Wednesday, September 16, 2009


On 06 December 1989, Marc Lepine walked into L'Ecole Polytechnique, an engineering school in Montréal, and killed fourteen women. The Violence Against Women industry immediately claimed that Marc Lepine's actions were typical of male aggression and adopted the Montréal Massacre as an annual Remembrance Day of all female victims of male violence. That time of year, every newspaper, radio station, and every television station in Canada is pumping out the charged rhetoric about how awful Canadian men are and how horribly abused Canadian women. They show the marches of angry women and the quiet gathering of apologetic-looking men. People hand out white ribbons in commemoration not of the fourteen victims of one man who decided to go on a rampage, but of the horrible day when one man acted out what all men secretly wanted to do. And there are all those men handing out white ribbons, but white ribbons make real men see red.

Apart from prejudice and hatred toward men, there are two things that the white ribbon stands for, and nobody likes them: first the simple remembrance of an event that happened on 06 December 1989, an horrible tragedy that those fourteen young women were murdered, but we wonder about something else: why this tragedy in particular? Why don't we remember other tragedies this way? Why don't we remember other victims of violence? Why don't we remember the police who die each year protecting us from other kids of violence, for instance? Why does the fact that the fourteen people murdered were women and the person with the gun was a man somehow imbue this event with additional tragedy?

One might argue that L'Ecole Polytechnique murders were exceptional because of the number of victims, but the reason why many won't wear a white ribbon is that they refuse to acknowledge that Marc Lepine's shooting rampage is more terrible than other similar crimes, simply because women were the victims. They refuse to wear them, because white ribbons stand for the culpability of all men: the supposed complicity in the Montréal Massacre. The idea that the attitudes of all men contributed to the actions of the one man, that even though most men are peaceful and protective, they should all be ashamed because one chose to be violent and murderous. This is what the majority rebel against.

We despise men who wear a white ribbon on December 6th in the spirit of publicly apologizing to everyone for their maleness. and also despise their concern for only one kind of crime and only one kind of victims. These men are not progressive. In fact, December 6th is having a bad effect on us all, it is causing us to close our heart to these victims. Whenever we see another professional Violence Against Women advocate talking on TV about women as victims of society, whenever we hear another newscast about the tragedy of the Montréal Massacre, we turn the TV set off. We have heard enough. These people have been pushing our buttons for so long now that we are numb to the whole issue.

The vast majority of men are just normal people, they go to work, support their families and help raise their children to be normal people. They support and work together with their wives, whom they don't beat. But if you believe the Violence Against Women people, there is hardly a wife in Canada who isn't regularly slapped around by her spouse, and the rest of the men are on the sidelines cheering. The truth is very different. The Violence Against Women lobby asks the following question about men: ''if you're going to be attacked, who is more likely to be attacking you? A woman or a man?'' To be honest, they should ask a very different question: ''if you're going to be rescued from an attacker, who is more likely to rescue you? A woman or a man?'' If they would be honest, feminists should grant that the male rescuer is absolutely not responsible for you being attacked, and that the majority of men are blameless.

Why are all men supposed to carry some kind of blame because a very few men decided to be violent? Why should they be holding a parade every 6th of December lamenting the fact that they are all guilty, bowing their heads in shame every year? This is a scandal. And while we're at it, maybe Marc Lepine had good reasons to do what he did? It used to be very depressing to go on the internet, choose a search engine and make a search on "Marc Lepine". Anything that also contained the words "Montreal" or "Polytechnique" was sure to bring at almost every entry an unbridled hate-fest against men. But it has changed, then there are Lepine fan sites now, and not just one but quite a few.

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