It was December 7th, 1989. In my final year class at the Vancouver School of Theology, we were all talking about the horrible events of the night before. Marc Lepine had gone into L'Ecole Polytechnique and killed 14 people. Worst than that, Lepine had killed 14 women just because they were women. Of course a lot of our discussion was whether there was systemic gender inequality in Canada.
The vast majority of my class, myself included, immediately said yes. The evidence seemed overwhelming. At that point we lived in a country where women earned just 67% of what men did. Now it is now 71%. We live in a country where one in four women will deal with sexual assault. We live in a country where hundreds of thousands of women are abused by their partner each year. And the night of our discussion that morning, 14 women were killed because they were women.
There was one hold out though. One of our classmates said that he believed the actions of Marc Lepine was that of a mad man. For this hold out, Lepine did not represent him. For this hold out, Lepine did not represent males. This hold out believed it was one awful, violent act of a sick man and that was it.
The fact though is violence against women has not gone away. In fact statistics show the rates of violence against women has increased since 1989. Also domestic violence has increased COVID lockdowns have come into place. The hold outs in this world, like to think it is not them. We aren't violent. Why blame us? But the thing is, we need to do more then say it wasn't me. We need to change society so that everyone knows that violence against anyone will not be tolerated. Women, people of colour, people who have born other places, people who are LGBTQ+, people who are differently abled should feel safe and valued in society. I need to stand up against such violence. You need to stand up against such violence. All of us need to stand up against such violence. Society will only move ahead when everyone is invited to be an equal partner and no threats of intimitation or violence will keep another quiet. Blessings.