Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the antifeminist mass shooting at l’École polytechnique in Montreal. This heinous and misogynistic attack left fourteen women dead and ten women and four men injured. While 32 years have seen some change in the landscape of antifeminist and misogynistic violence in Canada, violence against women remains a common occurrence. Indeed, public acts of antifeminist violence continue to occur, such as the so-called “Toronto Van Attack” of 2018 that left 11 people dead; men’s rights movements and the “incel” subculture flourish through denigrating women and spreading antifeminist lies; women of colour and Indigenous girls and women are victims of violence at disproportionate rates; transgender women face threats of violence and harassment that are often codified in law. Violence remains a daily part of life for many women; the threat of violence against women a commonplace. There is, clearly, much work still to be done at the personal and policy levels to combat misogynistic violence in Canada and around the world. The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women – today – remains therefore a call to action on a personal and collective level.
Today, we encourage members to remember those whose lives were cut short in this attack, and those who have been affected by antifeminist and misogynistic violence more broadly, whether in the years since Dec. 6th1989 or today.
In memoriam: Geneviève Bergeron; Hélène Colgan; Nathalie Croteau; Barbara Daigneault; Anne-Marie Edward; Maud Haviernick; Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz; Maryse Laganière; Maryse Leclair; Anne-Marie Lemay; Sonia Pelletier; Michèle Richard; Annie St-Arneault ; Annie Turcotte.
Katherine Breward, Chair, UWFA Women and Equity Committee
Peter Miller, President, UWFA