december 6th

06Dec08

today is the national day of remembrance and action on violence against women.  19 years ago marc lepine went into ecole polytechnique in montreal and massacred 14 women, leaving a note justifying his misogynistic actions by listing reasons why feminists were man hating opportunists and also the names of more women he would also like to see dead.

we must remember: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Maria Klucznik, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault,  and Annie Turcotte.

but that is really not enough. i have mixed feelings about december 6th because the way it is framed by the media and also many of it’s supporters don’t really address the everyday systemic forms of violence that women and trans people face in canada. people see violence as incidences of physical brutality, but it is far more than just that. structural violence is killing and abusing marginalized communities every day. it is institutionalized racism and sexism that has allowed the canadian government and law enforcement to continually ignore over 500 missing or murdered native women. it is transphobia and cissexism that has denied trans people from receiving healthcare and crisis relief, and has allowed their harassment and murder to continue. it is heterosexism that causes lesbians to be 3xs more likely to face violence than straight women, and bisexual women to be 6xs more likely to face violence. [stat from a rainbow health ontario seminar.] it’s racism and classism that has led to the overrepresentation of poor black and native youth in canadian prisons, and their subsequent abuse in this fucked up system which has devastated the lives of many families. it is also racism, sexism, and nationalism that has led immigration officials to target women’s shelters and community agencies in order to find non-status women who have come to canada to seek the refuge  and freedoms we so blatantly espouse, only to deport them. and it is sadly the apathy or complacency of the status quo that ignores all these forms of violence and will only take notice once privileged women are killed.

so yeah, december 6th. is a canadian state sanctioned day of remembrance of blatant forms of physical violence against women. which should be recognized, no doubt. but let us not forget all the women and families of marginalized communities who don’t have an official day of remembrance because they do not fit within the status quo.

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