I also don't like the fact that it is gender based criticism. Men shouldn't be held to higher heroic standards than women. I don't know what I would have done in their shoes, but I like to think I'd be pitied or criticized equally.
Finally, to Sue McPherson, I could care less about Marc Lepine's reasons. I don't even care if his career aspirations were thwarted because his opportunities were allegedly diminished by women - I find this hard to believe. It was more likely due to his lack of abilities. Hitler blamed Jews for his misfortunes. Lepine likewise was a loser who would have blamed anyone, anything for his lack of success. He was a mad man who just happened to fixate on women.
"Passengers on United 93 showed spine." True - but only after one of them received a call on his cell telling him about the Twin Towers. Before that, they let a guy with a boxcutter take over the jet. Without that cell call, they'd have still been in their seats. "Brave" isn't the same as "nothing to lose".
"The Jewish Shot Putter showed spine." True - but by your measure of spine, I guess six million other Jews didn't.
Liviu Librescu was a Jew who survived the Holocaust and he heard gunshots outside his class, which served as some warning. Was he conditioned by his experiences, or making up for his own karmic deficit as a survivor? Don't know. Should his students have stayed and died with him to show THEY had spine? Would have rendered his gesture pretty meaningless.
All the anonymous tough talk in the world doesn't prove YOU have any spine at all - just judgment.
Posted 09/04/09 at 3:25 PM EDT
Chris Edwards from Canada writes:
I suppose Don Butler fancies that he'd go running back into the room once the shooting started.
That would be suicide, not heroism. One more body for the body count and nothing more.
No layperson can train for something like that. In the grand scheme of things, it makes about as much sense as continuing to have duck and cover drills in case of nuclear attack.
Posted 09/04/09 at 3:29 PM EDT
Tamar Eylon from Vancouver, Canada writes:
As a member of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter I have been hosting a feminist film festival as part of an annual public education event on the Montreal Massacre. To debate and question and regret men’s passivity when it comes to ending violence against women is a topic worth discussing. Cowardice in the face of a shot gun I can very much understand. But most violence against women is rape and wife assault. My apprehension comes from the lack of consult with the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers, a national anti-violence group women’s group. Neither was Lee Lakeman, a feminist frontline worker at the time of the massacre who wrote ‘Women, Violence and the Montreal Massacre’ as a result. Knowing some of the feminists from Quebec would lead me to believe that they were not consulted and if they were their analysis ignored. Lepine was politically motivate and had a list of women he wanted dead including other pioneering women as well as a transition house worker. It was the defense of feminists that was so needed then and still needed now as the backlash of on women’s equality seeking groups threatens to erode our hard won gains. The filmmaker erases the feminist organizing and feminist resistance to violence against women before and after the massacre including Sylvie Gagnon’s own analysis as articulated in NFB’s short documentary ‘After the Montreal Massacre’. I have had to live with knowing about the massacre, but now I live with terribly vivid and unnecessary images disconnected from the source of which I draw hope to transform our world – feminist resistance.
Posted 09/04/09 at 4:02 PM EDT
Clear Thinker from Canada writes:
When you make cowardice the default position you end up with a nation of cowards. Someone more literate than I wrote that and it sums up the leftist proclivity for pacifism in the face of any potential dangerous situation. Laying down and waiting for the shooter to run out of bullets, praying he does before he reaches you, is no way to live.
Posted 09/04/09 at 4:39 PM EDT
Margo Weiss from Canada writes:
Sue, I have been following the thread and have some strong dissidence about what you blame as the ‘fault’ of feminists taking men’s place in a traditionally male occupation. In ancient times, (pre-dark ages or ‘the interruption’) mostly men, but some women were leading discoverers of science and advancement in their societies. Women have been honoured for parliamentary roles, poetry, art, philosophy, psychology, mathematics and chemistry. Granted, those were the privileged upper class (where the majority of male contributors to present society also came from). Didn’t the industrial age change the focus of work into factories and mines rather than farms? Haven’t ‘lower class’ women always had to work outside the home? Did historical roles of women as home-based food makers, animal raisers, cleaners, weavers, etc. happen because women could do those jobs while pregnant, nursing, raising children? Wasn’t it the Second World War that prompted/forced the government into hiring women to run the factories, while the men went off to fight and die therefore irreversibly change modern society? Could you explain “Feminism hasn't resulted in the less capable men and women not getting the jobs they deserve/expected. It has resulted in more middle class women taking their places alongside middle class men in the best jobs.” If I erase the double negative, you are saying that “Feminism has resulted in the less capable men and women getting the jobs they deserve/expect.” Well, I can agree with the “jobs they deserve” part but refuse to blame any societal factor on failing to deliver what any one individual “expects” out of life. Does this mean that middle class women should step aside to let lower class men get the “best” jobs? You “see the injustice that Mark Lepine must have experienced”?? It amazes me that you empower modern ‘feminists’ for such a back-lash as the Polytechnique when there are so much larger trends happening in society.
Posted 09/04/09 at 9:57 PM EDT
Sue McPherson, from Oshawa, Canada writes:
More distortions of truth:(1) Margo Weiss: When I say, in my writing, that Marc Lepine 'blamed' feminists, I say it because that is what we have been told by feminists and the media. It is not me who ‘blames’ feminists for Marc Lepine's actions. We need to get past blame. But I do believe feminists should try and take some responsibility for the impact of feminism on society, such as the increasing middle class double-career families, on the one hand, and the men and women who get left behind with no career and no fulfilment in life. And also - nothing to do with feminism - what I see is that the individual with the growing career and reputation gets to do more and more, sometimes with no real knowledge. As an example, my field is sociology and women's studies. I am not able to even gain meaningful volunteer work, such as interviewing UWO alumni about their lives in relation to founder's day. I provided the ideas to the organizational committee, and left out in the cold. The usual result is that some woman with a well-placed husband will get to do the work I trained for. (2) Tamar Eylon: Thanks for making it clear that "most violence against women is rape and wife assault." Based on that revelation (which I have tried many times to get people to hear) we would have to surmise that holding up Marc Lepine as an example of violence against women has been more than a bit unfair. the violence he committed was about work and careers, nothing to do with a personal relationship. (3) Vesper Lynd: There is a difference attacking people from a position of powerless (as Marc Lepine did) or attacking tem from a position of power (as Hitler did). Be wary of that analogy. It's more like feminists had the power, in this case, leaving Marc Lepine helpless, feeling that he had no other way of resolving his difficulties with feminists and the men who supported them. It doesn't make what he did right, but it is the other side of the story.
Posted 11/04/09 at 8:41 AM EDT