This past Sunday marked the 20th Anniversary of the l’École Polytechnique Massacre. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the massacre here is a CBC clip:
Basically a madman walked into the engineering school that had not accepted him, went into a classroom of 60, separated the men and the women, blamed the feminists/women for his rejection and proceeded to gun them down. 14 women were killed during this tragedy.
To commemorate the massacre the Guerilla Girls were asked by the University of Quebec to produce a poster. The poster is unlike their usual work which usually uses humor to get a message across; instead the poster takes a look at misogynistic statements throughout the ages. Take a look:
Now for an explanation of each quote/character (loose research, if I have my facts wrong, please do not hesitate in correcting me) –
Hindu Code of Manu: Gathering that it is a set of laws in Hinduism created by Manu a lawgiver. According to a website it is the foundation of Hindu religion and social conduct. Fact or fiction? Regardless it is attached to a religion.
Napoleon: Napoleon Bonaparte, short man who crowned himself Emporer of France and conquered a lot of countries. He basically shaped Europe of the 19th century. He was also a short man.
Confucius: A chinese thinker and social philosopher. His ideas have apparently deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese way of life.
Pythagoras: Greek mathematician who founded the religion Pythagoreanism. I learned in my Astronomy class that if anyone went against this religion (that is tried to look at numbers in a way besides the Pythagorean Theorem) was persecuted, poor Galileo’s.
Picasso: Artist, known for Cubism and for being a womanizer. He was also an anarchist.
St. Thomas Aquinas: His work is considered to be the model for priesthood in the Catholic Church. He is often seen as a great lover of Nature. I remember watching a movie of him at my Catholic Boarding School where in a scene he was practically naked “loving” nature. I also just read a quote where he was quoted to have ecstasies when he touches a beautiful rock.
Rush Limbaugh: Douchebag who has a radio show. His radio-show is the highest rated show in the United States. Surprised?
Frank Sinatra: Singer, part of the Rat Pack and adored by many, many unfortunate women.
Pat Roberston: An televangelist from the United States, hosts the 700 Club.
Eminem: White Rapper.
One could say that all these man were/are Lunatics. But in their society and ours were/are just seen as extraordinary men. Now, I’m not saying that all men are lunatics and misogynist but that we tend to become blinded when it comes to their misogyny. Men like Frank Sinatra and Eminem are still talked on mainstream media as some sort of icons. Rush Limbaugh is a popular radio host in the United States! And people say that women are seen as equals, pfffffffffffft, is what I say.
According to Health Canada the cost of violence against Women exceeds $1.5 billion a year. The costs are associated to bills attached to minor injuries, dental work, lost of time at work and the use of shelters/crisis/transition homes. In a Statistic’s Canada report made in 1998 (I wonder if our topsy-turvy government has anything to do with this outdated source) shows that women are still outnumbering men as victims of assault in spousal abuse.
Gun Control – On Nov. 4th Bill C-391, a bill that eliminates the required registration of gun ownership, passed in the House of Commons. The argument that caused Bill C-391 to pass was of course that it would save the government billions of dollars. What was of course not considered was the impact that this bill would have on women, men and children. If women are still outnumbering men as victims of assault in spousal abuse, does one not think that the severity and amount will rise as registration for gun ownership is eliminated? Given the example of the L`École Polytechnique Massacre, Columbine shooting and the countless copy cats should we not press for stricter gun laws?
Apathy reigns and it needs to stop…or we will just continue to go backwards.
Feminist over and out.