Hot Topic: Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre

On December 6, 1989 at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, 25-year-old Marc Lépine shot 28 people, killing 14 women before killing himself. He moved through the school specifically targeting women. His suicide note claimed political motives for the attack and he blamed feminists for ruining his life. The note included a list of 19 Quebec women whom Lépine considered to be feminists and apparently wished to kill.

As the tragic anniversary of the Montreal Massacre approaches, we would like to make Carleton experts available to the media to discuss this incident, its impact and the issues it raises.

Rena Bivens
Adjunct professor
SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies
Office: (613) 520-2600 ext. 2904
Cell: (613) 618-4602

Bivens is a sociologist with expertise in the areas of new media, particularly social media, as well as gender and sexuality, cultural studies, media and communications, journalism, critical social theory, feminist theory and science and technology studies.

Ron Couchman
Masters student, Sociology Department
Phone: (613) 600-1855

Couchman is available to speak on male engagement and masculinity in relation to violence against women.  His area of research is masculinity and gender-based violence.  Couchman’s research areas include masculinity and sexual assault prevention, gender socializations and media representations of the Russell Williams case. Couchman is a co-founder of Men for Equality and Non-Violence, a pro-feminist group dedicated to ending violence against women through male engagement.  He also provides peer support for survivors of sexual assault and trauma.  In addition, he is the project co-ordinator at the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence against Women (OCTEVAW).

Jordan Fairbairn
Doctoral student, Sociology and Anthropology
Phone: (613) 859-8258

Fairbairn will discuss the way the news media portray violence against women, specifically intimate partner homicide/domestic homicide.

Her research focuses on representations of violence against women, news and journalism in web 2.0, feminist media work, and the relationship between academia, and social change. Fairbairn works with the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence at the University of Guelph, is a member of the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women’s Public Engagement Committee and is an organizer with Women, Action and the Media (WAM!) Ottawa.  She is a current recipient of a SSHRC Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Fellowship.

Brian Given
Associate professor, Sociology and Anthropology
Office: (613) 520-2600 ext. 3571
Cell: (613) 794-9996
Email: or

Given is available to talk about gun control and issues surrounding the Montreal Massacre. He is currently working on a book entitled Gun Culture in Canada.

Barbara Freeman
Adjunct professor, Journalism
Office: (613) 520-7404
Cell: (613) 322-2036

Freeman focuses on the news media’s representation of gender, especially in a historical context, as it is relates to this tragic incident. She is the author of Beyond Bylines: Media Workers and Women’s Rights in Canada, The Satellite Sex: The Media and Women’s Issues in English Canada, 1966-1971 and of Kit’s Kingdom: the Journalism of Kathleen Blake Coleman.


For more information
Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
(613) 520-2600, ext. 8718
(613) 240-3305

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