The Fatal Grudge
?For I have decided to send Ad Patres[Spanish for ?to the fathers?] the feminists who have ruined my life.?
-Marc Lepine, suicide note.
It was the early evening of December 6, 1989; just nineteen day?s before Christmas. The students of Montreal?s Ecole Polytechnique were just finishing their classes when a stranger walked into the engineering building. Like a sadistic Santa he carried a Sturm Ruger Mini-14 automatic rifle, knives and bandoleers of ammunition. The stranger was Marc Lepine. At the end of the day he would be dead along with 14 women; leaving a suicide note blaming feminists for his actions. Marc Lepine?s brutal actions are a shocking reality check of the growing number of savage acts done by men towards women.
There has always been a difference between men and women and how both treat each other. You could say the two genders secretly hold a grudge against one another. This grudge will on occasion surface and cause conflict between the two; either in a peaceful matter or violent outburst. What causes this resentment? In the women?s case many feel they do not have the same privileges that men have. On the other hand, some men say that women are now stealing the privileges which were hard enough to attain while competing with their own gender. Stevie Cameron also recognises this and states ?Sharing power is not easy for anyone and men do not find it easy to share among themselves, much less with a group of equally talented, able women.? (2) This tension is then the hotbed from which these acts of violence must originate from.
Women are considered by most men to be less physically inclined. Is this true? In the past men have always been the symbols of strength and fortitude, while the women represented the more gentler and timid qualities. This unfair outlook is alive and well in today?s day and age. Although it?s not nearly supported as strongly as it once was it still sits in our subconscious, dictating our actions as a society. For instance, if you took a 18 year old boy and a 18 year old girl, they have a very different set of rules to follow. These rules are set by their parents who make them based on the previous presumptions. So the girl will find it unfair that the boy, who is considered her equal, can go where he wants, when he wants. While she must be careful not to take the same risks which the boy is allowed. Stevie Cameron answers the question by saying ?...we [mothers] say; boys get attacked too. But boys are not targets for men the way girls are...? (2) This ?women are weak? outlook is attracting male violence to women, like wolves to a wounded animal.
Yet what is it that makes men follow through with these heinous acts; the culprit is simply male pride. Pride is a thing that most men take to heart, some too much to heart. A male will protect his pride with the same ferocity of a cornered animal. Because of this some males never really accept their mistakes, finding it easier to lay the blame on something they can vent their frustrations on. What better target then those weak, privilege stealing women.This dangerous attitude can be seen in Marc Lepine?s suicide letter ?...the feminists always have a talent for enraging me. They want to retain the advantages of being a women (e.g. cheaper insurance, extended maternity leave) while trying to grab those of men.? This disturbing display of hatred ironically originates from Marc not being able to deal with his own mistakes; finding it easier to blame women. This false sense of security that many men find easy to fall into is what drives them to actually commit these atrocities against women.
In retrospective of Marc Lepine?s fatal December visit, it is fair to say that violence towards women is a growing problem in our society. If another massacre is to be prevented this problem should be dealt with in the open, not shunned or be ignored. Once our society truly recognise that women are equal to men, can this issue finally be solved. Montreal writer, Diana Bronson drives this point