In 1989, A Man Murdered 14 Women At A Canadian School. Here's The Word He Yelled At Them First.

That tragic day wasn't random. It was about something much bigger.

On Dec. 6, 1989, a man grabbed his rifle and walked into a Montreal university. He applied to the school twice but was denied for lacking the required courses. He blamed affirmative action and feminists for wanting "male" jobs like engineering.


He premeditatively targeted an engineering class. In a cowardly move, he used his gun to order the male students to leave and the women to stay.

It was very rare for women to major in engineering in 1989. They had bright futures and were leading the way for women in science. The killer objectified them as "feminists who were ruining his life."

He screamed "I hate feminists" ... then shot all the women in the classroom. He continued his rampage through the school. The Montreal Massacre isn't just some random act of violence — it's a symptom of a larger societal acceptance of violence against women. The 14 murdered women were victims of a hate crime.

The "White Ribbon Campaign" is a movement formed by men in Canada in response to the Montreal Massacre. The focus of the campaign is to encourage boys and men to speak up against male violence towards women. There are now over 55 countries involved in the campaign, which peaks annually between Nov. 25 and Dec. 10.

Dec. 6 is Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The YWCA's original "Rose Campaign" was initially launched to commemorate the 14 murdered women. Now, the campaign also works year-round to raise awareness of and prevent violence against women.

The killer didn't deter women or men from being feminists. In fact, prominent Canadian feminists such as Laurie Petrou and Naomi Klein cite the misogynist massacre as the reason they got involved in the women's rights movement.

It might seem trivial to praise Beyoncé or Emma Watson or Taylor Swift for proclaiming to be feminists, but given how scary it can be for a feminist — the creator of the video blog "Feminist Frequency" had to cancel a speaking engagement after she was threatened with a "Montreal-style" massacre — it's a very big deal indeed.

Would we rather have people become feminists because we stood by and let this mindset result in the deaths of women and men, or would you rather Beyoncé say she's a feminist and have the modern feminist movement — which consists of people of all genders working together for gender equality — work toward solving this problem and preventing mass shootings?

A dramatic depiction of the Montreal Massacre in a clip from the film "Polytechnique" highlights why we must always remember the victims and continue to raise awareness of and prevent violence against women.

Warning: no graphic images, but the content is disturbing.

Now École Polytechnique — the school where the massacre took place — holds science camps for girls from disadvantaged communities through a nonprofit program called "Week of the White Rose." Currently, 18% of engineers in Canada are female. The sciences need to be more accepting of women in their field so young girls see science as an option for their future. Here's the inspiring story:

Everybody has the right to live free of violence and fear.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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