A photo of recently elected University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) president Al Turnbull has been circulating on Facebook drawing some criticism of the Fresh cabinet leader. The photo in question shows Turnbull wearing a shirt with the text, “Cool story babe. Now go make me a sandwich” was shared on Facebook on Mar. 11.
As of 10:00 p.m. the photo had 12 shares.
In one instance, the shared photo included the caption, “lol great, good job u of m undergrads, you voted for this douche-guy to run your union. Way to go [ . . . ] hopefully next year’s coordinator defends the womyn’s centre valiantly.”
A commenter on the shared photo also alerted users to a tweet from Turnbull’s public twitter feed that reads, “The most sexist thing every feminist ignores…feminism”. The tweet from Dec. 4, 2012 has three re-tweets.
A public status on the Fresh slate president’s Facebook profile was posted on Mar. 11 at approximately 8:30 p.m. that read, “so the criticism starts. perhaps people should wait and see first.” At the time of writing, the status had 26 “likes.”
A comment on the status argued, “They judge Al and FRESH off a few pictures and the fact that you are an athlete [ . . . ] People need to educate themselves, rather than base their opinions on the members of FRESH look.”
Al Turnbull, who explained that the shirt was worn on a football trip to Regina and was purchased for Turnbull and the remaining Bison linebackers, issued the following statement to the Manitoban:
“I would like to apologize for the photo and any offence it may have caused [ . . . ] I have been stapled many things throughout my campaign, however, I would like to remind everyone that I am not sexist [ . . . ] I would like to address the fact that I am excited to work with the feminist community, and the Womyns [sic] centre in the coming fiscal year [ . . . ] I respect all women. I believe that I will properly, and fairly represent all members of the union equally as I have committed to in my platform, and which 3,555 members of the union elected me to do. ”
Turnbull also explained that the tweet in question was in response to a heated debate in which he was told that he should “refrain from discussing feminist theory (positively) without being a feminist.”