herself the centre of political attention so I'm not buying this sob story of poor sophie got critized, seriously its been very mild critizism.
To be fair Justin gets his own share of he's very pretty from men and women. Its a mere observation, so lets not play the victim game.
True, but nobody is playing the victim game.
Gyor, it's really none of your business. Mrs. Trudeau does not get paid!!! She does things FOR FREE!! This is misogyny pure and simple!
So Evita's wife needs help, and of course we have to pay for it.
After all, we have to thank our lucky stars to have such a prince as he.
When you look at this as "their rich" or it's a "pity parade" you really don't get what she's doing, you attack like the rest of them.
If Sophie can steer even just one young female towards a better life then I'd gladly help pay for 2 or 3 more assistants to ease the load.
The fact is she's popular, in-demand and is doing her part to better society. Those that begrudge what she's doing are pitiful, envious, hateful souls.
Sophie Gargoire-Trudeau was not elected to office, as many point out It is for that very reason she ought to be supported and if that requires additional staff then it ought to be provided to her. Good on her for wanting to help!
Ms. Gregoire-Trudeau is very popular and that is a good thing. The fact she wants to help and is a positive role model all the better.
Mrs. Mulroney had 3 staffers and I was fine with that also.
If nothing else people ought to be aware the type of "advertising" Ms. Gregoire-Trudeau provides to Canada and its fashion industry can't be bought. it would cost too much.
If Ms. Gregoire-Trudeau can inspire young people, encourage anyone, its a good thing. She is a lovely "tall poppy", and I think its wonderful.
Not a conservative. Not a Liberal.
Former Sun TV reporter Paige MacPherson, who is now with the Con filled Canadian Taxpayers Federation, tweeted out about Sophie.
I asked Paige in an email:
"l don't recall you whining that taxpayer's money was going to pay for Laureen Harper's secretary, Steve's powder puff from ol' Duff, or his North-Korean vibe 24/7 "news" videos!"
"And who paid for Laureen Harper's quarters for a year when she was separated from Stephen while he was still the Prime Minister--the Conservative Party, Harper himself, or the Canadian taxpayer?"
Simon mentions the "women hate" directed at Sophie. I don't think there is any way to substantiate if there is any of that going on. But my own theory is that at least some women who are criticizing Sophie are either jealous of her good looks and status, or maybe at an unconscious level are attacking her because they themselves are single or divorced (Bergen) and life hasn't unfolded as they hoped it had.
Speak of misogynist... I'll leave aside Bergen, whom I loathe for reasons that have nothing to do with her marital status, or any Con for that matter.
I'm not "jealous of her good looks". I'm not bad looking myself (though older - it happens, eh?) but I am livid about a society that values women on the basis of good looks and a certain type of presentation of self (princessy). Oddly unfashionable here in Montréal, by the way, as is her pink froth.
Status - that is another matter. I'm a socialist; I'm for social equality and a drastic reduction in distinctions of status, private schools and all the rest of that upper-class crap. That is not jealousy - it is class struggle. And it certainly doesn't mean I don't want recognition for people who have accomplished important things in the arts, in the sciences, in fighting climate change or supporting refugees for example.
Bergen isn't a feminist, but Nikki Ashton certainly is, and I don't like seeing her malighned for criticising a statement by Grégoire. Nobody wants Grégoire guillotined, or having to live on the crap provided at food banks and soup kitchens.
One of your best posts yet Simon! Thank you very much for bravely calling out horrible partisan attacks all these years. As usual, you've succeeded in taking something ugly and transforming it into a truly enjoyable read. In a world so full of hate you remind that there is beauty to be found, also. Thank you.
hi RT...thank you, if there is one thing I hate it's bullying. And the Cons and others should be ashamed of themselves for trying to get at Justin Trudeau by going after his family. They really are scum and we can destroy them soon enough....
hi lagatta....let's be clear, I am not defending Sophie because she's pretty, I am defending her because she is a nice person, who is being attacked in a vile manner, because she's Justin Trudeau's wife, and because she is a woman. You hate Trudeau too much to be impartial, and your remarks in my regard are absolutely outrageous...
hi anon 11:40...yes, as Heather Mallick pointed out the other day, sadly some of the attacks are coming from women, who should know better. And realize that they are also aimed at all women. But yes, thank goodness we got rid of those horrible Cons, even if as you say their poison is still with us. And believe me it's a pleasure to stand on guard against those foul bullies...
hi Pamela...I'm sure you're right, and most Canadians are on Sophie's side. But as you say the Cons are beasts, much of the MSM is joining in the monkey chorus, the internet is out of control, and what looks like a mass attack is probably not as massive as it looks. But I must say it really does offend me...
hi JD...yes Candice Bergen is a horribly ratty creature, but Rona Ambrose must bear the responsibility, because she is doing nothing to stop them. They are the same hateful party they always were, and hopefully we can finish them off in the next election...
hi TS...look I don't know what exactly is motivating so many to act in such a beastly fashion, but when they attacked her kids I thought it was appalling, when they attacked the gentle Margaret I was horrified. And this latest attack on Sophie is the absolute limit. But I'm glad you liked my sunflower. I was looking for a field of oppose, and when I stumbled on that picture I just couldn't resist... :)
hi Gyor...no that position makes no sense at all. For to accept that would suggest that Prime Ministers should have to be subjected to a means test to decide how much help they should get to carry out their duties, and that's both petty and absurd....
hi anonymous....so it's Evita now is it? Have you Cons no sense of decency? You really are appalling and thank goodness we defeated you...
hi David...yes the whole thing reeks of hypocrisy. We could have gone after Harper's family for the reason you mention, but we never did. For the simple reason that we are better than them, and they couldn't be more disgusting....
hi lagatta...the class struggle has nothing to do with bullying a young woman, and Nikki Ashton made a fool of herself with an argument that also made no sense, and all she demonstrated on that occasion was just cheap partisanship. And BTW you should also know that Michelle Rempel and Ashton have been active on twitter congratulating themselves for being such good feminists. Which is enough to make me vomit...
hi anon...well that you. I must say I'm distressed by some of the reaction it has elicited, but your comment more than makes up for that. ;) And yes, I try to look for the good in this world, and hate poisons everything....
Well, they aren't. They are against the social measures necessary for the emancipation of women, such as employment equity, universal free childcare and a basic income. Marine Le Pen could call herself a faminist, for that matter, but it would be bullshit.
And no, I don't hate Trudeau. I do hate Harper. But I recognize that Trudeau also represents a capitalist party.
Oh he's a Evita alright.
Arrogant, self-centred and vain. But good at tricking the dumb-dumbs.
They need excitement, and does him.
this, blog?, is the worst of the "sheepish" tripe, on the internet. It's so biased as to appear to be written by the Liberals themselves. Stating that the "Cons" are just jealous and petty because of the actions of this lady is the worst type of misdirection. The issue was plain, a lady, new at this level of fame was overwhelmed and stated it. Many, even Liberals, pointed out that others before her had gone through the same and flourished, without the help she was demanding. Others pointed to the fact that if this help were truly necessary due to this lady's inability to cope she could do as others have done and hire the help herself, on her own dime. Then, in response, she and her husband stressed her needs and elevated her to some special status beyond those who have gone before her, based on their "specialness". That's when it really came down on them, as it should. Yes, you both are special, as Justin is an elected leader and she, his wife is in the public eye (more so than most due to their own desire to be so) but there have been many in your position who learned to cope or hired their own assistance.
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