December 6, 2014. Twenty-five years since the day that a man that believed that ‘feminists’ had ruined his life purposefully selected and killed 14 women at École Polytechnique in Montreal.
I was days away from my 21st birthday. Montreal was really far away from Edmonton, and the massacre was really far away from anything I had ever experienced or imagined could happen in my world. Afterall, I lived in a western democracy where women’s rights were respected. I mean, maybe when my mother was young there was a problem, but for me? I couldn’t imagine.
The blessing of my life is that I have never been the victim violence, sexual or otherwise. I’ve known sexual harassment, and obviously I know that nagging fear every woman who finds herself suddenly alone in an unfamiliar place knows. I’ve struggled with body image, but I’ve managed to get through with pretty good self esteem. I am lucky in ways that a human being should never have to refer to as luck, yet in a way that for women is realistically characterized as coin-toss good fortune.
Reading the news today I wonder what has changed between that and now, days away from my 46th birthday.
What I do know now is that the world is not as safe and benign as I naively thought it was then. Have we made any progress since Dec 6 1989? I have a hard time sorting out the progress from the regress and I don’t know if I can do the topic justice.
Here are 6 views on the topic written by people trying to sort that out.