Thursday, December 06, 2007
December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. It commemorates the École Polytechnique Massacre in 1989, when 14 women were murdered by a bitter psychopath because they were women and were getting an education. Every year on this day, the director of UIC's Women in Science and Education program sends an email to remind us of the event: "The path you walk today was blazed by many brave women and men before you. Keep on moving forward."
I don't remember the event. I was a freshman in college, a biology major, but I lived in The Bubble and such news rarely reached us. Would I have been more or less likely to stay in the sciences then if I knew someone out there might hate me for it? I don't think the event would have made any difference to the 18-year-old me, a person I have long recognized as embarrassingly immature. The present me, however, feels defiance whenever my rights as a woman and a scientist are challenged. I will stay on my chosen path. Just try to stop me.