Posted by: kaleidophonic | December 6, 2011

Remembering Polytechnique: This is what a feminist sounds like

Today is the 22nd anniversary of a tragic event in Canadian history.

On this day in 1989 a gunman walked into Montréal’s Ecole Polytechnique and turned his gun against over twenty women (and one man), most of whom were studying engineering – a traditionally male-dominated profession. Marc Lépine killed 14 women that day, because, in his words, they were feminists.

Although I was only a kid at the time, I remember this event. My family had recently moved away from Montréal, so the television scenes of ambulances struck home in a way that perhaps other televised tragedies didn’t. I’m not sure, at that age, if I really understood that this was a crime motivated by gender politics. But I remember.

In 2009, during my days at CFRC, my Sunday night show happened to fall on the same night as the massacre’s 20th anniversary, now remembered in Canada as a day of remembrance and action against violence against women. So I used the opportunity to turn the tables on the misogynists with an all-female line-up, dubbing it This is What a Feminist Sounds Like.

So if you’d like to hear some girl-power and a bit of discussion about the presence and role of women in the music industry, check it out. Feat. Helen Reddy, Wanda Jackson, Buffy Sainte Marie, Nina Simone and many more.

Thanks for listening. Catch you again in a few days.

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