9 responses to “Not So Silent”

  1. Erica

    Thank you for your bravery in writing this insightful article! Your question, “Is silence ever the right answer?” is a very complicated one. I believe that, in general, silence is not the right answer in cases like the Montreal Massacre and others mentioned in this article. I think that atrocities like these warrant major attention, which cannot be achieved through silence. However, I also feel that, in order for survivors and others affected to fully heal, it’s important to have boundaries regarding the ways in which the attention is used. For example, you do not want to constantly see accusations against the victims in the newspapers or online.

  2. meloukhia

    I felt hesitant to comment on this post at all, because, as an American, I am profoundly disconnected from the Montreal Massacre and I feel like it’s almost appropriative for me to talk about it at all, let alone to comment on how it should be commemorated. But I’ll plunge ahead anyway, because you bring up an important issue.

    Since the commemoration of the Montreal Massacre appears to have evolved into a larger discussion about violence against women, I think it’s very appropriate to break the silence and start talking about the deaths of women with disabilities. After all, we are women too, and it sounds as though an effort for inclusion is being made, so why not expand that effort?

    …violence against us is sometimes considered okay, because our lives are considered less worthy…

    For this reason, above all others, these names should be voiced. Cried out. Violence against women with disabilities should be discussed on a day in which violence against women is discussed, especially since such violence is sometimes condoned by society. Violence against disabled women is often erased, and I don’t see any way to bring it forward other than breaking the silence. Those viewed as “lesser” will continue to be viewed as such until society is reminded, over and over, that they are equal.

    The fact that it might be controversial to ask people gathering to commemorate the deaths of women who died by violence to address deaths of disabled women who died by violence says a lot about society.
    .-= meloukhia´s last blog ..Now Listen Here =-.

  3. Este Yarmosh

    There’s a somewhat recent story about a four-year-old girl in England who had Cerebral Palsy; she was murdered by her mother who said she was “ashamed” because she had a daughter like that. The story makes me cry every time I see or read about it:


    I have “mild” CP too, so I feel especially horrible and angry about it.

    The little girl was so cute — it makes me really sad.

  4. codeman38

    @Este: That reminds me of the case of Katie McCarron here in the States, a 3-year-old autistic girl who was smothered to death by her mother. Mrs. McCarron did end up being convicted of murder, but before the verdict, there were numerous letters to the editor in which parents sympathized with the murderer.

  5. Dymphna

    Thank you for this post. It really shook me up, in a good way.

  6. whatsername

    For whatever it’s worth I absolutely think that women with disabilities deserve their own acknowledgment alongside their trans sisters, cis sisters, gay sisters and sisters of color. We are all devalued because we are female but some of us are devalued for other reasons too and there is power in those who survive acknowledging that fact. Since it seems the organizers of this event have realized that, I would hope that your desire for inclusion would be met with the appropriate response: “yes, of course!” While people often disappoint us, if you have a good feeling about this group, and you are up for it, maybe you should give them the chance to not disappoint you.

    On the Montreal Massacre in particular, I only ever first heard about it last year via Womanist Musings and I was really surprised to have never seen it come up before, even though I do live in the States.
    .-= whatsername´s last blog ..Patrick Stewart on violence against women =-.

  7. Legible Susan

    I think getting involved next year is a great idea. If the Halifax vigil is about violence against women, not solely about that specific massacre, then it should definitely include women with disabilities, as other people have said. Since the organisers are making an effort to be more inclusive, surely they’d welcome someone adding another aspect to their event.
    .-= Legible Susan´s last blog ..New community =-.

  8. Kassiane

    Recite them. Scream them. Everyone deserves to be remembered. Feminism isn’t just about perfect able bodied white women. It’s for all of us.

    If it’s contraversial, it’s because you’re treading on someone’s prejudice that needs challenging anyway.

    *hands you some spoons for the journey*

  9. Kali

    From the sound of things, I think you would be welcomed if you asked to speak about another group of women whose experience is slighted.

    After all, that is the point of reaching out to groups of women who are erased, right? And we are quite emphatically erased and slighted and lessened when it comes to our experiences and crimes against us.

    If it would not be too hard for you, I think it would be a good (okay, AWESOME) thing to see about working with them next year. I expect they are victims of the unconscious ableist bias and didn’t think about us that way, but it sounds like they should be willing to change that.