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Montreal, December '89

  • (Judy Small)

    It was a cold December afternoon, the line stretched round the block
    And some of them were weeping and some were still in shock
    Seven thousand came that day to pay their last respects
    To fourteen women slaughtered for no reason but their sex
    And the cameras and the mikes were there to record the grief and fear
    Of the ordinary people who worked and studied here
    And a woman in her fifties in a gentle quiet tone
    Summed up her sisters' outrage at the murder of their own

    She said, I wonder why, as I try to make sense of this
    Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist
    Why does gunman sound so familiar while gunwoman doesn't quite ring true
    What is it about men that makes them do the things they do

    And the man behind her in the line, he started getting steamed
    He said, It wasn't because he was a man, this guy was crazy, mad, obscene
    Yes he was crazy, the woman replied, But women go crazy too
    And I've never heard of a woman shooting fourteen men, have you
    And all those other times came flooding back to me again
    A hundred news reports of men killing family, strangers, friends
    And yes I can remember one or two where a woman's hand held the gun
    But exceptions only prove the rule and the questions still remain

    And don't you wonder why, as you try to make sense of this
    Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist
    Why does gunman sound so familiar while gunwoman doesn't quite ring true
    What is it about men that makes them do the things they do

    And I know there are men of conscience who aren't like that at all
    Who would never raise a hand in anger and who reject the macho role
    And if you were to ask them about the violence that men do
    I know they'd say they hate male violence too

    And so we wonder why, as we try to make sense of this
    Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist
    Why does gunman sound so familiar while gunwoman doesn't quite ring true
    What is it about men that makes them do the things they do

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1991:] In December 1989 there was probably the worst or one of the worst incidents of mass murder ever to take place, at the University of Montreal where a young man roamed through the buildings, calling out, 'Bring me the women! I want the women!' In each room he separated the men from the women, and he shot the women. In the end fourteen young women were dead, and he had killed himself.

    A couple of days after, the parents of nine of these young women agreed to bring their daughters' coffins back to the university so that anybody who wanted to could come and do whatever they felt was necessary to deal with this horrible thing that had happened in their community. This song is taken from the T.V. news coverage of the vigil of 7,000 people who stood in the snow all day waiting to place flowers and poems and other things on the coffins. This is not a song against men - it's a song against violence. (Judy Small, intro Tønder Festival)

  • [1996:] Though we have interviewed women [...], our published prison study only involved men. While you find the occasional woman assassin type, you will note that every case of serial murder or lust killing I've mentioned involves a male offender. Our research has shown that virtually all serial killers come from dysfunctional backgrounds of sexual or physical abuse, drugs or alcoholism, or any of the related problems. Women come from these same backgrounds, and if anything, girls are even more subject to abuse and molestation than boys. So why do so few of them grow up to commit the same kinds of crimes as the men? A female serial killer suspect such as Aileen Wuornos, accused of killing men on interstates in Florida, is so rare as to be instantly noteworthy.

    For this subject we're on shakier ground, because there simply haven't been the studies to answer this question definitively. As some have speculated, it may be related directly to testosterone levels and otherwise hormonally and chemically based. The only thing we can say with an experiential authority is that women seem to internalize their stressors. Rather than lashing out at others, they tend to punish themselves through such things as alcoholism, drugs, prostitution, and suicide. Some may repeat the psychological or physical abuse within their own families [...]. From a mental health viewpoint, this is very damaging. But the fact remains, women do not kill in the same way or in anywhere remotely near the numbers men do. (Douglas / Olshaker, Mindhunter 356f.)

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