Some links, comments and thoughts on the 20th anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique Massacre...
The guys who don't get it: The Blogging Tories, brought to you by the ever-watchful Canadian Cynic who notes that none of the drooling Con fans care a whit about violence against women. Only one (at the time of my posting) has even noted the massacre, but just to knock down any links to the long-gun registry.
Dawg raises a number of points worth further exploration.
First, how, in post 9/11 Canada, so much is being made of the Dec. 6 shooter's paternity.
There's a gaggle of xenophobic yokels who call him Gamil Gharbi these days, as though to score some kind of point. The Montreal Massacre as a narrative about Islam? Perhaps for those whose politics are little more than a slobber of prejudice.
Even in the Globe and Mail.
It's almost as if these people, who are harping on the fact that his birth name was Arab/Muslim, are suggesting that his targeting of women students was ''honour killing'' on a massive scale. I won't stoop to providing links to some of the more hateful examples.
Second, and also from Dawg, there continues to be denial that the massacre had anything to do with woman-hatred.
(T)here will be those who argue that the women's movement, too, has long hitched its political wagon to this rotten star. Some certainly made claims of that kind at the time. They insisted that it was "opportunistic" for a movement dedicated to advocating for the rights of women to speak out about the Montreal femicide. I continue to find this very odd. What on earth was the women's movement supposed to do about this horrific condensation of social misogyny? Be silent?
If a man had entered that polytechnic twenty years ago and ordered all the Gentiles to leave, and proceeded to murder fourteen Jews, would anyone seriously criticize the Canadian Jewish Congress for speaking out about anti-Semitism?
Strangely, while some continue to live in denial, others -- as I pointed out in yesterday's post -- think the killer was a hero. Just read the first comment here, which I found via JJ. (I swiped the rose image from her as well.)
Marc Lepine was a MARTYR in the war against feminism.
As Dawg reminds us, members of Canada's Airborne once held a mess dinner to honour the killer. As this moving short film by Ling Chiu recalls, in the aftermath, at least two men treated the massacre like a joke, publicly pranking people into thinking another one was underway. Then, there's this. And this. And this.
Why am I posting links to these woman-haters again? Because some readers of this blog think I exaggerate when I say there is real and frightening misogyny in this world. Just read the hatefest compiled by Ruth.
I, for one, want to make it hurt. I want to keep sorting out the links between these rightwing policies and liberal betrayals and putting them out there. I want to defeat the HarpyCons but I also want to make it dead clear that, as a woman, I can’t find a blessed party that truly represents me and my sisters and others for whom I care. I reject a “headlong retreat into fantasy”. I’ll not sit around waiting for this culture to die. That might all sound a little melodramatic but there it is and it suits me just fine.
On this day, December 6th, 2009, when I want to reflect and grieve the women’s lives lost in Montreal in 1989 and all the women of this country who died before or since as a result of intimate partner violence and public violence against women – all those whose names we don’t know – I’ve actually had to time defending my right to define, with my sisters, the meaning of the event and the meaning of those lives and deaths. When women are murdered because they are women, we still have to fight to say so. We are so far away, still, twenty years later, from doing those things that must be done to begin the end of male violence against women that we still struggle for the definition itself.
I wish no person physical harm. But I do want to make that hurt by defeating this government and any other government that thinks it can lead a country while ignoring the needs of half its population.
UPPITY WOMAN DATE: Sharon Fraser has some interesting memories.
At around the same time, a young friend of mine was walking into Tim Horton’s to buy some doughnuts. There were two men in front of her carrying a newspaper with a screaming headline about the murdered women and one of the men said something along the lines of, “way to go, buddy.”
FED-UP WOMAN DATE: Sister Sage brings it on home.