It appears an invitation for cocktails and candid conversation with Justin Trudeau isn't going over well with the "ladies" — in Toronto and elsewhere.

On Thursday, the Liberal leader will host a $250 per ticket event with Chrystia Freeland, his candidate in Toronto Centre. The Andy Warhol-inspired invitation for the gathering — dubbed "Justin. Unplugged." — suggests the focus will be on issues affecting women.

It even provides sample questions he might be asked, like "What's your favourite virtue?" or "Who are your real life heroes?"

trudeau post

But even the promise of swapping "curiosity-inducing ideas" with "the future prime minister" didn't stop people from finding the ad patronizing towards women.

The Liberal leader tweeted a link to the event Wednesday and was immediately challenged by HuffPost contributor Kathryn Marshall, who wondered if "ladies" may want to talk policy with Trudeau instead.

Marshall then wrote a blog criticizing the event and the "creepy, patronizing and unbelievably ridiculous picture" promoting it.

"Yes 'ladies,' it appears Mr. Trudeau is attempting to win our vote with cocktails, small talk and colorful invitations that look like invitations to the Junior Prom!" she wrote.

But Marshall wasn't alone in her criticism.

Tory cabinet ministers Michelle Rempel and Lisa Raitt took to Twitter Wednesday night to criticize the ad.

NDP MP Megan Leslie also weighed in on the ad in a Facebook post.


In no time, the hashtag #AskJustin began to trend on Twitter as both women and men poked fun at the event.

Check out the gallery below for some of the best reactions.

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Niki Ashton, the NDP's status of women critic, also addressed the controversy in the House.

"It's 2013," she said. "All issues are women's issues."

Event organizer Amanda Alvaro tweeted a response to critics Thursday afternoon.

Was this a misfire for Liberals? Tell us in the comments.

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, sitting on a bench in Lafayette Square across from the White House before a television interview, Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2013. Trudeau was on his first trip to Washington to attend a policy conference held by The Center for American Progress where he sat on a panel titled "Global Perspectives" with former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Louie Palu

  • Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, sitting in the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel, Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2013. Trudeau was on his first trip to Washington to attend a policy conference held by The Center for American Progress where he sat on a panel titled "Global Perspectives" with former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Louie Palu

  • Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, sitting in the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel, Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2013. Trudeau was on his first trip to Washington to attend a policy conference held by The Center for American Progress where he sat on a panel titled "Global Perspectives" with former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Louie Palu

  • Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, sitting in the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel, Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2013. Trudeau was on his first trip to Washington to attend a policy conference held by The Center for American Progress where he sat on a panel titled "Global Perspectives" with former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

  • UP NEXT: Memorable Trudeau Photos

  • Come At Me, Bro

    Justin Trudeau trains at Pan Am Boxing Club in Winnipeg on Friday Feb. 1, 2013.

  • Peekaboo!

    Justin Trudeau & co. making faces.

  • Riiiiip!

    Justin Trudeau splits his pants while pushing the "scrum machine" in support of Prostate Cancer Canada in Toronto Thursday, July 21, 2011.

  • Don't Shoot!

    Justin Trudeau gets his geek on at Montreal Comiccon in September 2012.

  • So Long 'Stache

    Justin Trudeau has his moustache shaved off to raise money for the Judy LaMarsh Fund, that supports female candidates, at the Liberal Party convention in Ottawa on Saturday, January 14, 2012.

  • Coming For MacKay

    Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay (left) is chased by Liberal MP Justin Trudeau in a motorized wheelchair during a wheelchair race relay on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 12, 2010. Twenty-five MPs and senators used a wheelchair for the day in support of the Canadian Paraplegic Association's Spinal Cord Injury and CPA awareness month.

  • All For One, One For All

    Justin Trudeau all dressed up for the Montreal Movember Gala in 2010.

  • Get Him!

    Pierre Trudeau's sons, Sacha, left, and Justin, tackle their mother's paperboy in Ottawa in this undated photo.

  • 'Family... And A Cow.'

    'Nuff said.

  • He Can Certainly Take A Punch

    Alexandre (Sacha) Trudeau delivers a right hook to his older brother Justin during a play fight in 1980 at Ottawa airport as the boys await a flight with the return of their father, then-prime minister, Pierre Trudeau.

  • Be Honest With Me, Who's Cuter?

    Justin Trudeau strikes a pose with an adorable baby.

  • A Very Furry Christmas

    Justin Trudeau poses with his family on his 2010 Christmas card.

  • Game On!

    Former Liberal MP Ken Dryden, left, and Justin Trudeau play table hockey as they visit Sun Youth, a community organization, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008 in Montreal.

  • Yanking Their Chain

    Then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, left, watches as his 11-year-old son Justin swings on a chain during a tour of an old fort in the Omani town of Nizwa Dec. 2, 1983. Trudeau and Justin spent the day visiting the towns of Jebel and Nizwa 165 kilometres south of Muscat.

  • Rocking Out

    Justin Trudeau in Muskoka, Ont.

  • YeeHaw!

    Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, centre, has his cowbay taken by his son Xavier, 4 years-old, while his wife Sophie Gregoire, second from left, holds daughet Ella-Grace, 3 years-old, while they attend the party's annual Stampede breakfast in Calgary, Saturday, July 7, 2012. This is the 100th anniversary of the Stampede.

  • Like Mother, Like Son

    Eleven-month-old Justin Trudeau, urged on by his mother Margaret Trudeau, crawls up the steps of an aircraft in Ottawa on Dec. 5, 1972 to meet his father, then-prime minister, Pierre Trudeau on his return from Britain.

  • Cutting A Rug

    Justin Trudeau dances with wife Sophie Grégoire before his speech at the Liberal showcase on April 6, 2013.

  • Next: What Is Pierre Trudeau Doing?

  • Magician?

    Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, wearing what someone called his "Mandrake the Magician outfit," walks down the grandstand steps to present the Grey Cup trophy to the victorious Montreal Alouettes in this Nov. 28, 1970 photo.

  • Hey, It Was The '70s

    Pierre Trudeau leans over to kiss an unidentified young lady to the seeming surprise of his recent bride Margaret. Trudeau and Margaret spent Saturday March 27, 1971 at maple tree farm here near Montreal at a sugaring out party.

  • Fur Wasn't Always Controversial

    Pierre Trudeau accompanies Margaret Sinclair, at the annual Governor General's skating party for members of Parliament in Ottawa Jan. 14, 1970.

  • Ditto For Seal Hunting

    Pierre Trudeau looks through the scope of his rifle while on a seal hunting trip in Baffin Island's Clear Water Fjord, July 29, 1968.

  • A Leg Up

    Pierre Trudeau shoes off his frisbee catching style while waiting to board his plane in Vancouver May 16, 1979.

  • Calisthenics Were Still Cool

    Pierre Trudeau had no trouble keeping himself occupied during a break from a boat trip down the Northwest Territories, Nahanni River, Monday Aug. 4, 1970.

  • The Outfit...

    Pierre Trudeau takes a wary look at an ice crevice, decides to chance it and makes the leap successfully during a midnight seal- hunting expedition at Clearwater Fjord in Canada's Arctic, July 29, 1968.

  • When in France...

    Pierre Trudeau receives a kiss from his wife Margaret during a tour of St. Pierre, France, Aug. 1971.

  • Running Man

    Pierre Trudeau in Guayana 1974.