December 6 Th 1989

canadian blog awards

Winner GLBT category

Some dates,

are important,

for good reasons,

for warm fuzzy reasons,




in our lives,

happy memories.

Some dates live in infamy.

The next few days, a few of those, the Ides of December, to quote my friend,  Arlo.

December 6 Th 1989,

is one such date,

for me,

it is the day that,

14 women were murdered,

at the Ecole Polytechnique,

here in my hometown.

It is known as the,

Montreal massacre.

and tomorrow,

will mark the 25 Th ‘anniversary’


A month before,

that fatal day,

I had been rejoicing-

the fall of the Berlin Wall,

all possibilities,

of a new ‘freer’ world,



and then…

14 young women,

students in engineering

(one of the women was a secretary, another was a nursing student waiting for her husband, a student at the engineering school)

gunned down,

for being,


for being feminists,

for taking the place of men.

Many people have said,

the gunman was mad,

it was an isolated case,

not really violence against women,

in a regular way,

that we shouldn’t equate this,

act of a madman,

with domestic violence,

sexual agression etc,


so much easier to say,


to blame insanity.

I have never spoken that,

scum’s name,

I never will,

he does not deserve,

a place,

in my memory bank,

nor the sound of my voice.

I chose to remember the women:

Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

I wish I could say,

that things have changed,

in the last 25 years,


I fear that isn’t,


Women are still,


of violence,

of neglect,

of belittling,

of second class citizen status,


in a country as modern,



as mine.

To many,

too many,

calling themselves feminists,

seems to equate man hatters,

I see women defending their love,

of men,

and stating the platitude,

that not all men are violent.

As an old high school friend of mine used to say, No shit Sherlock!!!

Here’s another,

case of stating the obvious:

not all white policemen, kill young black men,


I wasn’t raised to think,

women were less,

I was raised to think,

people were people,




not so much,

that it had very little to do,

with their,



or race.

That what mattered was,




your word,

and getting things done.

Trust people,


above all,

trust yourself,

your instincts and your bullshit detector,

don’t be a joiner,



those who need it.

I have always believed in live and let live,


I now find that when,

people spout,

crap about feminism,

I want to scream-


look around,

what dream world do you live in???


I don’t,

I try reasonably,

sometimes I fail at that part,

to say we do not live in a world of equality,

there is still a gender division,

a racial division,

a have and have not division,

that we can change that,


only if we recognize that it exists,


work together to stop,

the violence,

the hate,

and the belief in the system,

that perpetuates these ‘norms’.

We should all call ourselves,


we should all scream,

that we can’t breathe,


don’t shoot,

we should all have a right,

to safety,


a living wage,

an education,

a better future,

we owe it to the victims of,

too many


too many,


too many,


too many more scenes of carnage and hatred,

we owe it to our children,

to fight back,

to break this cycle,

to build a better world,

with the bridges,

of engineers…














Published by

Bookish Butch

I am a bookish butch in my very early fifties. I live in Montréal and always have. I used to run a small used bookstore. Reading keeps me sane. My latest jiggie is photography, book project in the works, living the dream

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