Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Remembering the Murdered Women of the École Polytechnique.

In Montreal this evening, fourteen rays of light will rise into the sky, one after the other, from the summit of Mount Royal.

So all Montrealers can see them, and remember the fourteen young women who were murdered twenty eight years ago today at the École Polytechnique.

Murdered by a man who hated women.

Every year on this day I remember what happened on that bloody day in Montreal, to show my hatred of gun violence.

And my support for the struggle of women in Canada and all over the world for full equality.

Because we're nowhere near that day, as you can see from all the stories in the news of piggy men behaving badly.

And the hatred that kills still lives, as you can see from some of the reactions to that video on my YouTube channel.

So the struggle continues. 

And at a time when a sexual predator like Donald Trump is rolling back women's rights, it couldn't be more needed or more urgent.

But we are making progress even in Trump's America.

In Canada, Valérie Plante, the newly elected first female mayor of Montreal, will lead the memorial on Mount Royal this evening. 

And all over our country today people will gather to remember those murdered women, and mark National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Which is their precious legacy.

Never forget them, always remember.

And always keep fighting for the day when we are all equal...


  1. Anonymous10:15 AM

    Nobody likes senseless gun violence, but attacking lawful owners isn’t the solution.

    1. Anonymous3:08 PM

      And here come the gun nuts trying to turn a day of commemoration into a day when they put their hands between their legs and scream keep your hands of my little guns!!!! I know it's hard but try to show some class.

    2. Jackie Blue4:26 PM

      In Australia, there's practically no such thing as a lawful gun owner. People really need to examine why they feel the need to purchase or otherwise obtain a weapon of war for their own personal use. Stop looking to the Americans as the model for anything. If anything, the USA is a model for what not to do if you want to live in a civilized and functioning society. You don't dismiss a mass shooting where almost 60 people died in a casino (talk about playing Russian roulette) with "thoughts and prayers" and no concrete action to ensure it doesn't happen again. You certainly don't do like the NRA CEO did: assert your macho dickheadedness in front of a group of grieving mothers after Sandy Hook by putting them down as emotional, hysterical women and shouting that your constitutional rights are more important than their dead children. Or do what Alex Jones did and sic his deranged YouTube audience on those moms, accusing them of inventing the massacre out of whole cloth (and the existence of their own children) because Obama the Soros-sponsored Marxist put them up to a scheme to repeal the sacrosanct Second Amendment and subvert American sovereignty to UN Agenda 21.

      Countries need to disarm themselves on the domestic front. There really is no purpose or intent for these items to exist except to maim or kill another living thing. And to make oneself feel important by having the ability to "play god" and decide the fate of another person or creature's life. Stop fighting stupid wars abroad and at home.

      Robert Oppenheimer, when completing work on the nuclear bomb, is reported to have said "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." That, to me, is what "lawful gun owners" seek to be on a smaller (pun intended) scale: they want to LARP as the Reaper because it makes them feel powerful. They just want control over someone or something else, because they have no control over themselves. If it were up to me, the mere interest in owning a firearm in the first place would be reason enough to declare someone unfit to have one at all.

    3. Anonymous8:14 PM

      No legal gun owners in Australia? Really? There own government reports nearly a million legal owners and over 3 million firearms.

      If you are going to hate on firearms owners at least get your facts right.

      And your dime store attempt at being Freud is just sad. Sounds like some one with gun envy.

    4. hi anon 10:15 am... I don't know where I talked about attacking lawful gun owners in my post, in fact I'm pretty sure I didn't. But this always happens, when I mark the anniversary of that tragic massacre. So this year I will just express my opinion once, and it will have to do for everyone.
      And that is that I don't like guns. My heroes are healers not killers. I've seen what guns do to people, and I will never change my view that too many guns get into the hands of too many people who shouldn't own one, with tragic consequences. Having said that however, I have no desire to seize guns from anyone, and just want them better controlled. But on the sixth of December I would like people to just think of those murdered women and commit to trying to create a more peaceful and less violent society...

  2. Jackie Blue12:48 PM

    The next Canadian election will be held in 2019, when the massacre has its 30th memorial anniversary. One need only take a cursory glance at the PM's social media comment sections (which mirror the attitudes held by the opposition party, its leader, and their supporters) to verify that the lessons of that massacre have not yet seeped in everywhere among the Canadian public. All they ever do is insult him and threaten him with violence (not to mention everyone in his family), out of their own insecurities about "manhood" and belief in rigid parameters of what men and women "should" be and "must" be. Anyone who transgresses or varies from that immutable standard be damned. (It doesn't help either that they have a model to follow in the aggressive macho gun culture of the USA and its androgen-addicted manifestation as president.)

    They go into a frothing hate rage and lose what few marbles they had to begin with simply because JT has said on numerous occasions that he wants to see a world where his daughter and his sons grow up in a world where those rigid parameters of gender roles don't exist, and that there is nothing set in stone of what a boy or a girl, a man or a woman can or cannot do simply because of who they are. It's no coincidence, then, that claiming gun ownership as a hallmark of male identity is tied to a sense of (threatened) power, and this same toxic masculinity that the PM and other self-identified feminists want to do away with.

    That's why the defenders of that dangerous model actually went ahead and attempted to hold a gun rights rally at the memorial. Beyond mere constitutional disagreement, they chose this venue above all else to wave their "weapons" around and prove once and for all that they weren't going to let weepy girls and "sissies" tell them what to do, how to feel, or even that they should "feel" anything but grunting anger at all. It's Freudianism 101. A castration phobia is at the "root" of this death cult. Inextricably linked to the patriarchal death cults of the desert-religion dark triad that plagiarized "pagan" mythology and threw all the goddesses out.

    While I would love to see Canada implement an Australia-style ban on personal ownership of WMDs (let's be honest -- they're "wieners" of mass destruction), that's not all that needs to be done. We do need feminism to not only honor the memory of those women lost on that fateful day in 1989, but to ensure that their lives were not lost in vain, and that the ideology espoused by the shooter and his like-minded cohorts (most of whom weren't even born yet) doesn't prevail. Gun culture is rape culture. Its most ardent defenders want blood spilled on soil -- or as their deplorable icon might say, "blood coming out of wherever." Every single one of those women at Polytéchnique is an example of #MeToo.

    1. Anonymous2:12 PM

      And of course any male gun owner who denies that he needs guns to identify as a male is lying, and Jackie Blue knows this for a fact. I suppose the women I know who like to shoot and use guns also suffer from castration fears.

    2. Jackie Blue4:13 PM

      You ever think that they feel the need to do that because they need to "equalize" amid that culture of insecure cowboys projecting their "toughness" as a threat to everyone else? Gun culture is Mutually Assured Destruction on a domestic level. You can draw a direct line from weapons of war in someone's garage to proliferation of nuclear arsenals the world over. It's a circular firing squad, literally. Destruction of wildlife and the environment escalated to the world's most dangerous game: hunting one's own species, essentially for sport. 100% of deaths from gun violence wouldn't have occurred without a gun in the picture. It's a known fact that the USA has the highest rate of deaths from gun violence which, since 1968 -- lo and behold -- have killed more Americans than all wars since 1776 including the one we fought against ourselves. A war that itself was fought over the denial of basic humanity to people who were imported against their will and treated lower than livestock.

      The primary reason in the USA why women are packing is to defend themselves against Columbine types and their own abusive partners, who can (to paraphrase Trump) "just walk right up into Walmart and grab an arsenal by the bulk load" to assert their dominance over the "weak" they feel a need to crush. If we didn't have a Second Amendment, the NRA lobbying for the merchants of death, or a cultural refusal to confront the unhealthy use of firearms as a way of addressing a perceived loss of "power," there wouldn't be a need for any of it. You can't seriously tell me that the exponential spike in gun sales or mass shootings (all of them by angry white guys) has nothing to do whatsoever with the election -- twice -- of a black man as president and the possibility that a woman might succeed him. Let alone the election of the world's bigliest Freudian headcase since the Austrian monotesticular wonder swept Berlin in 1933.

      Women and minorities wouldn't need to self-defend if the enemy (who doesn't need to be the "enemy" if they would learn to share and share alike) would unilaterally disarm and agree to participate in a friendlier, more equitable and less (literally) cutthroat competitive culture. Thing is, the insecure gun nuts know they have nothing to bring to the table, and so they just seek to destroy. They equate kindness with "cuckiness" and fetishize blood spilling on soil. #NotAllMen, I know. I'm specifically addressing the ones who do think and behave this way. ISIS is not all Muslims. Gun-toting insecure rape apologists are #NotAllMen. That doesn't mean you don't address the reasons why those who are that way gravitate towards toxic releases of frustration.

      I stand by my original statement. Canada needs an Australian gun ban and to continue promoting women's empowerment initiatives and deconstruction of toxic-testosterone culture, the latter of which is what Trudeau is doing and I enthusiastically applaud him for that. The USA, meanwhile, needs international triage. I don't hold out a lot of hope for my country, and I sincerely hope that the disease of macho Americanism can be contained before it causes any more harm to yours.

    3. Anonymous8:15 PM

      What exactly is Trudeau doing? Not hating on men or gun owners that’s for sure.

    4. Anonymous11:14 PM

      Your comments on the reason why women choose to be gun owners are incredibly sexist and rude. Especially given the subject content of Simon's post.

    5. Anonymous2:48 AM

      Jackie here, I apologize for going off on a bit of a rant but I am very weary of gun-related atrocities in my own country, and this subject is very sensitive as an American who doesn't want this cancer of hatred and gun violence to spread to Canada. I am not trying to be sexist. But AFAIK the subject of this post was that a young man with anger and hatred towards women targeted them with a weapon of warfare specifically because he hated women and felt the need to compensate for his insecurity, and that women wouldn't need to defend themselves against men like that if there was less of that toxic culture that made them that way -- and ready access to weapons that they can use to take out their insecurities on innocent people. We had our own version in Isla Vista, California and misogyny was exactly the same motive he used. They would be alive if he was not able to express his unchecked anger and frustrations with a weapon of warfare.

      I don't want any more tragedies or violence, and I mean no hostility toward anyone here. I am a feminist myself, who simply wants people to lower their aggression towards each other and work toward solutions leaving nothing on the table so that it doesn't happen again. Peace to Canada and peace for the blood-soaked and deeply troubled United States.

    6. Anonymous5:47 AM

      Since when is a Roger Mini-14 a ‘weapon of warfare’? It’s ranch rifle at best.

      No one wants this things to happen, but blaming men and gun owners will
      get society nowhere.

    7. Anonymous9:18 AM

      I own firearms. I appreciate a well-constructed gun in the same way I appreciate a well-designed old car, and I find shooting at paper targets intrinsically rewarding in much the same way as any other pursuit, such as skiing, playing a musical instrument, etc. I have many hobbies, each with its own set of artifacts.
      None of these activities says very much about my pscycho-sexual makeup, although you will no doubt take this denial as solid proof of the contrary. After all, non-falsifiability is the magic ingredient that makes theology theology (of which Freud was a great exemplar, btw).
      Incidentally, when the long-gun registry was first introduced in the 1990s, I had no problem with it all, and recall getting into many heated arguments with other gun owners whose concerns I considered at the time to be paranoid. But that was then, in the pre-Internet days when it seemed possible to take the more reasonable-sounding propositions of the organised gun control lobby at face value. The irrational rhetoric of the the Jackie Blues of the world was but a vague murmur in the distance, considered by many to be nothing more than a caricature. A congregation that Wendy Cukier could safely preach to when the cameras were turned the other way, and when not constrained by the need to reassure the rest of Canada that "nobody is trying to take away your old duck-hunting shotgun". The mask has slipped considerably since then, I am afraid, and the shrill, arrogant rhetoric is only going to make people dig their heels in deeper.

    8. hi Jackie...don't apologize for expressing your views as strongly and as passionately as ever. As I wrote above, I share them completely. I used to engage the gun lobby all the time, especially during the time when I was trying to preserve the gun registry. But I soon realized that it's a dialogue of the deaf, and just a waste of time. I would like to see the same kind of gun control they have in the UK where police officers can still go around unarmed, and the number of people murdered by guns is small in comparison to Canada, where in Toronto these days you can see more people shot in one month, than you can see on some battlefields.
      So yes, if I had a magic wand I would make all guns disappear, except those that are needed in rural areas. But I don't have that wand, so all I can ask is that people treat guns with respect, and try not to hurt anyone, or leave them around where children can find them. And of course, please don't shoot Simon... ;)

    9. Anonymous12:27 PM

      So you do want to take people property, that’s what they did in the UK.

      Heck you even admit to fantasize about it.

  3. Anonymous2:14 PM

    Simon, like you, I observe this terrible date every year, not only because of the tragedy of lives lost, but because I'm an engineer. That's what the majority of these young women would have been, sisters of my profession, had a man not murdered them simply for being women studying engineering. It's vitally important to remind Canadians of the enduring hostility to women merely doing the all-too-common thing of educating themselves. Malala Yousefzai can definitely relate there.

    1. hi anon...very good point and I wanted to say something about that. Judging from my university experience engineering schools were once male bastions, and the young women who were murdered were pioneers, and the ones trying to break down those walls. I remember reading that because of the massacre the number of women enrolling in the school went up, and I hope that is still the situation today. It's essential that every girl in the world be made to feel that she can hope to be anything she wants to be...

  4. Anonymous5:37 PM

    "And always keep fighting for the day when we are all equal..."

    Amen to that Simon.
    And exposing the likes of those who would post such utter spite towards women would go a long way in achieving that.
    They probably use fake names to hide their true identity as a coward would do so I wonder how their families, friends, neighbors and employers would say to them if they saw what they were posting?

    1. Hi JD...yes that's my one political mission in life, to fight for the day when we are all equal. Of course I have many other goals, like pharmacare, or better care for seniors, or mentally ill people. But none of that will work until we can beat back the Cons and the bigots who would turn our country into a jungle. I thought the women's struggle had made more progress than it seems to have made. So we will just have to support our sisters even more strongly, and and fight for justice even harder...

  5. Anonymous10:26 PM

    Jackie Blue... Columbine types and their abusive partners? Where do you come up with this nonsense? You're a good writer, but with that wild imagination perhaps fiction would suit you better than political commentary.

    1. hi anon...we are luck to have a person as educated and cultured like Jackie sharing her views with us, and dare I say it raising the quality of this comment section, and I'm including myself. I encourage good people to be passionate, because it's only with passion that we will save the world...