Three years ago I wrote this and here we are now. 23 years have passed since the Montreal Massacre
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.
I was 18 years old when the 14 women were gunned down. As an earlier adopter of feminism, I had already done much of the reading required of a budding feminist and had some very decent mentors in place.
When the Montreal Massacre happened, it rocked my young world. Twenty years have gone by and never have I forgotten that day. Throughout my life, I have remembered.
I remembered the 14 women the year after the massacre, as I sat in my first year university lectures, imagining what it would be like for someone to walk into my lecture hall and kill me—because of my gender.
I remembered the 14 women as a graduate student working with women’s groups—planning memorial services for December 6th.
I remembered the 14 women when I was at law school, choosing subjects like Feminist Legal Theory and writing papers that focused on gender, violence, Battered Women’s Syndrome, etc.
I remembered the 14 women when I worked at a women’s legal service, having to go through security to get into the building and working behind bullet proof glass. All that because of the men in the lives of our clients.
I remembered the 14 women when I gave birth to my first daughter on International Women’s Day in 2001, wondering what her life would hold and what the women of her generation would face.
And how do I remember the 14 women now?
I remember them as I raise my sons and daughters. I remember them in simple ways—conversations with my children, the way I use language, through setting expectations and by bucking gender stereotypes within our home. Feminism is not a big scary word. It is founded on the basic principle that women have choice—the choice to have six kids, the choice to have none.
The choice to become an Engineer.
When do you remember the 14 women?