"We like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind 'cause it's more inclusive", he told the woman.
The crowd in Edmonton may have applauded, but the Prime Minister's comment has inspired an abundance of memes that are threatening to break the internet. They jokingly said Trudeau wanted to rename Manitoba "Peopletoba" to make the name of the province gender neutral.
He broke into a woman's question about charitable status for her female-centred church when she stated: "maternal love is the love that's going to change the future of mankind".
On his way into a Liberal caucus meeting Wednesday, Trudeau admitted his track record at telling jokes was a bad one, and his "peoplekind" comment only made it worse.
Interjecting before she had finished speaking, Trudeau said "we like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind".
Also upset was British TV personality and The Celebrity Apprentice victor (yes, that's an important fact) Piers Morgan, who dedicated the Tuesday edition of his column in The Daily Mail to calling Trudeau a "spineless virtue-signalling excuse for a feminist".
The comments went viral on social media and was soon picked up by traditional media outlets as well, with critics accusing Trudeau of engaging in unnecessary political correctness.
On Wednesday, Trudeau said that the joke "played well in context" of the setting - but not out of context. Australian columnist Rita Panahi called him the "Kim Kardashian of political leaders; an all-style, no-substance himbo with all the depth of a puddle".
Jokes included pictures posted of comic superhero Batman changing his name to "Batperson" and suggestions that Manitoba become "Peopletoba".
Trudeau is undertaking a week-long state visit to India later this month, his first trip to the country since becoming prime minister.
The two leaders are not scheduled to meet during Trudeau's four-day trip to the USA this week.