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I can't believe it's been 20 years since a man went into an engineering classroom at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec. As Alice from Sciencewomen reminds us

He demanded all 48 men in the class leave the room, lined up all 9 women against a wall, and, shouting "You are all a bunch of [expletive] feminists!", proceeded to shoot them. He went into the hall and shot 18 more people, mostly at random. He finally shot himself. He had killed 14 women all together, and injured 9 more women and 4 men.

The women who died could have been anyone. They could have been your friends, your mothers, your sisters, your lovers, your daughters, your neighbors, your students, your teachers, maybe even you.

They were killed because they were women.

Twenty years ago my then 12 year old daughter wrote the names of those women on a piece of paper, pinned it to her shirt and went to school. I cry every time I think of this and I'm crying now.

The women who died are:

Genevieve Bergeron, 21, was a 2nd year scholarship student in civil engineering.
Helene Colgan, 23, was in her final year of mechanical engineering and planned to take her master's degree.
Nathalie Croteau, 23, was in her final year of mechanical engineering.
Barbara Daigneault, 22, was in her final year of mechanical engineering and held a teaching assistantship.
Anne-Marie Edward, 21, was a first year student in chemical engineering.
Maud Haviernick, 29, was a 2nd year student in engineering materials, and a graduate in environmental design.
Barbara Maria Klucznik, 31, was a 2nd year engineering student specializing in engineering materials.
Maryse Laganiere, 25, worked in the budget department of the Polytechnique.
Maryse Leclair, 23, was a 4th year student in engineering materials.
Anne-Marie Lemay, 27, was a 4th year student in mechanical engineering.
Sonia Pelletier, 28, was to graduate the next day in mechanical engineering. She was awarded a degree posthumously.
Michele Richard, 21, was a 2nd year student in engineering materials.
Annie St-Arneault, 23, was a mechanical engineering student.
Annie Turcotte, 21, was a first year student in engineering materials.

Alice, thank you making sure we always remember not just the women but the date that they were killed and why they were killed-- because they wanted to be engineers..


They were not killed because they were women they were killed because the guy was crazy. What about the other 13 people he killed do you know their names? He killed 27 people, total 13 men and 14 women, seems pretty indiscriminate to me.

Actually Bob according to the coroner's report, 15 people died that day 14 women and one man, Marc Lepine who killed those 14 women whose names I listed in the post

An additional 10 women and four men were injured. Lepine's suicide note blamed feminists for ruining his life. The guy was crazy and he killed women-- specifically women he thought were feminist. That seems pretty discriminate to me!

Seriously, although this incident is extremely sad, the way you report it is unconventional to say the least. The language you used is usually reserved for victims of 9/11 and such.

Of course, these unfortunate young women were victims of a hate crime of some sort. But this guy who shot them was of course crazy. But then you could also argue that the 9/11 hijackers were crazy.

"Crazy" is a relative term. So why am I taking this event less seriously than, say a terrorist attack, or a KKK sponsored lynching? Because there are crucial differences:

1. This event is ONE OFF... it does not fit into any pattern of behaviour. On the contrary, lynching of coloured people, or terrorist attacks usually fit into a chain of violence.

Why is this important? Because if an incident is an aberration, the chances of it recurring are very slim. Your article conveys a false sense of heroism...as though you claim that you became a female scientist despite the threat to your life from people like this crazy guy. This is where you are being dishonest.

2. Here is a thumb rule. How easy do you think it is to find 5 Canadian white males that day in 1986 who approved of the massacre? On the contrary, there is no dearth of footage showing Arabs dancing in the streets on 9/11.

And last, I would ask you to research the following term on google: "SCUM manifesto" SCUM in this case stands for "Society for cutting up men". Her documented opinion was that EVERY man should be killed...literally. Yes, you heard that right. And Valerie Solanas, who wrote that "manifesto" tried to kill Andy Warhol. But we don't wear badges with Andy Warhol's name on them. That is because we understand that Valerie Solanas was insane.

You should learn to tell an aberration from a pattern of violence. It's okay for your 12 year old not to understand this distinction. But it's not okay for you.

I was going to explain this to you point by point but then I remembered Finally a Feminism 101 http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/

And after you've read it, feel free come back and we will talk, seriously.

Wow...the feminists sure are rude. If that blog is any kind of gateway to feminist ideals, the kind of scant respect with which it treats the reader says a lot about the character of feminists.

Perhaps the rubbish heap on that blog could be replaced by one line that really captures everything that blog is trying to say: If you don't already know and believe everything we believe in, you have an IQ below 60.

And Pat, here's to your heroic success in defying crazed gunmen on a regular basis on the road to becoming a female scientist. I would suggest though that you wear a fake beard to work for your own safety. Who knows when such a gunman might show up... they really must be all over the place. So, why take chances? A bullet proof vest might be another idea.

Enough. It was a post of remembrance of 14 young women engineering students who were murdered. May they rest in peace and may nothing like that happen again. If you want to call me names, feel free to comment on another post. No more for this one.

I never knew about this-- thank you for posting.

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