Hi – 10 years before the massacre, I was an engineering student at UBC – still in the days of porn films during engineering events, Lady Godiva rides, the red rag newspaper, etc. I dropped out – women were treated mostly as a joke, not just at the university but in the workplace. At the time, I didn’t have the political savvy or street smarts to handle it. So, when I saw these women – so many of them who, 10 years after me, were courageous enough to be doing what I should have done – breaking down walls, rocking the boat – and then having their efforts snuffed out just like that, I was also shaken to the core. In the meantime, I’ve raised 2 sons who respect women. And every year on December 6th, I have some silence where I think of them in the context of all the women who have been subjected to gendered violence.
I appreciate that this web site is open to other views and discussion. What I am about to say does not in any way reduce the horror and sadness of the massacre. However, I feel this incident is now being used, by some, to identify a systemic issue of violence against women. I don’t feel that’s true. Marc Lepine was a one-time looney. There has never been an incident like this before, and there has not been one for 20 years. In fact, I think the 20 year anniversary should be a celebration that this type of thing is not recurring, and that we actually live in a very tolerant society.
You may be interested that there are more incidents of male-on-male violence than male-on-female. It seems to me odd, that so many rally around the “violence to women” issue, when the bigger concern should be “violence to men”. I could get more on-side with that issue; at least it has statistics on its side.
There’s another dimension to the Marc Lepine story that is under-reported. His birth name is Gamil Gharbi, and his father was a wife-abusing Muslim. No doubt he picked up some of his anti-women feelings from his father and faith. The Muslim faith is well-documented in its abuse of women’s rights – forced marraige, genital circumcision, honour killings, etc. Muslim abuse of women is the issue that should be tackled, as a result of the Montreal Massacre.
Thanks for listening…
Another version of the video I posted on December 3rd. I think I prefer this one, though it is a bit busier. The photos don’t have the same impact, but I always gravitate toward triptychs.
Public domain film footage includes the black and white film Home Electrical Appliances (1944) by Encyclopedia Britannica Films and The Making of a Shooter (1946) produced by The Jam Handy Organization and presented by Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute.
There are 520 known cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada: a group that makes up less then 2% of the population. If compared to the rest of the population their deaths and disappearance rate would be equivalent to over 18,000 Canadian women and girls missing or murdered in the past 30 years. (source: Native Women’s Association of Canada).
Watch Christine Welsh’s Finding Dawn.