Some folks wear purple ribbons to look stylish. But if there was any legitimate reason to wear a purple ribbon, today is the day to explain it. Today is National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
December 6th also marks the anniversary of a notable rampage that occurred in Montreal. At l’École Polytechnique de Montréal, an act of gender-based crime, a rampage, resulted in fourteen murders. I was too young to remember this occurring, but it marked a grim day because it was a targeted attack against a specified group. No one, of any group, should be subjected to this kind of brutality. It makes me think of hate crime. It makes me think of my mortality all over again.
But days of remembrance, like today, are meant to strengthen and unite those who respect their mortality and want to provide a safe living environment for everyone else.
Days like these also make me think about what I do. How do you respond, as a journalist, to this without having a emotional response? Some are better than others to tuck away their biases, but this has to be one of the few exceptions where an emotional response may be necessary. The cost of ONE human life is unacceptable to me. To kill someone because she is a woman is unacceptable. To kill a student, a future leader of this Western society, is unacceptable.
What I ask of Haligonia, at this point, is to think about women whom you care about. As a matter of fact, think of all women. Think about their difficult history. Think about those who have been exploited or trafficked. Think about rape victims and refugees and prostitutes. Every woman deserves the best for herself. They deserve to be treated equally and respected like they are our sisters and mothers.
And don’t be afraid to think about this day critically. In a way, this should be something we should think about EVERY DAY. Just because we have the label of a “day of remembrance” does not mean we should stop respecting others once it’s finished. In a way, I find this day unnecessary because I keep love and respect for others anyway. But we should be lucky we are in solidarity about respect and love for women. This is good. Let’s remind ourselves about what we can do to better ourselves.
And lastly, do me a favour. Hug your wife/daughter/girlfriend and tell them you love them. It can go a long way.
But enjoy the day. It’s only comes once a year. And if you don’t want to wear the ribbon, don’t worry about it. I won’t act like those guys from Seinfeld (think about it)!
– Perry King