A Liberal fundraiser aimed at capitalizing on leader Justin Trudeau's popularity among women is being denounced as sexist.

The backlash started instantly after Trudeau tweeted last night that he was looking forward to tonight's "cocktails and candid conversation."

Justin Unplugged Invite (November 7, 2013)

Online invitation to "ladies" event hosted by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau on Nov. 7, 2013. (Liberal Party of Canada (website))

An electronic invitation to the 250-dollar-a-head "Justin Unplugged" features close-ups of the leader and the message: "Ladies, you're invited to (really) get to know the future prime minister."

Critics — and even some Liberals, call it patronizing.

The resulting Twitter-storm has been fierce and continues unabated today, generating its own hashtag: #askjustin.

Liberal commentator Lisa Kirbie asked whether the event was organized by Barbie, or sponsored by Teen Beat.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt characterized it as disrespectful to women.

The organizer of the fundraiser, Amanda Alvaro, defended the event, saying it was "organized BY women, FOR women."

Trudeau himself took to answering questions posed by people under the #askjustin hashtag but so far has not commented on the flap over the online invitation.

How the Trudeau evite has played out on Twitter

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