Important Dates

September 15, 2009

So September 11th came and went, along with the usual mix of discussions about it. The combination of remembering those who died and a call to arms agaisnt ‘those responsible’ led me to ponder the impact of tragedies.

I suppose it isn’t the direct impact I am thinking of, but rather the way those tragedies are used in the time following the tragedy.

Start with December 6th,  1989 when Marc Lepine killed fourteen women in Montreal. He left behind a note explaining his hatred of women. At first this was held up as showing the attitudes of men towards women in society.

I was appalled. How can one person, clearly not in sound mind, represent the attitudes of all men… including me! This was a horrible tragedy, but really was not ‘about’ women, any more than you can say it was ‘about’ university students. BUT…

The anniversary of the massacre is being used to remind people ABOUT the problem of violence against women, which DOES exist and NEEDS to be addressed. So whether I agreed with the initial reaction, it is being used for a positive purpose. Now I am a supporter of the Dec.6th memorializing. It is a good way to use a tragedy to try and improve our world.

September 11th is a whole different situation. Horrible, HORRIBLE tragedy. There is no denying that. I remember the day vividly and I remember my reaction that caused me to question whether I could honestly call myself a pacifist anymore.

Now the anniversary is used to remember those who died… and rally people to continue the fight against people who may or may not (likely not) have had anything to do with the attacks.

To me, that is just sad. The date COULD be used to try and mend fences in a world that continually uses violence and oppression as diplomatic tools. Instead it is used to deepen the problems that led to the attacks in the first place.

As I said, I find it sad.