QotD: “How I sanitized the feminist outrage over the Montreal massacre”

6 Dec

Anti-Porn Feminists

Today is the anniversary of the Montreal Polytechnique massacre.

A vigil to remember the Montreal Massacre in 2009 at Ottawa's Minto Park, Dec. 9, 2009. A vigil to remember the Montreal Massacre in 2009 at Ottawa’s Minto Park, Dec. 9, 2009.

I arrived in Montreal four hours after the killing was done.

Yellow tape wrapped l’École Polytechnique like a macabre Christmas present; surviving students gripped each other in numb disbelief.

I was 24, sent by the Toronto Star to write about the slaughter of female engineering students, all around my age; fourteen of them.

Looking back, I fear I sanitized the event of its feminist anger and then infantilized and diminished the victims, turning them from elite engineering students who’d fought for a place among men into teddy-bear loving daughters, sisters and girlfriends.

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 —…

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