Twenty-seven years ago, as many of you know, a young man carrying a rifle walked into a classroom at the École Polytechnique de Montréal. After declaring to stunned students that he was “fighting feminism,” he shot 14 women dead, most of them students, and wounded another ten women and four men before killing himself.
Today is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada, an annual event to honor the victims of mass murderer Marc Lépine, who gunned down fourteen women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. Lepine, driven by a poisonous misogynist ideology, specifically targeted women, yelling “I hate feminists” before opening fire on one classroom of female students.
Reading over his suicide-note-cum-manifesto today, I was struck again by how, well, familiar it all sounded. While only a few MRAs have explicitly celebrated Lepine as a hero, his views on women and feminism would not be out of place on most Men’s Rights forums. Here’s Lepine, in his own words. (I’ve broken the wall of text into shorter paragraphs.)
[T]he feminists always have a talent for enraging me.
They want to retain the advantages of being women (e.g. cheaper insurance, extended maternity leave preceded by a preventive leave) while trying to grab those of the men. … They are so opportunistic that they neglect to profit from the knowledge accumulated by men throughout the ages. …
Thus, the other day, people were honoring the Canadian men and women who fought at the frontlines during the world wars. How does this sit with the fact that women were not authorized to go to the frontline at the time??? Will we hear of Caesar’s female legions and female galley slaves who of course took up 50 per cent of history’s ranks, although they never existed?
I’ve seen complaints virtually identical to these — I hesitate to call them arguments — reiterated many times over on places like A Voice for Men and the Men’s Rights subreddit.
Speaking of the Men’s Rights subreddit, here’s how the regulars there honored the victims of the massacre today: someone posted a message that today was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (this is actually a different day, in November), and, well, this is some of what ensued.
MRB2012 gave us the quote in my headline:
7Vega worried that awareness about violence against women was taking up too much of everyone’s time.
And JohnKimble suggested that violence against women is really all their fault anyway.
The greatest human rights movement of the 21st century, folks.