From Marc Lepine to Hiram Monserrate

by matttbastard

This was the first thing I read today, 20 years after the violent massacre of 14 young women (because they were women):

New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate, one of the Democrats who helped “defend traditional marriage” in the New York Senate last week by voting against a bill that would have made same-sex marriage legal in the Empire State, was sentenced to 250 hours of community service. 52 weeks of domestic abuse counseling and three years of probation, on an assault conviction stemming from a December 2008 incident where he “accidentally” slashed his girlfriends face while beating the crap out of her after he dragged her through the lobby of his Queens apartment building.

Prosecutors had said that Monserrate, an ex-Marine, lashed out at his domestic partner, Karla Giraldo, with a glass in a fit of rage after he found another man’s business card in her purse. The glass broke against her face, cutting her near her left eye down to her skull and leaving a lasting scar.

Monserrate had been originally charged with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of assault after cutting Giraldo’s face during a bitter argument in his apartment on Dec. 19, 2008. However, in October, New York William M. Erlbaum, who presided over his trial, acquitted him on the two felony assault charges, which carried a mandatory sentence of seven years in prison and would have forced him to forfeit his Senate seat.

Dawg:

Has anything really changed since the now-disbanded Canadian Airborne Regiment held a mess dinner to honour Marc Lepine?* I would like to believe so. I would like to think that these annual memorials and the respectful newspaper editorials and the gentle men who wear white ribbons are making a difference.

But the fact that so many still appear to have trouble with woman-hatred–trying to wish it away, reduce its significance, confine its existence to a “lone madman,” blame it on a nonexistent Muslim bringing-up, or even, on the fringes, excuse it, tells me that we have much, much further to go. Violence against women continues to flourish, including mass murder. Still think Marc Lepine was alone?

Indeed, we still have miles to go in this struggle. April Reign charts the course we need to take:

This year as you remember and mourn the loss of 14 of our sisters remember also the words of Joe Hill; Don’t Mourn, Organize!

Help Equal Voice to get more women elected, fight for strong gun control, support women’s reproductive choice, donate to a local shelter, help a woman or a young girl learn tech skills or use those skills to help others.

In the words of Emma Goldman;
“No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… revolution is but thought carried into action.”

Let’s get active.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

December 6th.

by matttbastard

We remember, even if they choose to forget.

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Long Gun Registry Going Down? Happy Anniversary From Canada’s 40th Parliament.

by matttbastard

Shorter 164 members of Parliament to the 14 victims of the 1989 École Polytechnique Massacre (and, by extension, every woman in Canada):

Drop dead. Again.

Via Devin Johnston, Dennis Gruending connects the blood-red dots that weave together antipathy for the gun registry and willful indifference towards deadly misogyny:

It is ironic, to say the least, that this vote occurred just a few weeks prior to the 20th anniversary of the December 6th Montreal massacre, when Marc Lepine mowed down 14 young women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal with a semi-automatic weapon. Although this bill will not touch the ban on handguns, it will, if it becomes law, eliminate the requirement to register the type of people-hunting firearm that Lepine used in 1989. It was that gruesome killing which prompted the then-Liberal government of Jean Chretien to pass the Firearms Act in 1995, requiring gun owners to obtain permits and to register their guns.

[…]

My experience in four election campaigns was that you got nowhere with people opposed to the gun registry if you said that the Montreal massacre was a reason why firearms should be registered. That argument left them cold. There was rarely, if ever, any acknowledgement or sympathy expressed for Marc Lepine’s victims.

Fauxggrieved rural voters > women. Duh.

The more things change…

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

12.06.89

by matttbastard

Today isn’t about pro or anti coalition rallies, the respective leadership abilities of Stephane Dion vs. Stephen Harper, partisanship, or unelected heads of state. Nor is it about Western alienation, Quebec separatism, parliamentary democracy, or regional polarization. Today isn’t even about the stumbling global economy (although God knows the latest job numbers are hard to put out of mind for long).

Today is about them:

montrealmassacre.jpg

(Click image for more on the Montreal Massacre)

Lest we forget.

Update: More posts commemorating the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women:

– skdadl @ POGGE

– mirabile dictu

the regina mom

Shameless

Womanist Musings

A Secret Chord

Tattered Sleeve

The Stormy Days of March

Hullabaloos

One Woman, One Blog (and here)

– La Revue Gauche

Update 2 12.07: More:

unrepentant old hippie

Politics ‘n’ Poetry

Update 3: And more:

Lilith Attack

Whileaway North

Cara @ The Curvature (x-posted @ Feministe)

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Why ‘Backlash’ Should Be Required Reading

by matttbastard

I really didn’t want to politicize this day. Respectful National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women statements have been released by the NDP, Grits and Bloc. Uncle Steve and Co., on the other hand, have chosen to draft a “statement” (as of this writing not yet posted to the SWC website) that reads like an election-year style stump speech. 107 words on the Montreal Massacre; 205 spent self-righteously shilling partisan Conservative policy initiatives.

Classy.

There is also, however, this steaming, stinking load of contrarian horseshit from Barbara Kay, published in yesterday’s National Post, which is…well, good fucking God:

[T]he Canadian public never seems to weary of the annual Dec. 6 tribute to the 1989 Montreal Polytechnique shooting massacre of 14 women. Indeed, 12/6’s branding power burgeons with every anniversary: The theme of violence against women dominates the media; new physical memorials are constructed; additional programs decrying domestic violence against women are entrenched in school curricula; masses of white ribbons are distributed; more stringent gun control is more strenuously urged. Their cumulative effect is to link all Canadian men to a global conspiracy against women of jihadist proportions.

[…]

Public tributes to the fallen can bring out the best or the worst in our national character. We see the best in our beautiful Remembrance Day ceremonies, formulated in an era of national pride and cultural confidence, when male heroism was considered a quality deserving of public recognition. But now, a “grandfathered” Nov. 11 is the only day of the year when feminist ideologues refrain from overt misandry.

We see the worst on Dec. 6, a day when truly one may reasonably ask, “doesn’t grieving … have a shelf life?” We should indeed wind it down, for it is as unethical to denounce an entire gender for an individual’s behaviour as we all acknowledge it would be in the case of a race or religion.

[…]

Commemorative ceremonies serve an edifying purpose when they facilitate a unifying rite of formal mourning for national tragedies, ceremonies that strengthen collective resolve to combat real, not perceived threats. Unifying is the key word: If public ceremonies divide instead of uniting the citizenry, they demoralize rather than edify the nation.

We should not fund grief rituals that nurture conspiracy theories and phobias. The 12/6 tribute has become a propaganda mill for both. It is high time we turned our attention and public funds to worthier commemorative projects. How is it that we have yet to inaugurate a yearly ceremony for the 25 Canadians who died in the Trade Towers?

The relative indifference displayed by Kay’s ideological brethren in Parliament, taken in context with their record with regards to women’s issues, leads one to believe that her misogynistic, hate-saturated screed is, by proxy, their true December 6th statement.

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In Memoriam

by matttbastard

montrealmassacre.jpg

“Women are still being killed simply for being women, for asserting their rights, or simply for being there.”

On December 6th, 1921, Canada elected its first female Member of Parliament, Agnes Macphail. 68 years later, in an act of gender-based terrorism, Marc Lepine brutally murdered 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. They were killed because they were women.

For asserting their rights; simply for being there.

Light a candle and remember: this isn’t mere history. This is real life, 24/7/365. Every day is December 6th; every day, women are still being killed for being women.

december-6.jpg

Update: Other December 6th posts from Scott Tribe, Leftdog, The Wheatsheaf, Larry Hubich, F-email Fightback, and Vanessa @ Feministing.

Update 2: More from skdadl @ pogge, Miss Vicky (h/t [and hugs for] skdadl), Politics’n’Poetry, Kenn Chaplin @ My journey with AIDS and Justice is a Woman with a Sword.

Update 3: I’m glad you remembered your camera this year, Kitteh.

Update 4: Even more from JJ and pale @ ACR.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers