Nearly 28 years ago, 14 women lost their lives in a mass shooting at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, a tragedy widely known as the Montreal Massacre. In just 20 minutes there were 28 casualties. The massacre marks the deadliest shooting in Canada’s history to date. The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is observed on December 6th.
When Marc Lepine committed this murder-suicide, he claimed to be “fighting feminism,” more specifically, women’s ambitions in the field of engineering. This hate-crime has been a pivotal point behind organizing many women’s groups and the feminist movement in Canada as a whole.
There are those who insinuate that feminists have appropriated the Montreal Massacre as an excuse to promote a leftist agenda. Upon examining the facts, one can comprehend that Lepine’s motives were specifically to harm women. His inability to tolerate and respect women directly led to his hatred and violent resolve. Feminism, a movement for gender equality, was his target.
Anti-feminism is continuing to manifest and show its face in public spaces. The massive social media backlash refuting women taking a stand to share their experiences as victims has brought to light that the fight for gender equality is not nearly over. Women face multiple barriers in their education and employment because of their gender. The point is for people to work together to remove these obstacles so that everyone can flourish according to their skills and talents. Advocacy for women’s rights is truly advocacy for human rights.
December 6th is not only a time to remember the deaths of innocent people but also a time to reflect on our current progress in the struggles of gender issues.