The QP clip: Keith Ashfield stands by “wonderful wife” remarks

The federal fisheries minister didn’t get much applause from colleagues in the House of Commons


NDP MP Megan Leslie won’t let Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield off the hook for remarks he made in New Brunswick last week. While promoting Budget 2013 with an east-coast family, Ashfield told one of the family’s daughters, Grace Moreno, that she’d “make a wonderful wife for somebody.” Leslie and others took exception to the remarks, while Ashfield—who claimed the remark was based on Moreno’s hospitality, and nothing else—said the criticism was out of context.

Today, Leslie hammered away at Ashfield during QP. Ashfield replied that the issue had been dealt with, and retreated to talking points touting the government’s budget.

In her supplementary, Leslie asked Minister for the Status of Women Rona Ambrose to defend Ashfield’s remarks. In her response, Ambrose countered that the government’s economic plan will create jobs for everybody—including women.

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The QP clip: Keith Ashfield stands by “wonderful wife” remarks

  1. ” ….. Grace Moreno, that she’d “make a wonderful wife for somebody.” Leslie and others took exception to the remarks ….. ”

    Journal Of Gender Studies:
    Sociological and cultural studies literature on cooking in the past few decades suggests that men and women cook differently.

    Women’s cooking is seen to be largely an other-oriented responsibility. They cook to please others and to care for the health and well-being of loved ones (Beagan et al. 2008, Cairns et al. 2010). Consequently, they experience pleasure but also anxiety about what they prepare (Dixon and Banwell 2004).

    Men’s cooking, on the other hand, is seen as self-oriented leisure. Men cook when they feel like it, such as on special occasions, on weekends, or over a barbecue (Murcott 1983, Roos et al. 2001). Their cooking is a hobby, a display of culinary artistry, or a strategy for seduction (Parasecoli 2005, Cairns et al. 2010).

    • Some men have to cook every day. Unless of course you think eating is also just a part time hobby.

      • Just know that when you are microwaving those Hot Pockets, you are reinforcing the patriarchy.

      • You just haven’t yet met your Grace.

    • “Their cooking is a hobby, a display of culinary artistry, or a strategy for seduction”

      So, also cooking to please others . . . :-P

  2. Who are all these old fools?

    Oh wait….Con males.

  3. As a young man whose wife can’t cook because her mother was a staunch feminist, I have to say that it is better if you have a partner that can cook. For one thing, it allows you to pull your weight around the house, and be proud that you are self-sufficient.

    Plus, if you can’t cook, you’re stuck with all the cleaning. So I will echo Keith Ashfield, a wife that can cook, all things being equal, is better than a wife who can’t. My own wife’s cooking has marginally improved.

    • I see that your reason for posting anonymously is vastly different than mine…

  4. What a Joke. If a man can cook, women make similar comments all the time, and no one seems to be up in arms when that is the case.

    • Yes – people say what a wonderful husband you’ll make if you can cook, because the assumption is that when you get married you will not go on autopilot – falling into outdated one-size-fits-all gender based household / child-rearing / income earning responsibilities. The assumption, because you are not placing limits on yourself based on traditional gender roles, is that you will go into a marriage with an open mind. This is what makes you a ‘good husband someday’ to many women. Because you have already stepped out of the cliche. I would argue that the best model is where partners (husbands/wives, whatever you want to call it) divide the things in life that need to be done (income earning, cooking, dishes, house repairs, shoveling the driveway, raising children, planning a wedding, caring for aging parents), in whatever way works for and interests them – with lots of discussion, trial and error, and willingness to adjust – not based simply on their chromosomes. Not having pre-set gender based roles works best for women AND men. I think here, that women are just saying that they don’t want it assumed by their partner, or the media, or their government leaders, what their roles as spouses are. Especially while they are still little children. Men and little boys can/should certainly have the same objections when these assumptions are made about them. The point is with Mr. Ashfield is that while we might expect these marriage gender-based-role assumptions from our grannies, we hope never to hear them from our public figures.

      • Well, I agree with you on pretty much everything you said. I don’t think it’s the smartest thing for the guy to say, but I think people are making a mountain out of a mole hill. This is politics though, so it’s to be expected. While I don’t agree with the Ashfield’s comments necessarily, I think he’s free to say whatever nonsense he wants in a free society and shouldn’t be forced to step down or be tarred and feathered over having out of date views.