Is being critical of a female politician actually sexist?

Andrea Horwath was found to have a taste for expensive clothes paid for by her party.

I worry we are actually at a point where sexism means being critical of women. For anything. Ever.

After having a story published in the Toronto Sun that showcased several problems with Andrea Horwath’s wardrobe spending – the lavish spending, the high end tastes, the odd accounting – I was accused of sexism.


Because over and over again I was told that such stories would never be done about a man and his wardrobe. It seems that the people thinking this completely forgot about Justin Trudeau’s entire trip to India.

Media coverage on that trip focused heavily on what Trudeau was wearing, how much it cost and how ridiculous he looked. I wrote about it, even the Toronto Star was critical.

How many stories have we seen, positive and negative, about Trudeau’s socks?

Going back to the Stephen Harper era and there was plenty of commentary of Harper’s hair, his wardrobe and his stylist.

We could go back further to Preston Manning in the early days of the Reform Party or to Brian Mulroney, so often criticized for his high, and expensive fashion.

The sexism charge is garbage.

The idea that this story on Horwath is only being done because she is a woman is ridiculous. To claim that this wouldn’t be done to a man ignores history, recent and ancient.

One of the big differences between my story on Horwath and these other stories is that journalists feel free to mock male politicians for their style choices or lack of style. That didn’t happen with Horwath.

I pointed out that this MP from Hamilton Centre, a very poor riding, shops for custom and high end clothing at places like Holt Renfrew. The accounting of these purchases under labels such as office supplies, travel or fundraising is also odd.

So too is the amount Horwath spent.

Can the average woman in her riding relate to dropping $43,585.98 in four years on clothing?

These are all things I would report on with any male politician.

Why didn’t I do this for Doug Ford?

Simply put, Ford just became PC leader. All this information was gleaned from looking at documents filed with Elections Ontario. Ford hasn’t been leader long enough to file such papers and Patrick Brown isn’t running in this election.

As for Kathleen Wynne, I’ll look but let’s just say that at this point in the campaign, Wynne is irrelevant.

NDP voters should be furious about this sort of thing. They should be angry that their leader was spending so many donor dollars on a wardrobe. They should also be furious that Horwath is so off brand for the party.

The only kind of New Democrat that spends that much money at Holt Renfrew is a champange socialist.

The fact that I’ve angers so many Horwath supporters and that they are resorting to calling me sexist shows that I struck a nerve.


  • I am curious why no one seems to be bringing back Monique Taylor of Hamilton Mountain in the last few weeks of the campaign. I was working a lot when the story broke on March 23. Missed it and just happened to fumble onto it. Monique Taylor tried to force an employee to make a false accusation towards another employee of sexual harassment because she wished she never hired her. The whole story is in ‘The Bay Observer’ March 23. ‘Human Rights Complaint Alleges Harassment by Monique Taylor’. Really crossed the line on this one… Seems pretty unethical and disgusting to me! Monique Taylor is trying to be re-elected. Does Andrea condone this? Brian need some help because I don’t think many know about this on Hamilton Mountain. Thanks : )

  • Of course not! Being critical of women is not in and of itself sexist. It’s ridiculous to make that claim. Brian, you made the report supported by facts and figures. It is just that those who are not happy with the report are unable to refute your claims that they claim sexism. Keep it up Brian!

  • You also mentioned Jagmeet in your article for the same reason. Champagne socialists leading the NDP.

  • If you cannot take the criticism then you should change parties or change jobs – just because you do not have a swinging dick between your legs does not give you “protection” from criticism.