Today I read a poem. I know what you're thinking (or maybe not...): A poetry reading--for serious? No, in fact, I was not reading a poem of my own, and I was not nearly as elegant or intellectual as the title evokes.
Today, December 6th, 2009, is the twentieth anniversary of the 'Montreal Massacre'. Fourteen women were killed at Ecole Polytechnique by Mark Lepine, simply because they were women, and labeled as Feminists. I consider myself to be something of a feminist, and I find this whole idea of violence against women appalling. I know, especially after tonight, that it's a major problem in our world today. The part that I find appalling, is that it exists at all.
There were six speakers, including two women representing various First Nations organizations, our local MLA and MP, and a woman who had been attacked herself. Then a candle light vigil took place, in which fourteen people placed a rose on the table, read aloud the name of one of the fourteen women, and lit a candle, followed by a moment of silence. I read my poem, far too hurriedly, and finally we watched a brief slide show.
The whole event has left me with a feeling of tension, activism, weakness and strength all at once. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go do some homework, and think about where I was twenty years ago today. Sure, I wasn't technically alive yet, or was I? I still feel deeply affected by it, and all other acts of violence against women, men, animals, people, nations, the environment... We really are a species that likes to hurt.