Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Montreal Massacre

Montreal Massacre
Thank you to [personal profile] raincitygirl for reminding me of the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

On 6 Dec 1989, twenty-two years ago today, Marc Lépine murdered 14 women in the name of "fighting feminism". Twelve of these women were engineering students, another was a nursing student, and the last was a school clerk. Lépine also injured 10 more women and four men. The Montreal Massacre, or the École Polytechnique massacre, is what Canadians immediately think of when they think of school shootings, but as [personal profile] raincitygirl pointed out in her post, the case is not well-known outside Canada.

In memory:
Geneviève Bergeron, 21 - civil engineering
Hélène Colgan, 23 - mechanical engineering
Nathalie Croteau, 23 - mechanical engineering
Barbara Daigneault, 22 - mechanical engineering
Anne-Marie Edward, 21 - chemical engineering
Maud Haviernick, 29 - materials engineering
Maryse Laganière, 25 - budget clerk in school's finance dept
Maryse Leclair, 23 - materials engineering
Anne-Marie Lemay, 22 - mechanical engineering
Sonia Pelletier, 28 - mechanical engineering
Michèle Richard, 21 - materials engineering
Annie St-Arneault, 23 - mechanical engineering
Annie Turcotte, 21 - materials engineering
Barbara Maria Klucznik-Widajewicz, 31 - nursing

ETA: Lessons of the Montreal Massacre: Why women must fight to be what they want. A really good article from two years ago, on the 20th anniversary, which interviewed a few of the survivors.

"We are not feminists."

A young, incredulous Nathalie Provost said those words to Marc Lépine 20 years ago Sunday. It was a bid to save her and her fellow students' lives – the women Lépine had isolated in a university classroom before opening fire on them with a semi-automatic hunting rifle. [...]

"I realized many years later that in my life and actions, of course I was a feminist. I was a woman studying engineering and I held my head up."
If you've never heard of the Montreal Massacre, I encourage you to read the Wikipedia article--though I'll warn you that some of the "controversy" section might make your blood boil. Here in the US, we don't even have that slender protection.
"Even as we mourn the 14 women killed at l’École Polytechnique, this government is taking the last remaining safeguard off the very weapon that murdered these women," Ms. Turmel said. "The Conservatives are recklessly dismantling the only positive thing to come out of the tragic events of Dec. 6." (Globe and Mail)

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