Montreal massacre: Let's stop this talk of cowards plus comments Apr 7 Apr 11, 2009

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On Dec 7 1989, a co-worker was getting quite agitated why no-one had tried to stop Lepine. She couldn't understand why we didn't think it strange & all thought the students would be too terrified and confused. Then she told us about the training she had received in the Vietnam army before coming to Canada and realised the difference vs the more peaceful childhoods that we had enjoyed..

Posted 07/04/09 at 10:13 PM EDT

Sue McPherson, from Oshawa, Canada writes:

Your argument, Conservative rocksteady, doesn't make sense. I think that's part of the problem with feminism - they don't need any more publicity of the kind they got over this. Every girl/woman, practically, seems to think she's entitled to take her place alongside men of her social class in the workplace. Simply being a 'woman' enables them to angrily call upon the injustice that was done to the women in the Polytechnique. That's part of the problem with the White Ribbon Campaign. Men are taught that they have to pay for this atrocity by Marc Lepine for ever and ever. There's no analysis of why he did it. Feminists don't want to know. I really do believe that most men in this world are not going to kill women or anybody just because Marc Lepine did. What he did was unusual. His experience of life was probably different than most people's. And feminists have probably learned from it all and wouldn't treat most other men as badly as they did Marc Lepine. Don't forget, Lepine couldn't be swayed by women offering promiscuos sex. He couldn't be swayed by some of the beliefs and activities that many other men believed in. He didn't drink and he didn't use drugs. He just wanted to be an engineer.

Posted 07/04/09 at 10:22 PM EDT

Chris Land from Sudbury, ON, Canada writes:

I've always thought it shameful the way the men passively left those women to die. But I suppose that happens a lot. Not many people stood up to defend Jews in Germany during the 30's either. Some guys who did stand up though were the cops who happened to be at Dawson college in 2006 when Kimveer Gill walked in and started shooting up the place. The cops didn't wait for backup and they didn't set up a cordon around the school. They rushed in and shot the guy. I agree that perhaps we shouldn't condemn those who stand by and do nothing since we don't really know ourselves what we would do in the same situation. But we should celebrate the brave constables who rushed in and prevented what could have been a massacre as bad as Polytechnique. Only one person was killed at Dawson college. Denis Côté is a hero in every sense. We should celebrate him.

Posted 07/04/09 at 10:26 PM EDT

Shades of Grey from Whitehorse, Canada writes:

Sue, the message I take from this and so many other incidents is that as a society we need to make it socially unacceptable for men to perpetrate violence against women. I don't feel guilty for what Lepine did. I don't expect any other man to feel guilty. But I do ask myself what am I doing as a parent, or as a neighbour or coworker, to condone or perpetuate that violence.

It was not that long ago in western european culture that women were property, to be treated and disposed of as their husbands or fathers saw fit. Why do women get attacked when they walk down deserted streets at night? It sure as heck isn't because of the attitudes of feminists. You need to give your obviously intelligent head a shake if you truly believe that is so.


Posted 07/04/09 at 11:03 PM EDT

Sue McPherson, from Oshawa, Canada writes:

Janet, Recently there was a protest in London england, about the lack of measures being taken to fix the economy, in part. The poverty issue has also been discussed on various forums, but you know what, Canadians don't protest. They don't do anything. If they're not in GM (car plant) or feminists, they simply accept their fate. You're probably right. Canadians have had it too easy, but it isn't about their upbringing. It's just that war hasn't happened here, no great terrorist problems, nothing.
Posted 07/04/09 at 10:31 PM EDT

N Dawg from Canada writes:

I have not seen the film nor do I read Mark Steyn. What happened in Montreal on that day was a black mark in human history. Those young women had done nothing to deserve what was inflicted upon them (and their families).

But isn't it wonderful to be an armchair quarterback and accuse others of being cowards? Doesn't take much talent to do that, does it? As the bumper sticker says: "If you don't want to get behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them."

Posted 07/04/09 at 10:58 PM EDT

Baikal Princess from Canada writes:

Having the experience of living in a number of different countries where the 'hero factor' seems to play a much bigger role for men in these types of situations, I must also note that statistics such as spousal abuse also tend to be significantly higher there.

It seems to be a bit of a give and take. Yes, Canadian men are often not quite as 'manly' in the traditional sense of the term, but they are also less aggressive, without the constant need to prove that they are kings of the jungle. There are two sides to everything.


Posted 07/04/09 at 11:37 PM EDT

Janet Fisher from Canada writes: "Marc Lepine just wanted to be Engineer". I don't buy that at all Sue M. If he wanted to be an Engineer, he would have needed to work hard and excel at Maths & Physics at High School & get grades to compete for admission - just like the male & female engineering students did. If he was close in grades - there would also be several opportunities in Engineering technology to pursue. There was no "feminist plot" to take spots away from him. His bitter twistedness would likely have got him fired from most workplaces.

What if he had wanted to be a nurse & was rejected - would that be a feminist plot to keep him out of a more traditional female career - so it would be justified in his mind to massacre them?

He was a tinderbox waiting to got off and wanted to blame whoever he could and take them too.

Posted 07/04/09 at 10:49 PM EDT

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from Canada writes:

Typical Canadian cowards? So, who are the typical American heroes that tried to stop the Columbine shootings? the Virginia tech shootings? the primary school shootings in Amish country Pennsylvania? the Hillsborough, NC shootings? Essex, VT? Jacksborough, TN? Red Lake Indian Reservation, MN? Red Lion, PA? Tucson, AZ? Ennis, TX? Santee, CA? Savannah, GA? These are school/university shootings in the US over just the last 10 years in which multiple victims were killed. Wow, for a society where everybody is packing it is interesting to note that in the vast majority of these incidents, the gunman ended up committing suicide and in the rest he surrendered to police after hostage negotiations. Wow, not a single American hero who put his life on the line to tackle a mass murderer, but Americans are heroic while Canadians are cowardly. Mark Steyn is a typical George W. Bush style chicken hawk that would probably soil his undies if he were ever in this position and would then pass himself off as a hero. Analogy? John Kerry, who protested against the Vietnam war, fought in the war, was injured in combat, saved the lives of several soldiers under his command and earned a Purple Heart was branded by Republicans a sissy traitor for his opposition to the war and was allegedly unfit to act as Commander-in-Chief. On the other hand, George W. Bush, who "supported" the US role in Vietnam: never served in Vietnam, somehow ended up in the Texas/Alabama National Guard despite a huge waiting list, is unable to explain gaps of up to a year and a half in his Guard attendance record, spent another year of "service" working on a political campaign in Alabama and protected the US from the viet cong insurgency in Texas and Alabama. According to Republicans, George W. Bush was a patriot who was amply entitled to serve as Commander-in-Chief but then Bush and Steyn were all gung ho about attacking Iraq. My how courageous to volunteer the blood of others when you're a chicken-sh1t, yourself.

Posted 07/04/09 at 11:52 PM EDT

R L from Edmonton, Canada writes:

Interesting posts...Lepine and Gill went off the edge.. taking too many people with them. Steyn made some points, Mcpherson has also made some too.

Would I act differently today.. probably, but then I have seen what happens when you don't act. Three planes on 911 hit their targets, the 4th did not, people acted based on information about the others.

Feminism or not, is less of my issue here. Division of people is more of a concern. If people get disconnected then they may act and do so in a punitive manner. Our role is to try and ensure that they stay connected, somehow.

Today I think feminism has done its job, the next step is humanism, we have far to many issues around the world to ignore the next stage of the progression.


Posted 07/04/09 at 11:59 PM EDT

Shades of Grey from Whitehorse, Canada writes:

Good post, Apu.
Posted 08/04/09 at 12:15 AM EDT

mone ofurbus from Canada writes:

"Evil will triumph when good men do nothing"
Edmund burkes.

Judging by the ever growing plague of evil's, there's a chronic shortage of good men willing to fight for truth, honour and justice.


Posted 08/04/09 at 1:54 AM EDT

Lise Cyrenne from Switzerland writes:

When the massacre happened, I was living in Winnipeg. Within a day there were women's organizations across canada who recieved anonymous messages threatening that they were next. This of course were not messages from the same man. These were from men across canada who rode the tragedy to prove what....manhood?

The thing is, when men are indoctrinated to be selfless heroes through fairy tales, hollywood, military, family and religion, we indoctrinate self-dispossession. Such dispossession breeds (hidden) rage and brutality. If boys and men can be relieved of the burden of being selfless heroes, and simply taught the art of personhood with an integral sense of feeling for themselves, and hence for others, the world would be a safer place for all of us. And yes, especially for women who have born the brunt of this rage and brutality over the centuries.

What is endlessly sad about this tragedy is that the core myths that drive men to such rage and brutaliy have not been challenged in any way. The discussion about the lack of heroic action on the part of the men at PT proves my point.

Posted 08/04/09 at 6:06 AM EDT

stuvian von gruvian from Canada writes:

Steyn is nothing more than another man hater. Men are cowards for not fighting back but primitive bullies if they do. Men are racists for not handing their jobs to minorities and chauvinists for not giving their jobs to women. You're a wuss if you stay home with your kids and a sperm donor if you don't. You're a pervert if you come onto women and a fairy if you don't.
We have been brainwashed into believing that our every impulse springs from primitive testosterone fueled evil. The male hero has been legislated out of existence becuase he wouldn't do as told.
Posted 08/04/09 at 7:33 AM EDT

N Dawg from Canada writes:

mone ofurbus from Canada writes: Judging by the ever growing plague of evil's, there's a chronic shortage of good men willing to fight for truth, honour and justice.
********
You lead the way. Here's a link you might be interested in:

http://www.forces.ca/

Posted 08/04/09 at 7:38 AM EDT

ginny smith from Canada writes:

Shades of Grey from Whitehorse, Canada writes: Sue, the message I take from this and so many other incidents is that as a society we need to make it socially unacceptable for men to perpetrate violence against women. I don't feel guilty for what Lepine did. I don't expect any other man to feel guilty. But I do ask myself what am I doing as a parent, or as a neighbour or coworker, to condone or perpetuate that violence.

It was not that long ago in western european culture that women were property, to be treated and disposed of as their husbands or fathers saw fit. Why do women get attacked when they walk down deserted streets at night? It sure as heck isn't because of the attitudes of feminists. You need to give your obviously intelligent head a shake if you truly believe that is so.

---
Bravo Shades of Grey. Couldn't have said it better myself.
Posted 08/04/09 at 8:15 AM EDT

ginny smith from Canada writes:

Sue Mcpherson writes: "But he didn't like women stepping into men's territory"

Please explain, Ms. Mcpherson, what you mean by 'men's territory'....why is an engineering school 'men's territory'? Why are women not allowed to be there? And why should entrance to that school be determined by one's chromosomal makeup? Because that's what you're suggesting.

You also suggest that there is a certain 'rightness' about Lepine's actions - that's it's fundamentally ok to perpetrate massive violence against people (of any sort) who stand in your way or irritate you in any way. Ie. Because 'feminists' made him mad, it was fine to go in and shoot 'feminists'.

And from there, you conclude that feminism is bad for society, presumably because it brings women into areas of society where they 'shouldn't' be (and equally puts men into positions where they 'shouldn't be).

Wow. I'm not even sure where to start with that perspective. At least you've stopped claiming that your free-host personal opinion website is 'truth'.

Posted 08/04/09 at 8:23 AM EDT

Sue McPherson, from Oshawa, Canada writes:

In response to Ginny, and Shades, and RL: There isn't just one message that's going out (in the White Ribbon Campaign, if that's what you mean). Men committing violence is not good is one msg. The other is that Marc Lepine represents all the violence committed against women. that's a heavy load for one man to bear, especially whe the type of violence he committed was nothing at all to do with the most prevalent kind of violence women experience, and that is violence by someone they know and likely have been involvd with. And besides that, the world has changed a great deal over the years.

Psychological, emotional, and economic violence is committed more by women now. Many have the power to inflict harm, power that women in general didn't used to have. And women will inflict harm on men and on women. So to focus only on men as being perps of violence doesn't make sense. I don't know about phsyical violence, but women are just as capable of engaging in other kinds of damaging behaviour. It makes sense for parents to try and inform their kids of this, too, as they're growing up. RL from Edmonton wrote that the next step is humanity. I agree, but I think feminist approaches taught alongside humanist approaches to life might have been better in the first place. Feminism taught women their rights, and one group gets what they believe they have a right to, other people suffer.
Posted 08/04/09 at 8:33 AM EDT

Tossed Salada from Canada writes:

I seem to remember a group of women speaking for all women over forty years ago who declared they were as perfectly capable as any man. They could stand on the bus, hold open there own doors. We can do anything you can do!!!!! Rock on Sistas. Oh wait. You misogynistic male you didn't come to our defense at our time of need. We were helpless you sexist pig. Where were you when we needed you? Don't you have any cojones? Do you wet the bed at night? Harrumph!!! Convenient gender feminism in my opinion. Use it when it is needed. Helpless victims when it isn't. The RMS Titanic comes to mind when I read this article. The only group of people that deserve my chivalry are members of my family. The tactics by these groups to continue to try to emasculate males through blatant misandry for monetary gain is a tactic that is beginning to backfire. If you continue to denigrate with films such as this. If you continue to make man hatred your, err, (wo)mantra. Do not be surprised when no one (male or female) comes to your aid in a time of need. You've come along way baby!!!

Posted 08/04/09 at 8:40 AM EDT

ginny smith from Canada writes:

tossed salada has missed the entire point of the article. It's Mark Steyn that argues that men should have done something. I haven't seen a single feminist say that the men 'should have done something'. But I've seen many who have wept for the men who felt that they 'should have' and ended up killing themselves when they couldn't live with that reality. Those men too are victims of this tragedy. Nobody could have done anything. There was a deranged man with a gun. What else could any of these people have done but try to save themselves? Would the women who were killed have wanted even more to die because they were trying to be 'heroes'? Violence against women is a huge issue (read the books by Brian Vallee, if you want more information),and it's growing - recent evidence suggests that there is an increase in women and children seeking shelter from abusive partners (since the economy started to slide). No, Marc Lepine is not responsible for all of that. However, his actions - directed towards a specific, and clearly identified group for no particular reason - symbolise some of what is still - incredibly enough - seen as acceptable in society. No, he doesn't carry the weight of all of that. What he does carry, however, is the weight of his actions - and killing 14 women, injuring more people...together with the resultant psychological distress of any and all of those involved...well, yes, that is a heavy burden to carry.

Posted 08/04/09 at 8:51 AM EDT

John Samuel from St. Paul, United States writes:

The issue is not "that men not only should save the day, but can save the day," but that they ought to try and not allow their neighbors to go willingly to slaughter. This notion that "who knows what I would do in a similar situation?," already makes it clear that you know you would not act to save your fellow woman or man. No one knows, but we are the stories we tell, and if we continue to tell ourselves, "who knows?" we will be cetain not to act. If we continue to tell ourselves that when others are faced with death we will do our best to act with courage, the likelihood of us acting grows proportionately.

Ms. Timson asks, "Is it really so odd that no one was willing to disobey a crazed guy who fired a shot at the ceiling before he ordered them around?" Yes, it is really so odd, because he is a crazed guy, not to be trusted, and the best thing to do is not put your life in the crazed guy's hands but to act. The comment pages here make Steyn's point: Canadian passivity in the face of evil is now pathological, and it is seen as a virtue.

Posted 08/04/09 at 9:21 AM EDT

ginny smith from Canada writes: John Samuel from the USA writes that Canadian passivity is ..seen as a virtue. However, in most cases of this sort - around the wester world - the majority follow the directives of the person with the gun. I can think of only two exceptions: one professor at Virginia Tech, who died because he chose to stay with his students, and a Canadian man who foiled an apparent attack on Jacques Chirac a number of years ago. Why should the teachers and men who left the classroom be made to feel guilty? They did what they were capable of doing at that very moment in their lives. And that is all we can ask of anyone.

As for the idea that 'acting' somehow allows you not to be controlled by a deranged individual, well, good luck with that.
Posted 08/04/09 at 9:32 AM EDT
Cut The Crap from Canada writes: This same thing happens around the world in countless armed robberies and other criminal activities, in the 911 airplanes, in natural disasters and accidents. There's nothing uniquely Canadian about this single incident.

Sometimes heroes emerge in crisis and sometimes they don't. No heroe emerged at this incident. That's about as much as you can conclude.

If this incident had been diffused by police without injury, all the commentators would be praising all the participants for keeping cool heads and would be using this incident to "prove" that doing nothing is best.

Posted 08/04/09 at 9:35 AM EDT

Chris Edwards from Canada writes:

John Samuel, you've got to be kidding. "We are the stories we tell"? Obviously you've never met anybody who lies or exaggerates to try to convice themselves and others they are greater than their truth.

If you're still waiting to meet one, look in the mirror, and before you purport to call Canadians passive or cowardly, check out Apu's post above and take a hard look at your neighbours in St. Paul.

Posted 08/04/09 at 9:43 AM EDT

Deb Lee from Saskatoon, Canada writes:

A link to Steyn's article should have been provided so that people could judge for themselves what Steyn wrote, and in what context. I ahve long been concerned that the Polythechnique mass murder/ terrorist attack has been appropriated by those with a politically-correct agenda to attack men and traditional Canadian society, while studiously ignoring the real causes.
Posted 08/04/09 at 9:48 AM EDT

Chris Edwards from Canada writes:

Ms. Timson asks, "Is it really so odd that no one was willing to disobey a crazed guy who fired a shot at the ceiling before he ordered them around?" Yes, it is really so odd, because he is a crazed guy, not to be trusted, and the best thing to do is not put your life in the crazed guy's hands but to act. "

What I find odd are the delusions of grandeur you obviously enjoy. I think the only thing you can "trust" is that you'd be the first one stone dead if you "acted" out your Sgt. Rock fantasies with a lunatic holding an AR-15 standing in front of you.

And you'd likely convince him to take everyone else down with you.

But why not double the body count? It's the American way...


Posted 08/04/09 at 10:03 AM EDT

N Dawg from Canada writes:

John Samuel from St. Paul, United States writes: Canadian passivity in the face of evil is now pathological, and it is seen as a virtue.
***
What an absurd thing to say. If you are feeling so heroic today, why don't you go to Darfur?

Posted 08/04/09 at 10:12 AM EDT

Mark S from Toronto, Canada writes:

JP is right. While Lepine was baptized as a child, he was raised under the influence of his Muslim father who taught him that women were useless and to be disrespected and reportedly beat his mother on numerous occasions.

Lepine's name until the age of 18 (when he changed it) was Gamil Rodrigue Gharbi. That's a story you rarely, if ever hear. I'm sure if he was a Christian fundamentalist, it'd be shouted from the rooftops.

Posted 08/04/09 at 11:06 AM EDT

Shades of Grey from Whitehorse, Canada writes:

Here's a link to Mark Steyn's opinion piece: http://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/article.jsp?content=20060109118922118922

Posted 08/04/09 at 11:59 AM EDT


R L from Edmonton, Canada writes:

to sue, regarding the humanism and feminism issues, yes, each of us has certain rights and freedoms.
Regarding acting in the face of evil, or reacting as it may be, because its now later, and the evil is present, instead of being stopped at an earlier stage. My view is that I and my children are prepared to do something.
I don't like the idea of ducking in the closet and hiding. But thats me! Two of my children and I have the ability to defend ourselves. How successfully, depends on the situation. But we have also been trained that talk is the first option, running the second.

My wife has had a gun held to her head, while the robbers stole the cash from her parents store. She kept talking and survived.

We look at these indiscriminate deaths as a focus point but daily there are events that occur from simple bullying to theft to stabbings.




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