25 years since the Polytechnique murders. Women of Quebec will never forget. I know I’ll never forget but something bothers me in the reporting, the comments and overall view of the horrific events of that night. What bothers me is the finger of blame that is pointed toward men. Yes, Marc Lepine was a male but he is not and will never be representative of all men. What he does represent, however, is society’s/governments’ failure to address mental illness. This has more to do with what occurred that night than women’s rights or equality. Nowhere is this more evident than it is in the question of the day, posed by CTV Montreal news; this is the question asked on the day before the 25th anniversary of Polytechnique;
Have women made real progress in their fight for equality in the past 25 years?
Thanks for your vote
1017 (66 %)
520 (34 %)
Most of us, it appears, believe we have made real progress toward equality but equality wasn’t the issue at that school, on that night.
The coverage, by and large, has been aimed at women’s rights. The real issue, the real reason behind Marc Lepine’s attack on 14 innocent young women had nothing to do with their sex or some sort of male plot to keep women down. The real issue is mental illness.
I would ask, has any real progress been made in the fight to help those with mental illness?
The ugly truth is “No”, there has not. There are no powerful lobby groups to support and further the cause of helping the mentally ill. Marc Lepine is demonized. Kimveer Gill was demonized. They were sick. They had been sick for a long time and nobody cared enough to address it before these people entered critical mass and exploded. And if anyone had cared enough to try to give these men the help they, so obviously, required? They would have been thwarted at every turn. There is no help for these people. They don’t have ribbon campaigns, or politicians grabbing a photo op and a hanky for the cause.
Violence against women is not condoned; I don’t care what lobbyists say. I do not know one single man who would condone willful violence against a woman or children. Not one. Those who do perpetrate violence against women are unwell. Something is not right in their psyches and THAT is what needs to be addressed, not this ridiculous notion that there is a concentrated effort on the part of the male gender to keep women subjugated. Not here. Not in this society.
Why are there not more women on corporate boards? Because the sacrifice to self is too high and women do not need to sit on a board to feel they have achieved success in their lives. We are not brainwashed in that way. Women are less likely to give up their ethics for the sake of the almighty dollar. That is what men have been indoctrinated to do. Success at all costs. Climb that corporate ladder, give up your self-respect in order to wear that suit and sit around a table, slapping each other on the back for achieving the ultimate in megalomania and greed. Women are too smart for that. Oh there are a few who think that being a corporate Don represents a life of success but these women are more to be pitied than admired.
Polytechnique is not a representation of violence against women; it is a representation of what happens when society marginalizes, dismisses mental illness. Men don’t kill women, mental illness does.