Wednesday, December 06, 2006

We Need to Remember

After a week away from home, and thus a week away from a computer, i am struggling this morning with posting about a day that is important to me. I came back home last night and tried to relax before my busy day at work. I need to write about it. Not because i want to remember it but because i think we all need to remember it. Not just because i work with survivors of abuse on a daily basis, or because i am a woman. But because we still live in a world that leaves people out.

I was just in Boston visiting my lovely sister and a friend. I had a great time and grew to love Boston more. We even went to a craft fair! How fun! While i loved going there, i had some struggles. 1) It seems to be quite un-vegan friendly - while i found some places that i could eat something, overall i did not eat as healthy and tasty meals as i do here at home. I wish i discovered a vegan restaurant, but even the health food stores lacked for me. I thought i bought 'extra firm' tofu for a dinner i made, but it was just soft/silken tofu. Not what i had in mind.

Also, something else i noticed as well was the lack of awareness overall about December 6th. It seems that we only really acknowledge here in Canada. Because it happened here? Because people want to forget that men can be violent towards women? That a man can murder 14 women just because they're women? I don't know but i remember. I remember being in grade 9 and thinking i was invincible and that this 'story' was so far removed from me, that it didn't matter. It does matter because it can happen to any of us.

And i'm not alone. Read here and here for more bloggers' posts.

I hope you have a chance to read about this day, that 17 years ago changed my life and my awareness about the rights of women. How could we possibly be 'equal' if a man chose to kill his peers just because they were women and he hated the idea of them being his equals. This was not intimate violence, something we seem to turn a blind eye to, but a calculated plan against women in this man's class.


Blogger michelleknits said...

hey vania,
thank you for writing about this again and reminding us all. you are always an example to me of what a blog could/should be for.

glad you enjoyed your time in the states. i would hesitate to draw conclusions re: the u.s. and its awareness based on the city of boston. my cousin and her family live there now, and i have no particular "beef" with boston, though i've often found it a very _cold_ city, if that makes any sense. it's a very well-loved city, too, so it shouldn't suffer much at all from my saying that, but i personally just never clicked with boston.

next time you're in boston, you should check out (if you haven't already) grasshopper and buddha's delight. both are totally yummy. and i'm pretty sure i've eaten extra-firm tofu in boston!!!

a week away from the computer sounds like a wonderful thing! though i always love when you post!

9:41 AM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

A big big hug to you my friend for both this and your last post. You walk the talk. You really do.

I am glad you had fun in Boston but too bad about the food. On my recent vacation all I ate for a week was cheese pizza, french fries and beans with rice. You'd have only had the last too. Sigh. Sometimes there is no place like home.

10:26 AM  
Blogger mishka said...

Vania, thank you so much for posting this. To be honest, I am guilty of saying in the past "Marc Lepine was one just man who had problems. It doesn't apply to all men, nor should all men be constantly reminded of something they had nothing to do with." That was in college. I applaud women like you who help people to see the truth. The world needs more people like you who do such wonderful things to help make this a better place to live.

I promise to read the posts you linked to.

2:10 PM  
Blogger mishka said...

after reading a bit more I can't help be feel embarassed and shocked at how ignorant I can be for an aware and education person and I had to come back and comment again. Maybe the thought of confronting this issue head on scares me. Maybe I have the voices of my past echoing in my head telling me stuff that is untrue. Maybe I just haven't been paying attention, focusing my efforts elsewhere.

I just want to thank you again. You and the other who have posted rememberance today are truly inspirational and I strive to be half the human beings you are.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Carla said...

It doesn't seem like 17 years ago, it's still so raw. I'm so much tamer in my feminist principles than I used to be, and as recently as this Thanksgiving I somehow inspired a (middle aged white) man to get very very very angry with me for saying something very mild about systematic oppression.

I work with the news and I know way too much about what happens to women and children right here in Toronto The Good. Can't we all just pat kittens and get along? If only it were that easy.

Bon courage, sister!

9:12 PM  
Blogger vania said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words and support - i have to admit it was so touching for me to read your comments 'about me.' Don't minimize what you do, though! We are all strong women!

And i too wish we could all just play with kittens. Until then, i will fight the fight...

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. I wish I never had to write about this. I wish for peace and I will keep wishing.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

I remember being in my first year of University when the Montreal Massacre occured. I wore a black arm band to commemorate the victims. I was deeply affected and saddened by it all.

I called myself a Feminist. I enrolled in courses about women's rights and tried to fight, argue and challenge the predominately male-dominated, patriarchal society we live in. That was then...

This is now...

Just like 'Carla', I have become "tamer" in my feminist principles over the years. Not sure why.

I'm glad to see that there are people still rallying for women's rights and are very passionate about the feminist movement.

We all need to be reminded of the horrors that men have committed against women, be it assault, rape, murder, because it is so easy to de-sensitize ourselves to it all.


12:22 AM  
Blogger jen said...

i had never heard of that incident before you wrote of it. i don't know if that's a U.S. thing, or just me. it reminded me of the incident that occurred earlier this fall in pennsylvania where a man walked into an amish school, sent all of the boys outside, and killed a bunch of young girls because of some issue he had against females.

it's interesting what tragedies become those "lynchpin" moments that society remembers. i don't know that i'd take any particular meaning from awareness or lack of awareness about a particular event. (except that most americans don't have much idea what happens in other countries.) after all, isn't the point to remember how misogny and violence toward women are affecting all of our lives all the time? while i really appreciate your post and being educated about the massacre, i think important thing is, like you said, to know that violence toward women does happen and it is wrong, and be working to stop it. memorializing a specific event is certainly one way to do that, but just because someone isn't memoralizing the event doesn't mean they don't care or aren't aware of the larger issue.

i'm a bit confused about mishka's comments. what's wrong with saying that he was just one man and that not all men are like that? i think remembering that is just as important as remembering what he did.

anyway, as for boston, i don't particularly like the place myself, although i haven't spent much time there. but then again, i don't really have any interest in spending time there. like michelle, there is no specific reason i don't like it, i am just not into the vibe there or whatever. i have heard from others as well that it's not very vegan friendly, and that's not making me any more anxious to go.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jen - my comment was unclear. True not all men are like that. And that's a great thing. My comment was more of being guilty of not seeing the bigger picture. And not understanding what memorializing the day is all about because I had it in my mind that it was a solitary action by a madman, and not indicative of society as a whole.

2:23 PM  

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