Did Robert Poëti do sexism and ageism?

The political analyst for Équiterre Andréanne Brazeau is used to “gratuitous attacks”, she who evolves in the “very masculine” environment of transport. But in 2022, comments like those made by Robert Poëti about him no longer have their place, she denounces.

• Read also: All the falsehoods launched by Poëti on SUVs and electric cars

On 98.5 FM, yesterday, the CEO of the Corporation of Quebec Automobile Dealers (CCAQ) criticized Équiterre for basing its recent anti-SUV advertising campaign on “a young person” with “frail shoulders”. This young person is Andréanne Brazeau.

“When frank and open dialogue does not work, which we have also tried to have with Mr. Poëti, we must denounce sexism and ageism, even if we think that it is not so serious. , says the environmental expert. If I were a member of the CCAQ, I would be embarrassed to have a spokesperson who makes such comments.

For the main interested party, the reaction of the former Liberal Minister of Transport is proof that the campaign against SUVs touches “a sensitive chord, especially among men”.

Andréanne Brazeau and Robert Poeti

Archive photos

Andréanne Brazeau and Robert Poeti

“I would have liked to say that in 2022, I felt that I was welcomed as a young woman in all walks of life in transport, but that is not the case. It’s not the norm either that I feel like that, but it happens that in specific circles or encounters, there is a certain condescension, ”regrets Andréanne Brazeau.

However, knowledge of transportation and the environment, Andréanne Brazeau does not lack. She is an environmental consultant, research assistant for the UNESCO-PREV chair at the University of Sherbrooke and a public policy consultant.

However, she claims to have received many messages of support on social networks, especially from men.

Women more often attacked

UQAM Marketing Department professor Caroline Lacroix is ​​unequivocal: Robert Poëti’s comments are a “hard-core” example of ageism. To be ageist is to discriminate against or harbor prejudices about a person based on their age, whether they are young or older, she specifies.

For her, the former Minister of Transport would have done better to fall back on facts to attack Équiterre’s anti-SUV campaign, rather than denigrate the person who transmits the message. This last strategy is “archaic” and “no longer has any place”, she argues.

“It’s sexism and ageism to attack this person based on their age and physical appearance,” denounces sociolinguist and doctoral student in linguistics Alexandra Dupuy.

Women are also more often targeted by personal attacks than men, deplores the professor of political communication at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières Mireille Lalancette.

“Women who express themselves in the public space, who are feminists, who raise more controversial subjects will more easily be the object of attacks on the person, sexist attacks, on ideas, on their skills, compared to men,” she remarks.

“I am the same age as Andréanne and roughly the same position, argues Émile Boisseau-Bouvier of Équiterre, but I am much less confronted with dinosaurs who think that credibility is decided at birth.”

“The way in which this man has personalized a debate that it is necessary to have is unacceptable,” regrets the director of government relations for the environmental organization, Marc-André Viau. According to him, Robert Poëti will have to apologize.

“Unfortunately, some men are predisposed to think they have more skills than women simply because of their gender identity,” adds Alexandra Dupuy finally.

Politician habits?

Robert Poëti’s comments could also be explained by the “political roots” of Robert Poëti, believes Mireille Lalancette.

“We found the former politician in the political contest which delegitimized the campaign through the personal attack on the spokeswoman […] who has a fairly impressive track record,” she concludes.


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