This Canadian Politician Shared A Gross Letter She Got About Her Clothing Choices

    "Sometimes it just gets under your skin."

    They may not talk about it, but receiving gross, harassing messages is the norm for women in politics. Rather than keep quiet, Canadian politician Michelle Rempel decided to share one of those messages on Twitter.

    Wherein a creepy weirdo anonymously writes my office to tell me that it's my fault that he's a creepy weirdo. 🙄

    The letter — which starts by misspelling her name, twice — attacks Rempel's clothing, suggesting she dress more like her male colleagues.

    "If we can see it, you know that we can see it, so don't be surprised that hetero males will look," the letter said. "Hide the skin and people will look you in the eyes. Were you wearing a bra on Thursday?"

    It's gross, but the Conservative MP told BuzzFeed Canada it's a daily occurrence.

    "I get loads of this sort of fanmail all the time," said Rempel. "My policy is to not give it a platform, but sometimes it just gets under your skin."

    Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS

    She's also received worse, she said, such as threats of death and rape. Her office reports the worst of it, but mostly these messages aren't talked about so as to not give trolls more attention. But in this case, Rempel had just had enough.

    "I don’t want it to come across as victimization, because I don’t feel victimized. It’s just more like, come on, really? Like this person actually thought this was appropriate to send to me."

    She said her staff usually just throw out these kinds of letters, but she happened to see this one. And unlike messages on social media, she can't block people who send letters or phone her office with these messages.

    I normally don't post stuff like that, but you'd be surprised how much of it we get. It's not just twitter, folks.

    "It’s not acceptable on the internet, it’s not acceptable here, it’s not acceptable in any format," said Rempel.

    Many of the replies to Rempel's tweet empathized with the crap she puts up with.

    @MichelleRempel sweet merciful muffins that is gross

    And showed that harassment is definitely a nonpartisan issue.

    @MichelleRempel So sorry you deal with this garbage just to do your job. Not much in common politically but on this, I stand in solidarity.


    Of course, there are those who refuse to get it. But Rempel shut this one down pretty quick.

    Twitter: @MichelleRempel

    While this sort of harassment is certainly nothing new, Canadian women in politics have been speaking out about the issue more than ever.

    Sandra Jansen, an Alberta MLA who recently switched from the Progressive Conservative party to the NDP, read harassing messages out loud in the legislature last month. According to CBC, members of all parties gave Jansen a standing ovation. It also spurred on an At Issue segment where MPs read out hateful messages — "cunt" being a favourite word — that they've received.

    Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

    Contact Lauren Strapagiel at

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