Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Remembering Women Murdered by Men

On December 6'th, 1989, at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique, a man that will not be named here, separated the women from the men in an engineering class screaming "I hate feminists".
He then proceeded to shoot all the women in the class.
It was my second year university, and like many, I was shocked and disgusted by this man's actions. It opened my eyes to a whole new concept. Misogyny. What was most disturbing about this event was the fact that he deliberately separated the women from the men, allowing the men to leave the room and go free.
Even now, years later, some people challenge that this was a hate crime. Perhaps it's too painful to admit that not much has changed.

Out of respect to the victims, I have listed their names below.

Geneviève Bergeron
Hélène Colgan
Nathalie Croteau
Barbara Daigneault
Anne-Marie Edward
Maud Haviernick
Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz
Maryse Laganière
Maryse Leclair
Anne-Marie Lemay
Sonia Pelletier
Michèle Richard
Annie St-Arneault
Annie Turcotte "

Remembering Women Murdered by Men is the name of a new book written by a collective called The Cultural Memory Group. The group includes an English professor, a Director of a Women's Crisis Centre, a Human Rights and Equity Advisor, and a PhD candidate in Communications and Culture, among others. I heard an interview with them the other day on their attempts to establish public memorials to these victims of violence, and the resistance they face to bring attention to the plights of women who have been murdered by men. The women were great, and their ability to speak so clearly on the subject brought many knee jerk responses, which I was forced to listen to today. It was excruciating to listen to middle aged men deny deny deny. Deal with it! You are part of the problem.

Times have not really changed have they?
We are still reluctant to recognize the numbers of women on the news everynight who die at the hands of their spouses or other 'loved' ones. It is right in front of us, yet some still refuse to see. Prime time is full of crime dramas that begin every night with the bodies of dead women. Is this entertainment? I can only think of the 50 or so missing women that were collected from the streets surrounding my own home only to be murdered and forgotten until so many years later.

I can't think of too many people who can say that they are unaware of someone who has been a victim of violence against women. It is still tolerated.

I had a childhood babysitter, who was the only daughter of the Police Chief in my small town. She grew up surrounded by brothers, and they were a very nice family. She married a local fellow, and they soon moved away. Before too long, this man would murder his wife in front of thier children, then attempt to bury her in the back yard. This man is now out, and seeking custody of the kids. I hope he rots. Carole did not deserve it, and I often think of her with tears in my eyes.

Presently, our Conservative Government has withdrawn funding for women's centres. This with a surplus in their coffers. I can only think about how mean spirited this is. Stephen Harper and his Bush humping partners disgust me.

Let us not forget the events of December 6'th, 1989.
It will remain Canada's National Day of Remembrance

1 comment:

freakpowertix said...

that was beautifully written. & very sobering. thank you for sharing these observations.

they are starting to get rid of women's centers out here. i was recently told that it's now the ucla center for women & men.

what a travesty.

this is exhibit "a" in why any moves on such a front should be fought tooth & nail.

i missed the date of your country's national remembrance, but not the spirit of it. thanks to you.

in memorium...