I have heard it before and I will hear it again:

  • “Why is it so important to remember December 6th?”
  • “Don’t you think you are wasting your time?”
  • “You know, men have violence done against them too and they don’t get a day.”
  • “Violence happens all the time, you’re just making women out to be victims and men to be bad guys.

Remembering December 6th is very important because we need to recall that on this day a man entered École Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and murdered 14 women because they were women.  We need to remember that the majority of violence that is inflicted on women is perpetrated by men.  We need to recongize that this a problem on epidemic proportions. And we need to know that all of us have the ability to find ways to stop this from happening.

December 6th is not about man-bashing or victimhood, it is about bringing awareness to everyone about the culture of violence that we live in everyday.  Men perpetrate much of this violence… against women… against children… and against other men.  Violence against women is not something to be defined as a “women’s issue” because this assumes that women, those who are having violence inflicted upon them, are suppose to be the ones to stop it.  This is a men’s issue and men need to become aware of this.  That is why it is so great to have things like the White Ribbon Campaign where men stand in solidarity and actively work to end violence.

The way to end violence is not by ignoring it but by point it out and declaring it to be unacceptable in a society that we deem free and equal.  How can we all be free and equal while overwhelmingly one group is violating the safety and well-being of another?  I’m sure we could forget about the Montreal Massacre Memorials that are held annually, we could turn our backs to women who have experienced violence and tell them that it’s better just to forget that violence occurred and move on… but does this end violence?  I am fairly certain that by now, most of us have learned that when we have a problem, ignoring it does not make it go away, usually things become worse.  If this is the case, then we all need to pay close attention to the issues surrounding violence against women and make ourselves and others aware.

I encourage everyone (in Canada) to find out if there is a Montreal Massacre Memorial in your area this December 6th and to attend it.  For those in London, Ontario there is one happening in Victoria Park at 5pm on Saturday.  Also, get informed about how men can and need to help end violence.

Until the Violence Stops.