We remember the Montreal Massacre‏

On December 6, 1989, an armed gunman named Marc Lepine entered an engineering classroom at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec.  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.

Remember those who died in the Montreal Massacre:

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.

Please honour the white ribbon as a symbol of the fight against violence against women.

Baby Storm: the Genderless Child in a Gendered World

Somewhere up in Canada there lives a family. I have never met these people, never been invited to their house, I do not know their names. Yet, I know that they have a baby. This baby is named Storm, but I don’t know what sex this baby is. The mother isn’t telling anyone in an attempt to raise the child “genderless”. Or, perhaps not genderless, but more like without all the social pressures and stereotypes of what it means to be a male or a female (such as the all-pink aisle in Target. I wonder what that’s for?)

Alright, so I looked up their names. Halleluiah Google! The mother’s name is Kathy Witterick. After refusing to reveal her baby’s sex, the story exploded and went viral. People all over not just her nation, but our nation as well, couldn’t help but wonder what was in between this baby’s legs. But it’s only natural to want to know, right? Human nature has us constantly wondering about what’s between everybody’s legs!

It’s true, though. Ever see a guy wearing a dress, or a person in a baggy tee-shirt and jeans that you just couldn’t figure out? You do a double take, stare a little longer than usual, squint your eyes, tilt your head. Not going to lie, it’s kind of weird. But that’s because we’ve gendered ourselves so much.

Humans do this weird thing where we cover up what makes us male or female (our genitals), but we cover them in an explicit way that lets everyone know what’s underneath. Womens clothes are usually colored, cute, frilly, tight; while mens clothes tend to be more baggy, more neutral in color, more sport-like, more “masculine”. Here’s more ways we gender ourselves: men are buff, women are toned. Men are strong and distant, women are emotional. Men play sports and get dirty and sweaty and grunt, and women wear makeup and hairspray and perfume and talk. These stereotypes are built into our clothes, our personalities, our bodies. We do gender all the time, constantly, whether we realize it or not. It comes out of our mouths, and shows in our hair, and in the way we walk and sit in a chair.

Now, back to the baby. Is it so bad that the mother is raising her child “genderless” because we’ve so gendered our culture? We exaggerate the differences between our sexualities. And people who don’t exaggerate, maybe a girl with short hair who wears loose graphic tee-shirts, or a slimmer guy who’s sensitive and cares about how he looks, their sexualities are questioned because they deviate from the exaggerated norms we’ve created as a society about what it is to be male or female.

A lot of people are upset because if the baby doesn’t understand gender norms, will s/he be able to fit into society? Will Baby Storm not fit in because s/he doesn’t know if s/he’s male or female? Will children not accept him/her even though s/he’s a perfectly nice human being? Possibly. This decision will most likely affect Baby Storm’s entire life. But is it the mother’s fault for refusing to accept the way in which society operates, or is it our fault for participating in and continuing gendered society?
Is it anyone’s fault at all?

What do you think?