6th December 1989
One has only to do an internet search on the phrase "Montreal Massacre" to come up with many different articles and letters addressing this event in Canada's history. In 1989 a young man entered the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, armed with a semi-automatic rifle. In one classroom he separated the male students from the women and started shooting, moving on from there down the halls. By the time he was done shooting that December day, 14 women lay dead, 12 of them engineering students.
Most of the writing on this topic has been done from the perspective of the obvious victims - the women who were killed. But the reasons why Marc Lepine did what he did have never been permitted to come to light, or if they have been, were quickly dismissed. As time goes on, I wonder if I am experiencing something of what Marc Lepine went through. Or are we really expected to believe that he never tried to contact feminists, tried to talk to them, to get them to see his perspective, to realize the effect feminism was having on Canadian society?
As a man, a rather traditional man with both French-Canadian and, on his father's side, Algerian Muslim roots, he discovered that the place that had traditionally been men's - in male-dominated fields in university and careers out in the world - were being shared with women, no longer being men's alone. For this to happen, some men would lose out. And Lepine, age 25, was one of them. Without the help of parents, and not being middle class, and not holding the same values of many others of his age, Marc Lepine, born Gamil Gharbi, was at a disadvantage when it came to being accepted at engineering school.
See the Montreal Massacre website: http://www.montrealmassacre.net/ for essays, articles and commentary.
If you would like to have a comment or essay, etc included in the website please contact me.
Updated Apr 18, 2006