Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6th

Twenty years ago today, Marc Lepine walked into the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal and killed 14 women in his fight against feminism. An event referred to as the Montreal Massacre.

The above photo is a plaque in the gardens at Government House in Victoria, BC.

I remember that day very clearly. I first heard 'did you hear? there's been a shooting at a uni in Montreal? some nutjob with gun is killing students' comments from various people while at university. Back then there was no internet (very hard to imagine now!) and I had to wait until I got home to see some version of the following on the telly:

At that time in my life I was the same age as the women killed in Montreal, I was also, like them, a student at university and scarier still, one of my classes was feminist theory.

To hear that someone had gone to a university to kill as many women as he could and blame feminism for his actions was very frightening. For the first time in my relatively safe and sheltered life I truly felt personally threatened not really as a woman but as a woman who believed in social, political, economic, etc justice. I wondered how could anyone be so opposed to something so just and ethical? How could someone be so opposed that they kill?

Obviously, after twenty years of study, reflection, discussion, documentaries, lectures and books later, I have my answers. Ha! Truth is, I really only have a more theoretically complicated answers that just boil down to the same bewilderment I felt at age 21... some things in life are just truly fucked-up.

I haven't seen this film yet but this is a clip of the first 90 seconds of Polytechnique. Chilling.

Very chilling.


  1. I didn't watch the vids. Enough of those, way too many to be exact. I believe I remember, faintly, that. Or maybe it was som other? Can't stay in count, there're too many.

    It's a shame that mental health problems go undetected so many times. We call our country a birdsnest and want to believe that bad shit happens only to other people, foreigners. We had 2 schoolmassacres in last 2 years. Doesn't feel so safe anymore.

    We could hire more armed guards or invest in mental heath care. Could afford both but for som odd reason we don't. Wtf is the matter with us? Globaly as humans. Can't understand, I just can't.

    Make love ffs! Enough of violance. Don't you think? Peace out!

  2. I lived in Montrèal during this horrific event and remember vividly the days following. Time cannot heal the wounds suffered by the parents and loved ones of these young women. Nor can we ever forget the contributions to society that have been missed out on because of this senseless act. One can only imagine the heartaches felt every anniversary of this tragedy. Their names will and should never be forgotten.