1200 Faceless Women Dead, Zero Actions Taken - Who's to Blame?

by d.iwanzwich on September 10, 2015 - 11:13pm


"Mulcair: It's Time For A PM Who Cares About Missing, Murdered Aboriginal Women" by Ryan Maloney of Huffington Post Canada, posted on August 31st 2015, is a hard hitting article about how this year's candidates for prime minister are acting upon the national crisis of 1200 missing and/or murdered Aboriginal women here in Canada.  Mulcair, candidate from the New Democratic Party insists that Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada, of the Conservative Party, has done little to nothing about this case. Maloney brings the issue to light because of Mulcair's promise to return the millions in funding for women's shelters, and to call a national inquiry for these women within 100 days of his winning because Aboriginal women are four times more likely to face a violence, something he'd like to end.  As it is the first month anniversary of young Native teen Tina Fontaine's death, Mulcair insists he is the change citizens need.  Maloney quotes Mulcair belief that the only reason there has been no inquiry is because of an underlying tone of racism in Harper's governing, mentioning that if these women were in Ottawa, United Nations wouldn't have demanded Canada to have an inquiry. Harper believes an inquiry would pile up with other studies and it is action that is needed, which reporters say goes against his promise of an RCMP missing persons database but is five years overdue, saying that the lack of actions shows where Harper's Party's priorities lie. However, fellow Conservative Party member Ryan Leef broke through and voted for an NDP bill demanding immediate inquiry.

Maloney's goal in writing this article was to point out how Harper has been ignoring a large crisis here in Canada, and how it's up to politics to decide on whether or not an inquiry should be made. It is sad to think that our nation has come to a point where we do not question such a phenomena. I believe that Mulcair is correct, that if 1200 women in Ottawa went missing, citizens would be boarding up doors and calling in sick for work, because this an attack. Compared to acts committed by Klu Klux Klan members towards black people fifty years ago, this is nearly identical. Darren Curnoe, author of "Human Races: Biological Reality or Cultural Delusion" clearly states that in general, races never mattered to begin with, that they are arbitrary (38). Agreeing with him, I like to wonder why Harper has not done anything to protect people from these crimes, and has waited for United Nations to call him out on it.  In my eyes, the lives of 1200 women, teenagers, and children, is much more important than any law on taxes. We need to find out what has happened and stop this ethnic cleansing from being swept under the rug. In the words of Cunroe, "[...] we all belong to the single species Homo Sapiens" (38). Let us stand together.



To begin, I am commenting on this article because I used the same topic, and found this article very interesting and similar to mine. This is a very saddening topic, and it is quite shocking that there was no action taken before this specific outburst from Mulcair that these types of things must stop. I also agree that this is a very large crisis, and clearly a very bright case of racism. This issue has been around for much longer than we believe, but it is very reassuring indeed to see how we are finally taking a step forward towards change. This will help families grieve, but it will also help support the idea that today, in 2015, we are a very open and multicultural society, and that we support all races. This debate being done during the political debate is a very important social issue, because it shows how we are not oblivious to racism, and how it still occurs in our society today. However, will change be made? Will we be able to stop these racist behaviours, and stop being blind to it or pretending that it is not around us? Hopefully someday this will end, because we miss so many opportunities in life by excluding people simply because they are different.

To begin with, I am a student at Marianopolis College, taking the class "Gendered World Views", and I applaud you. I believe you hit the problem right where it matters : why is 1200 murdered Aboriginal women better than any other 1200 human beings? As a person with a scientific heart, I love that you finished with pointing out that there are no separate races, it is simply the Homo Sapiens species.

As you may know, Native American women represent only 4% of the population, but also 16% of female murders and 12% of the missing women and girls in Canada. This is an extremely distressing issue.

As a student in a gender-based class, I do believe that it isn't only an issue of racism, but also of gender. These women are at the intersection of two systems of oppression - they are women and Native Americans. Men are not targeted - only women are. The principle of intersectionality is that an individual can fit into two or more categories of systems of oppression - like a disabled homosexual woman, for example. I feel it's important to take into account this when speaking of this issue.

Also, these murders raise an important issue with brutality towards women and, as the government has ignored it for the passed thirty years, our acceptance of it in our society. If I were a gambling person, I would bet that, if men were being murdered by the hundreds, we would have reacted earlier. Maybe not as early as if it were a problem felt by Caucasian people (as the most 'privileged' in the society), but it wouldn't have taken thirty years for us to even consider an inquiry about the subject. The concept of rape culture has been in our society for quite some time, and it argues that violence and especially sexual assaults against women were being trivialized by pop culture and the media. Songs like 'Blurred Lines', video games like 'Grand Theft Auto V' or even pornography make rape and assault against women a part of our daily life, whether we like it or not. As such, we are far more likely to accept violence against women if we are faced with the "it doesn't matter" material daily. That could also explain why it took thirty years before someone took issue with this genocide.

I think this would probably make my explanations clearer and interest you :)

And here is where I took my statistic!

I just read your article and you have definitely pinpointed one of the most controversial scandals in our country. You have been very articulate in describing the article, and I agree with your attitude towards our government’s deplorable management of the situation. However, if I could add to your post, I would also consider the fact that the women were not only victims of racism but of sexism as well. I am attaching a link to my comment that comes from the Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba, which depicts in a very detailed manner how aboriginal women are treated unfairly even within their own communities. Aboriginal women are now often victims of abuse and domestic violence. As you can see, not only has our government closed its eyes on an important national racial issue, but on a sexual one as well. It leads us to question the fact that maybe if the victims were male, more attention would have been given to this problem and more measures would have been taken to resolve it as well. In this situation, the concept of intersectionality takes a very important role. Intersectionality is defined as “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage”(https://www.google.ca/search?q=define+deplorable&rls=com.microsoft:en-US...).In this case, the victims were not only subjected to racism for being aboriginal, but also to sexism for being women. I think that if you analyze this problem from both lenses you might draw some interesting conclusions as well.