, 04.30.2018 12:50 AM

Column: men who hate women aren’t men

It is a Monday, April 23, and it is beautiful.  Clear, warm.  A big blue sky.

Exiting a Traveler’s Canada panel on distracted driving at the Economic Club, I stepped onto Yonge Street and ran into Mark Warner, one of Canada’s best trade lawyers.  We talked about how Chrystia Freeland and team were doing with NAFTA (exceptionally well), and how Kathleen Wynne and team were doing with avoiding a third-place finish (exceptionally badly).  I then went down into Toronto’s subway system, heading North, towards Sheppard.

We hadn’t gotten very far when a female announcer came on.  Everyone would have to get off before we got to the Sheppard-Finch area, she said.  Buses would take us where we needed to go.  “Police action,” she said, giving no other explanation.

On the subway, we all looked at each other.  Some of us had never heard an announcement like this before.  Switch trains, sure.  But get off the Yonge-University line altogether?  That was unusual.

What was happening a few minutes to the North, of course, is now known to the world.  A homicidal monster – a “man” who wasn’t a man, a “man” who apparently hated women because they wouldn’t have sex with him – had commandeered a rental van and used it to kill ten people, and maim many more on Yonge Street.

Most of those he killed, most of those he hurt, the police would later say, were women.

Twenty-nine years earlier: it is around four o’clock in the afternoon, on a bitterly-cold Wednesday. I am a lawyer at an Ottawa valley law firm, and volunteering for Jean Chretien, who is also working as a lawyer, at the firm next door.  We are preparing for Chretien’s announcement, in just over a month, that he is going to seek the Liberal Party leadership.  And then the news starts to trickle in.

A “man” with a rifle has started shooting up the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.  He has wounded dozens of people – and he has slaughtered 14 young women.  Because they are women.

Stunned, we listened to Michael Enright interview a student at the school, Genvieve Cauden, on CBC Radio.  What happened, Enright asks her.

“We all go on the floor and we go under the desks. After, he shot people. He shot girls. I just closed my ears and closed my eyes. I didn’t want to know what’s going on. I received a shot in my head,” and then she paused. “But it’s not bad. It’s OK.”

“It just grazed your head,” Enright says.

“Yeah, that’s it,” Cauden says.  “After, the guy killed himself.”

The guy in Toronto, who was apparently following the precisely same Satanic, women-hating manifesto, didn’t kill himself.  As the entire world saw, he wanted a Toronto cop to do that for him.  The cop – amazingly, bravely – refused, and arrested the alleged mass-murderer without firing a shot.

After his arrest, the usual bullshit happened.  Politicians offering “thoughts and prayers,” instead of actual policies and measures to prevent something like Ecole Polytechnique and Yonge Street from happening again. Online losers, sitting in their mom’s basement and calling it Muslim terrorism – when it was decidedly neither.  Media lavishing attention on the alleged killer, instead of his many victims.  The usual bullshit.

So, on Wednesday, seventy-two hours later, another Economic Club panel takes place.  It has been organized – full disclosure – by my Daisy Group firm, and is called “Standing Together: Highlighting the Voice of Women in Canada.”  The panel is moderated by my partner Lisa Kinsella, and includes radio host Supriya Dwivedi, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation Chief and lawyer Kelly LaRocca, and Conservative MP Michelle Rempel.

The subject of the Monday massacre in Toronto – and the killer’s apparent desire to kill women – doesn’t take very long to come up.  All four of the women have something to say about what happened, but it is clear they are also still processing it.

A “man” – the alleged killer – was angry that women wouldn’t have sex with him.  So he declared that he was something called an “incel” – an involuntary celibate.  And, on an apparently-genuine Facebook post made just before the slaughter, he declared his intention: “The incel rebellion has already begun!”

All of the women sound, in turns, angry and upset and shocked.  They struggle, a bit, to describe it.  Michelle Rempel, the MP, says it best.

“I am so, so sick of this,” she says.  “Sick of it.”

We all are.



  1. Well put, Warren. Hate like this is a societal disease. There is no vaccine; just preventative measures and mitigation efforts. We must push on, railing against it, in all its forms.

  2. Eric Weiss says:

    The online “man-o-sphere” communities that encourages losers like this guy(I refuse to say his name) and others needs to be looked at more closely by law enforcement and treated like hate groups. I realize it would be a small step, but it’s a breeding ground for these nut jobs.

  3. Robert White says:

    Psychologically healthy people do not entertain hatred towards anyone. People that disseminate hatred are psychopathologically unhealthy people that use ‘Object Relations’ for their myriad excuses to foment hate. Hatred is self reinforcing for those that harbor social-psychological insecurities. Behaviourally, the modus operandi of people that harm others is blatantly obvious if we look at what reinforces antisocial behaviours for those that commit antisocial behaviours that cause harm to society.


  4. the salamander hordes says:

    .. I worked in Triple Maximum security
    To say I understood ‘motive’
    after reading the case files
    would be a huge stretch

    People crack.. inside their heads
    It (their mind) just goes whacko
    and there remains no explain
    They cracked..
    or always were cracked

    No rational or thinking person
    buys a gun or rents a van
    to kill off complete, innocent strangers
    but once psychotic ideation arrives
    the next stage is frightful, murderous

    I worked with two individuals
    at Hillcrest.. who murdered an old couple
    while robbing their candy store..
    for 48.00 $

    These were not sentient beings
    They were blank dead spaces
    who walked among us and killed..
    remorse ? Nothing in the file indicated such

    I was very aware near them
    and they always knew I was aware
    If it came down to them or me
    they would go down..
    wicked ass hard.. final

    To this day, I do not believe
    these people are invisible
    cannot be identified.. prior
    Guy digging deep in his backyard
    .. oh he going to grow carrots ?

    And neighbors or family saying he was
    a warm n kind human being..
    Well someone needs to look
    upon those neighbors or family opinions
    as nonsense.. Asleep at the wheel ?


  5. Karl-Milton Marx-Friedman says:

    Warren, truly heartfelt post.

    I would just add two points:
    1) What about the Overlooked Meta-Motivation?: looking at yet another random horrible crime, I suspect, too often, the perpetrator is hoping to become famous, to get their 15 minutes of fame and then die. So in a strange way, even entertaining the ridiculous logic of this horrible loser is granting “free”* media which could result in other suicidal, hateful persons being inspired. Paradoxically, analysing then promoting the perpetrator’s expressed motivation is a core part of the perpetrator’s motivation in committing the terrible crime in the first place.

    What to Do About this Meta-Motivation? The media needs to do a better job of celebrating the lives of the victims (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43927786) and totally discredit, ridicule the perpetrator so as to dis-incentivize future copy-cats. Could this be legislated? Yes, but only in a hyper-advanced democracy. What if the media had a publication ban or an incentive to report “against the perpetrator & against inspiring future perpetrators” rather then promoting the “facts” of his so very lame reasoning.

    I could be wrong about this and maybe the media is getting better(?) but that’s my 2 points.

    *actually, not free media considering the lives lost, but you get my point.
    *possible the perpetrator’s expressed motivation is not that actual motivation for example the fact that the Pulse night monster swore allegiance to isis last second.

  6. Mark says:

    A heartfelt and well-written post on the sad reality of what Toronto experienced last week. Sad.

    Went to McGill with Mark Warner. Yes, a bright guy.

  7. Fred from BC says:

    This was horrifying, for sure.

    Something about the “incel rebellion” doesn’t add up to me, though. I’ve never heard the term “incel” before, for one…and what exactly does this guy think he is “rebelling” against?

    Are there really others that think this way? Is this a real thing? Why kill innocent people? To what end?

    I hope the authorities are getting answers…I’d hate to think there are more like him out there…

    • doconnor says:

      If you have the stomach for it, you have go over to 4chan and see for yourself.

      • Fred from BC says:

        I took your advice and had a quick look.

        It actually looks a lot like Reddit (who even have their own 4chan forum…go figure). Mostly innocuous with a small hardcore loony contingent, by the look of it. I’ve seen more actual ‘hate’ at Rabble, but that’s all directed at Conservatives or Republicans, so no problem there, right?…

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