6 December 1989

Nineteen years ago today, a gunman killed fourteen women, most of them engineering students, at Montréal’s École Polytechnique. He had separated the men from the women in a classroom and opened fire on the women, and killed more women outside the classroom before killing himself. His suicide note was a hate-filled rant against women and feminists.

We have a day of remembrance so that we don’t forget to continue speaking out against hatred and violence, and to remind us that even though we’re better off than the pioneering female scientists of a hundred years ago or more, things still aren’t perfect.

I remember being surprised that that kind of misogyny still existed in my part of the world. I was a twelve-year-old girl thinking about someday being a scientist, and until then I had taken it for granted that I would be able to go to school in whatever field I chose and nobody would object.

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