Twenty Four years ago today, Marc Lépine entered the École Polytechnique and killed fourteen women. In his suicide note, he claimed it was “Because I have decided to send the feminists, who have always ruined my life, to their Maker.”
It took Lépine just twenty minutes to kill fourteen women: twelve engineering students, one nursing student, and one university budget clerk. He began his rampage by entering a classroom and allowing all of the men in the room to leave before shooting the then women who remained. Six of them died; a survivor, Nathalie Provost, says she tried to stop Lépine at the time by telling him that the women in the room were “not feminists,” just students, though twenty years later she says her ideas of feminism have changed.
"In 1989, feminism to me was a movement of women fighting to make sure women had the same rights as men," she tells the Globe and Mail, “But as a woman, I never felt I needed to struggle; I believed doors were wide open for me. I used to see feminism as a conflict between men and women, but it’s not that for me now. … It’s making sure women have an equal chance.” Provost also tells The Star that “I realized many years later that in my life and actions, of course I was a feminist. I was a woman studying engineering and I held my head up.”