Measuring Up

Found this on the Royal Saskatchewan Museum website. It offers a bit of info on the concept of an ecological footprint, and provides a rudimentary way to calculate your own. Here's the link here. Prepare to be shocked, I imagine, although in fairness to myself, my score was inflated somewhat by the fact I live alone. There's a world population counter on the site too. It's pretty shocking as well. Seven billion, here we come!

Sunday Sermon: Unhappy Anniversary

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Montreal massacre. Twenty years since a disturbed hater took his insane politics and a rifle to a Montreal school and murdered 14 female engineering students because his life was garbage and in his mad little brain it was somehow the fault of successful, independent women.

Twenty years later, and everything still sucks. (Toronto Star)

In some ways it sucks more, since the Conservative minority government has no idea what the hell it needs to do for women. Here's an article on that by Bernadette Wagner, which we published last year (reprinted on Rabble).


Twenty years ago I was a know-nothing volunteer at a student newspaper. On Dec. 6, 1989, the production night of the terms' last issue, we got the Canadian University Press wire story of the shooting. It was late, the paper was nearly done, and we decided not to run it. For the next month, the University of Manitoba's holiday edition newspaper sat in it's distribution stands shamefully free of any reference to the biggest story at a Canadian university in memory.


The thing is, this oversight is just typical. Every day women are menaced, threatened, frightened, hurt, abused and killed by their partners, co-workers, acquaintances and strangers. The scale of violence is so enormous we can't even see it right before our faces. And when we do give our attention to the horror we look at it as "isolated incidents" rather than seeing the bigger picture--that even now, in a time and place where many things are better, there is what amounts to an undeclared war on women.

This "can't see the forest for the trees" problem is what makes governments like our current awful Conservative one comfortable dismantling the programs and protections women need, from attacks on Status of Women to killing national day care to wrecking the firearm registry to undermining reproductive rights. The way right-wingers see things, there are no patterns or trends, only individual situations. It's deranged. But I'm getting off topic.

The point is, we as a society have problems. And pretending that we don't or that they're all behind us does not help us move forward.

I'll wrap up by sharing something I realized today. I have a friend who's an engineer. I've never thought of this friend as an engineer--I think of her as a fun pal, a comrade in restaurant adventures, a travelling companion to NHL games and my second-most despised arch-enemy in our hockey pool. (Her partner, code-name "Flipper", remains villain #1.)

But if my friend was older, and if she'd gone to a different school to be an engineer, I might not have met her. She might have been shot. Because she was female, succeeding at something some people still think women shouldn't be allowed to do.

Kind of brought it home today.

Reginans are invited to attend a candlelight vigil today with special focus on Bill C-391, which would scrap the federal long gun registry. The vigil starts at 4:00 at Conservative MP Ray Boughan's office, 2631 28th Ave. More information here.

Je m'en souviens trop...

20 years later and I still feel like crying.

"Au-dela du 6 decembre" is a firsthand doc of the experience, filmed in 1991.

Other coverage:

CTV Montreal has a few good pieces on the anniversary, including a typical "Marc Lepine was crazy (but you can't blame him, can you?)" comment, as enraging now as it was then. I remember many men saying this at the time, or variants of it, in the days after the killings. Many men didn't. 20 years later and that divide is exactly where it was then.

It's time to put this thing to rest. It's unfortunate that 14 women had to lose their lives to a crazed killer. The gun registry has never deterred a killer and the gun registry will only determine after the fact if the killers had a gun. Harper was fully justified in redirecting $5 million from the administrative budget of Status of Women Canada, closing branch offices and ending funding for women's research and advocacy groups. Do such entities exist for men's rights? Advocacy groups do nothing except to espouse entitlement views. The research group are there to produce unfounded study after study and very often conflicting studies to support the advocacy groups!

We already have gender equality legislation and even more in the works!

The Sunday Edition had a great anniversary show in its second hour today. The audio for the show is posted on Monday.

The Globe and Mail on the Conservatives scrapping the gun registry. There are a few doozies there in the comments too, from men and women. Yikes.

Oh, and JohnInMtl?

Fuck off.

Pick of the Day: Cairo Time

A homegrown hit at this September's Toronto International Film Festival, Cairo Time is directed by Ruba Nadda and stars Patricia Clarkson as magazine editor named Juliette [insert reference to Shakespeare's most famous female star-crossed lover here] who journeys to Cairo to meet her husband Mark who works as a UN official in Gaza. When he's unexpectedly delayed, she seeks out the company of a former UN associate of her husband's named Tareq (Alexander Siddig) who now runs a coffeeshop in Cairo. Together, they explore the ancient and modern wonders of this teeming, and exquisitely beautiful, Egyptian city of 15 million.

Cairo Time screens tonight at the RPL theatre at 9 p.m. Here's the trailer. (YouTube) And if you're in the mood for a double-bill, The Burning Plain runs at 7 p.m. Directed by Guillermo Arriaga (who was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for Babel) it stars Charlize Theron as a beautiful but aloof restaurant manager who must confront her sexually charged past when visited by a young stranger from Mexico. Here's the trailer for it. (YouTube)