Annually across Canada events are held as a day of action to help stop violence against women. Many refer to these events as part of the National Day of Remembrance. Some of us remember the utter shock and sadness when we found out about the terrible violence that took place in Montreal on that fateful day that 14 women were targeted solely because they were women. Today we have more events that speak out against violence. Just two weeks ago the international, annual Trans Day of Remembrance was held. It is important to remember that violence can touch all of our lives. Jackson Katz has explained that violence against women is a men’s issue. I concur with Katz and hope that you watch his TED Talk.
Find out if there are any events taking place in your community. We are all part of the struggle to stop violence. I have attached a screen shot of a campus event (Dec 4th) and local candlelight vigil (Dec 6th). Please share this information.
On this December 6, I want to remember and honor the 14 women who were killed at Polytechnique solely because they were women. I remember where I was when I heard about this tragedy–it was two days later, but I was still scared. Scared that women students were singled out by a male classmate and killed only based on their gender. I often wondered if we paid more attention to them because they were college students? If we paid more attention to them based on their education, class, and race privilege. But, these are not always polite questions to ask. It is important to acknowledge that the act was heinous.
We had the bookmarks in the US where I went to university, and the WMST-L or other listservs would remember Dec 6. I remember thinking that this one event caused a concentrated focus on violence against women, which we need to have tough conversations about as we attempt to curb violence. However, I know that I have also thought that women were killed before Dec 6 and continue to be killed solely because they are targeted as women. We need to use Dec 6 as a day of reflection and continued energy to make a difference. We can’t bring those 14 women back, but their legacy is important and what we do with it.
Living in Canada, I think of the gross similarities between the Missing Women on the Highway of Tears and the DTES and the Missing Women in Ciudad Juarez. So, this Dec 6 I want to reflect about what we’ve done and what we can continue to do to educate people about the reality of violence against women in our communities and across the globe. As I have repeatedly said, we have more work to do.