On December 6th, 1989, some asshole nobody took the lives of 14 women, including 13 sciences students at the Ecole Polytechnique, who each had aspirations of realizing their potential to change the world for the better.
After failing to earn admission to the school, the asshole seems to have decided that women were to blame for the increased competition and that this was unfair. The asshole asked his targets whether they were feminists. One of the women, Nathalie Provost, said, “Look, we are just women studying engineering, not necessarily feminists ready to march on the streets to shout we are against men, just students intent on leading a normal life.” To which the asshole replied: “You’re women, you’re going to be engineers. You’re all a bunch of feminists. I hate feminists.” And then he started shooting.
I was born in June of the same year as the massacre, and so the anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre always feels like a kind of sad birthday – a yearly reminder of the world that I was born into: a world without the women that asshole took away from all of us.
Today I want to honour one of these women: Anne-Marie Edward.
Anne-Marie Edward was a clever and energetic young woman studying chemical engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique. She was busy, playing cribbage, chess, and volunteering in her school government. She was particularly known, however, for her love of extreme sports, including baseball, diving, kayaking, and soccer, but particularly skiing. She was buried in her ski team jacket, only 2 months after her 21st birthday. [Sources: CBC / Montreal Gazette]
I’m not into sports, but she seems like she would have been the most fun; exploring her intellectual potential while also making the most of life with a million hobbies, always going on new adventures and learning new skills. She was murdered because she was exceptional; and, whether she considered herself a feminist or not, she’s a martyr for the right of women to live their lives to the fullest.
Today and every day, women pay tribute to Anne-Marie, and the other victims of the polytechnique massacre, by fearlessly and unapologetically pursuing excellence.
Posted in: Progress