Yup, that’s correct. Liberal Nova Scotian MP Robert Thibault, in an article published in the Hill TImes, was quoted saying that Conservative Sen. Marjory LeBreton “should go back to making tea for Brian Mulroney and stay out of serious people’s business.”
Now this is not the first time the Honourable Robert Thibault has been accused of putting his foot in his mouth. Indeed, last week he was accused of making ageist comments. Apparently he alluded to the fact that his Conservative rival in his riding was too old for the job, saying that Greg Kerr, 60, is trying to enter politics at an age when people start considering their retirement plans. The spryer 49-year-old Thibault is being called upon by the Canadian Association of Retired Persons to withdraw his remarks, which he has so far refused to do.
Now here I have a confession to make: I’m just not that bothered by the latter remark. Maybe because I have yet to experience the horrors of ageism, compared to my wide experiences with sexism. Or maybe because questioning someone’s age seems like a legitimate angle in political campaigning. Much like the Hillary Clinton ads asking ‘who would you rather answer the red phone?’ I think it’s perfectly fine to ask ‘do you want your MP to statistically be at higher risk for a variety of memory and physical impairments, not to mention the need for Early Bird dinners?’ What I don’t find fine is equating being an “idiot”, as LeBreton is accused of being, with upsetting traditional gender roles.
Therefore: Am I an ageist? Am I only centered on political matters that pertain to me? Or am I willing to stand up and say that being politically correct means not being a bigot, but yes, it can go to far? I guess I’ll get my answers by the amount of hate mail that enters my inbox…