Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Remember the Montreal Massacre

Take a moment today to remember that, 16 years ago, on December 6, 1989, a man walked into the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, and killed fourteen women in cold blood.

This man was not mad, or insane: he was lucid enough to compose an objective suicide note, in which he detailed that he was out to murder feminists, and that he hated them. On it, he included the names of 19 women he wanted the kill, although the names have since been removed in copies of the letter to protect their identities. He walked into classrooms, separated the women from the men, and shepherded the men outside before firing at the women.

Feminists who know this story, these days, will not mention the killer's name: they want to let his legacy die with him, therefore, I will not mention it either.

The event led to an outpouring of grief, and a new awareness of violence against women in Canada.

Remember that while our objective is equality, we have not yet reached that goal, but we must continue toward it. Remember that even in North America, women are not yet completely equal to men, though some may think otherwise. They will not be equal until a woman can walk down the street at night without fearing for her safety, and that her sexuality or the way she dresses will not be used against her if she encounters trouble. We will not have equality until women can find the strength and are provided support to stand up to abusive spouses.

Today, we remember violence against women, and that it still continues even here, and that we must do everything in our power to put an end to it. We cannot help those abroad if we cannot even help ourselves.

Remember the Montreal Massacre.

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