Lépine was clear, “Women to one side. You are all feminists, I hate feminists,” he shouted. One of the young survivors, Natalie, tells reporters how she pleaded at the time, “We are only women in engineering who want to live a normal life.” She is unaware she had risen above her station. But her attacker, Lépine, was sure that it was not yet normal for Canadian women to become engineers.
The feminist is the woman who is there not because she is his woman, but because she is the sister of the woman he is being a weapon against. Feminism exists so that no woman ever has to face her oppressor in a vacuum, alone. It exists to break down the privacy in which men rape, beat, and kill women. What I am saying is that every one of us has the responsibility to be the woman [that prick] wanted to murder. We need to live with that honor, that courage. We need to put fear aside. We need to endure. We need to create. We need to resist, and we need to stop dedicating the other 364 days of the year to forgetting everything we know. We need to remember every day, not only on December 6. We need to consecrate our lives to what we know and to our resistance to the male power used against us.
Twenty-five years later, as I re-evaluate my stories and with the benefit of analysis of the coverage that massacre spawned, I see how journalists— male and female producers, news directors, reporters, anchors — subtly changed the meaning of the tragedy to one that the public would get behind, silencing so-called “angry feminists.