This is not just a blog about clothes; it’s also a blog about women. December 6th is National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada, in commemoration of the 14 women who were murdered 21 years ago at École Polytechnique in Montréal by a misogynist who blamed feminists for his problems. Not much is said about this tragedy these days; I spent a good chunk of my lunch hour reading newspapers both national and regional, and was disheartened at how hard I had to look for a passing mention of remembrance. December 6th is a day of resolve for me: I work in a very male-dominated field, and unapologetically call myself a feminist; had I been there, I would’ve been among the women Lépine was looking to silence. I try to spend each December 6th working and studying, making a space for myself that people like him would forbid me from making. I worked on a simulation I’m building, I advised some students about their upcoming final exam, and I got word from my old boss that two papers I helped author were just published. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished, and I am grateful to the women who’ve paved the way for me.
In an interesting coincidence, December 6th also marks the day that the first woman (Agnes McPhail) was elected to the House of Commons in Canadian Parliament. There’s a nice symmetry to that, I think: no mattered how hard some people will try, women will not be silenced.