Skip to Content
feminista.v5 copy.png

1989 Montreal Massacre was an anti-feminist attack, period.

Read More:

Above image of École Polytechnique memorial from Wikimedia Commons, as well as the insets.

Women of Canada: you know the 1989 Montreal Massacre, the École Polytechnique shooting that killed 14 women and injured 14 others? The tragedy this country memorialized all yesterday as the inspiration for our National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women?

Well, stop being so self-absorbed. That had nothing to do with you, so you can shut it with all the “misogyny” and “gendercide” stuff.

That’s the basic message of Jonathan Kay’s National Post article on the issue, rather uniquely titled, “For the 23rd anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre, Amish lessons in mourning”.

In his article, Kay ponders why the school shooting is remembered as a gesture of anti-feminist violence, viewing such treatment of the massacre as an insensitive politicization of an, in his opinion, apolitical event.

As he wrote in the Post, “I think Barbara Frum had it right when she asked, on CBC’s The Journal: ‘Why do we diminish [the act] by suggesting that it was an act against just one group?’”

Gee, might it have something to do with the perpetrator’s own admittance that he was “fighting feminism”, and the fact that he screamed "I hate feminists" before opening fire? Might it have to do with the suicide note he left behind, which condemned women as responsible for ruining his life?

Here's the event as Kay describes it: 

“Twenty-three years ago, on December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine walked into École Polytechnique and shot 28 people, killing 14 of them, and then himself.”

What Kay doesn't bother mentioning is that Lépine did not just kill 14 “people”. He specifically directed the fifty or so men in the classroom to leave, sparing their lives, because he saw worth only in theirs.

It is also a mystery why Kay believes that treating a misogynistic murder rampage as such is somehow “diminishing” of the tragedy. Could it be that violence against women is less important than violence against men, in his (and Barbara Frum’s) eyes?

The third-floor classroom where Marc Lépine began shooting.

Kay continued in his article:

Like other school shooters, [Marc] Lépine presented his motives to the world in a way that he imagined gave them some sort of larger political coherence. But the more obvious explanation is that — like Aurora, Co. movie-theatre shooter James Holmes, and many other mass shooters — Lépine was simply insane.

As with Holmes, the Dark Knight shooter, there likely was no larger social or political message at play — it was just a horrible tragedy that symbolizes nothing more than our inability to prevent bad things from happening to good people. That inability is frustrating and tragic. But it’s been part of the human condition forever, and will continue to be such forevermore.

(4) Comments

Julian December 7th 2012 | 2:14 PM

A good response, with one flaw:

"Calling our national day of memorial, inspired by the event, a boondoggle—in other words, wasteful and pointless work—is also what is truly diminishing behaviour."

I think it was pretty clear that it was the long-gun registry, not the day of mourning, that he was referring to as a beaureaucratic boondoggle.

BiancaPencz December 7th 2012 | 3:15 PM

Hmm, I believe you're right, Julian. My mistake, and my apologies to Kay for that.

John Douglas Belshaw December 8th 2012 | 9:09 AM

Excellent piece.  No one who remembers the event with a lick of clarity can see it as anything other than the work of an individual who had it out for women, and specifically for women who had succeeded where he had failed. The truth, as you point out, is that society sets a table of explanations for the things that go wrong in our lives and somewhere someone puts about the idea that 'blame women' is an option. The National Post just put that one back on the table.  Shame.

John Do January 22nd 2014 | 9:09 AM

I went to UdeM. I know the Outremont intellegentsia by heart. UdeM is a racist university. The tactics used are similar to those used in French universities (I studied in Paris as well). We are talking about "bizutage" and all those student games which include blacklisting students who do not accept the student hierarchy, racism, entrapement, social engineering (they'll make you believe you're in a classroom with a real teacher and give you fake courses).

Jane Wong was right. The Polytechnique massacre was not an anti-feminist thing. It was a racist thing, like the Dawson massacre. It just so happens that the killer had a female delusion.

She was so right that half the Quebec intellegentsia and political establishment wanted her dead for it.

That's how you know that you are right. When they want to kill you for it.