The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 75.0°F | A Few Clouds

Montreal murders resulted from misogyny

I would first like to thank the women of the Association for Women Students for sponsoring the memorial on Friday, Dec. 9, for the women murdered and severely injured at the University of Montreal on the previous Wednesday.

Without neglecting the pain, suffering and the grieving that families of these women have gone through, I would like to comment on the letter in The Tech by Allen Downey G ["Montreal shooting reveals society's cowardice," Dec. 12]. This premeditated act was directed specifically against women. It was not a random shooting at a Wendy's or McDonald's. (If it were, the media would have given it much better coverage, and I have a feeling that Downey would not have much difficulty with the coverage.) The perpetrator was a misogynist; he was clear on his intent. Misogyny is present in our culture everywhere. His behavior fell on the extreme end of the continuum of woman hating. To explain him away as some psychopath is weak and naive. This argument shows an unwillingness on one man's part to listen with an open mind to what the feminist movement has been saying for a long time.

Then Downey has the gall to blame the women for their own deaths and says that there are worthy causes for which to die. He may think that the 58,000 United States servicepeople who died during the 17-year period of the war in Vietnam died for a worthy cause. Does he know that, according to DC Men Against Rape, 51,000 women were killed by their male partners (i.e. husbands, lovers, boyfriends, etc.) during the same 17-year period? These 51,000 women and the women killed since the end of the war cannot be blamed for their own deaths. Only those who killed them bear responsibility.

Downey understands the men's decision to leave and does not understand why the women "were unable to raise a finger against a man they knew would kill them." Downey's assumptions are not that clear to me. If I were up against an armed man as these women and men were, I cannot guess what I would do. Nor can I guess what thoughts were going through the victims' and survivors' heads in Montreal.

James Schaaf->

Visiting Research Associate->