On December 6th, 1989, 14 women lost their lives simply for living them the way they wanted to, while being female. The anniversary was yesterday, but you probably already know that.
It’s important to remember what happened and remember the victims. If we can avoid mentioning what’s-his-name in the process, all the better. But we should never forget why he did what he did.
If this was an isolated incident that we, as a society, have really learned from, and our annual commemoration of it has successfully prevented anything similar from happening, then we should just pat ourselves on the back, keep the 6th sacred and go about our lives the rest of the year.
But that’s not the case, now is it? Gendered violence is still very much a part of our society. I could sit here and bring up Julien Blanc, GamerGate and the countless native women who go missing and turn up dead to prove my point, but I don’t want to and I shouldn’t have to. If you don’t believe that misogynistic violence is still a very real threat, then you’re either an idiot, a perpetrator, or you just haven’t been paying attention.
If it’s the latter, then maybe one day a year isn’t enough. We’re still living in a world where what happened at Ecole Polytechnique on December 6th is still a possibility and variations of it are a frequent reality. This isn’t restricted to a single date on the calendar. Violence against women and tragedy can happen just as easily on December 6th as it can on December 7th, January 23rd or June 14th.
We should keep commemorating the anniversary of this tragedy, but if we want to change a fundamental flaw in our society, we should realize that any day, including today, December 7th, is a good day to remember:
May they rest in peace