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“You’re all a bunch of feminists. I hate feminists.”

December 5, 2009

On December 6th, 1989 Marc Lepine went on a shooting rampage in the engineering school of the University of Montreal (known as the Montreal Massacre). Claiming to be “fighting feminism”, he shot and killed 14 women while wounding another 14 men and women before killing himself. He specifically targeted female engineering students because he felt feminism had destroyed his life and he had been rejected from the engineering school.

It’s a scary story. Natalie Provost, one of the women who was shot, yelled back at Lepine, “we are not feminists.” Today she describes that statement as a desperate attempt to save her and her classmate’s lives. In a television interview from her hospital bed, she encouraged girls to pursue engineering and not be afraid. For many women, the shooting was an eye-opening realization that sexism existed, that gun-control was a problem, that violence could happen to them.

I found out about this story during my first year of college. I couldn’t believe that a)this had happened and b)I had never heard about it. I think it’s an important story because it’s a reminder of what it means for women to be in engineering. Before that shooting, those women were just like me. They thought they could do anything, they were smart, they didn’t feel like victims, the world was their oyster. But this story reminds me that that’s a false sense of security – more change needs to come, we can’t be satisfied yet. We need to make sure that little girls know that being an engineer is as much an option as being a ballerina. We need to make sure that engineering classrooms meet the needs of all students regardless of gender, race, or class. We need to make sure that workplaces are set up to allow employees to have families, to breastfeed their children, to be promoted at equal rates.

This post is dedicated to the women murdered in the Montreal Massacre:

  • 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
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2010 16:15

    jesus christ

  2. Anduin permalink
    April 28, 2010 19:50

    Gun control is a problem, we need less gun control. If those women had guns, they wouldn’t have had to huddle in fear of the gunman.

    That being said, I truly hate feminism, I think it’s destroying our civilization. When a woman chooses to work rather than stay home and raise the children, she’s letting our public school system and television raise her children. The result is the screwed up generation we’re seeing today.

    -and I’m not defending this guy in the slightest. He was shooting random women, that’s not cool, but I will say that I can understand how somebody would take matters into their own hand. There are many injustices that women can and do perpetrate that are not recognized as injustices.

    A woman can call the cops, lie, and say the man hit her and he’s GUILTY before being proven innocent.

    A woman can say she was raped, and get a man put away in jail for years, even if it was not rape.

    A woman can marry a man, divorce him, and turn him into a debt slave, while she enjoys full custody of the kids and the house. Women slaughter men in divorce court.

    What kind of man would sit around and simply take that kind of treatment?

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