Because They Were Women

Fourteen young university students, murdered only because they were women, are memorialized in this definitive account of one of Canada’s most tragic days. The victims of what became known as the “Montreal Massacre” are remembered, their lives cut short December 6, 1989, when a man entered Ecole Polytechnique and in twenty long minutes systematically shot every young woman he encountered. The killer was motivated by misogyny, a strong hatred and prejudice against women, with roots that go far beyond one “disturbed” man and one unique day.

Because They Were Women authored by Josée Boileau is a written account of this tragedy. Its contents provide an examination of how the murders on December 6, and later an analysis of the event, precipitated an entire cultural shift in thinking around gender-based violence. Journalist Josée Boileau was assigned to cover the massacre at the engineering school in her first weeks working as a young reporter in Montreal for the French-language paper Le Devoir. More than thirty years later, she presents both a pointed cultural analysis of the event and a personal tribute to the fourteen young women whose lives were lost, but who have not been, and will never be forgotten.

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