Why I almost didn’t write a post for White Ribbon Day this year

Because the neverending pushback against it year after year after year had very almost ground me down, to the point where I was avoiding reading WRD posts so that I wouldn’t have to see the comments. This post by Jane Gilmore at King’s Tribune (via Clementine Ford’s discussion of it on her FB timeline) made me decide to post after all.

It comes from all sides and all of it demands a response because what do you become if you do walk past the standard you won’t accept?

Interpersonal violence (IPV) is the standard we should not accept, and that standard is one that we should never walk past, no matter who is perpetrating it. On White Ribbon Day we specifically remember the women who were targeted, 10 wounded and 14 killed by a man in 1989 at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, precisely because they were women studying for a professions that he believed should be reserved for men, and men wearing the white ribbon ask other men to pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

That this day focusses on this particular pattern of male violence against women does not mean that other patterns of interpersonal violence  will not be addressed on other days by other campaigns.  They should be, and they are.  White Ribbon Day does not take a single thing away from those other campaigns, and those who want to make sure that other forms of IPV are not overlooked could be more usefully expending their energy by simply linking to those other campaigns so that more people know about them instead of objecting that White Ribbon Day exists at all.

Remembering the victims of Marc Lépine

Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

Categories: crisis, culture wars, ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, history, social justice, violence

Tags: ,

3 replies

  1. Fairfax papers are running a horrible story from the London Telegraph which basically blames Nigella Lawson for her husband being abusive.

    • Mindy, that story is a real shocker. The allegations against Nigella seem to have extremely dodgy provenance, and even if true then while they might explain her husband getting angry about the behaviour, that’s still no excuse for getting physically violent.

  2. They were in all the Brit papers yesterday (and today of course). Thing is, he’s somehow simultaneously claiming that he didn’t know – enough that he had to decide whether to believe the women who made the accusation – and that it was what they were arguing about that day months before. And no one is calling him on the contradiction.

%d bloggers like this: