1989 Montreal Massacre was an anti-feminist attack, period.
Translation: please stop thinking about why the Montreal Massacre happened—what it meant for all women, and what it still means for women today.
Please don’t consider trying to change the culture which twisted Lépine’s volatile rage into an anti-feminist weapon, and made it easy for him to utilize that weapon despite a history of mental instability. You will never be able to change anything. Don't try to understand why Lépine targeted women as opposed to men, or Jewish students, or artists. You will never be able to understand.
And most of all, please, please stop talking about feminism. Shit happens, okay? That sums it up well enough...
Well, what does Kay want the people of Canada to think about instead?
In 2006, Charles C. Roberts IV walked into a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Bart Township, Pennsylvania, and did something very similar to what Lépine did in 1989: He lined up 10 girls — aged 6 to 13 — against the wall and opened fire, killing half of them and wounding the rest. Like Lépine, he killed himself before he could be apprehended.
The tight-knit Amish community responded quickly with collective action. They tore down the schoolhouse, and built a new one down the street. The parents and neighbours all grieved in the normal, agonized human way. But there was none of the political, tribal fury against men (or anyone else) that erupted after Polytechnique.
“I pray for the families of the children,” a local artist told the Times reporter. “And I thought about what a struggle it was for them to live out each day in forgiveness.”
Compare those words to our reaction to Polytechnique, which has featured bitter attacks on men, Conservatives, and every Canadian who doesn’t happen to think that a national bureaucratic boondoggle is the best way to honour the legacy of 28 people gunned down by a mentally unstable lunatic.
“We can learn a lot from the men and women who still ride around in horses and buggies,” reads Kay's last sentence on the matter.
So, instead of examining where Lépine adopted his gory hatred of women, Kay wants his readers to examine the Amish.
This attempt to befit Canadian citizens with blinders, to distract them from the important questions pricked by the Montreal Massacre, is what is truly diminishing of the tragedy.
A memorial plaque for the victims at École Polytechnique.
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.
There's nothing wrong with forgiveness. But since when does forgiveness mean silence?
Misogyny is very much real, and so are its victims. That is why we have national days of remembrance in the first place.
If only people like Kay would let us have them without pissing all over the idea, ironically proving feminism's points in the process.