Victims of the École Polytechnique shooting
I don’t think that the byline gives this story the weight it deserves.
Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz
A man killed these fourteen women in 1989.
The first nine were in their Mechanical Engineering class when he entered, told all the men (50 of them) to leave, and informed the women that he was “fighting feminism” … and that he qualified them as feminists because the were “women who were going to become engineers.” Not because they were burning bras, or marching on the streets, but because they had the audacity to enter into - and succeed - in a highly competitive, male dominated field.
He proceeded through the school shooting at, wounding and killing students - going out of his way to kill the females, wounding males who got in his way, before entering another class room, where he shot to death two more women, and critically wounded another with his gun before stabbing her to death and then committing suicide.
In total, he killed twelve female engineering students, a nursing student, and a University admin, all women. Of the fourteen wounded, only four were men.
His suicide letter listed 19 prominent women in the city who he viewed as “feminists” - Police officers, a reporter, a union leader, a politician among them - who he had hoped to kill. He felt that “feminism” had ruined his life.
I just want you - if you happen to have read this - to let that sit for a bit. These women were students. That was their crime. They had undoubtedly worked hard - academically and socially - to get where they were, to educate themselves and better themselves and to be a productive part of society. And one misogynist ended that.
I attended an all girl’s school for eleven years (Age 7-18), and while the vast, vast majority of our education treated misogyny as just another thing we needed to be prepared for, something that happened occasionally when people were old, or jealous, or foolish, something that could be handled with the right social tools and the right attitudes, this story stands out as a reminder that Misogyny is more than just background noise in the work place. Violence against women is very real. And hatred against women who dare to excel is an especially vitriolic brand.
This is a big part of why I think that “internet” misogyny is so dangerous. Because people can “joke” about feminism, “joke” about violence against women, but that rhetoric is harmful and in some cases, those people will believe at a fundamental level in what they are saying - and by engaging in that rhetoric, and treating it as acceptable, you are incubating something incredibly dangerous.
You can say as a woman you’re not a feminist, but the matter of fact is, if you’re a woman and you plan to control your life, you are a feminist - not with a capital “F” - but still a feminist. It’s important to stop treating it like the “f-word” and start understanding what that means, beyond the hype and exaggeration of the media. Embrace it.
Most of the time I try to keep my ramblings off of this blog, because I don’t think I’m in a place to engage in dialogue on a lot of issues… but I was so tired of seeing articles that listed his name and the names of other school shooters, of reading about the trials and struggles he went through in his childhood.
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(Source : rattlethe-sleighbells)