Now known as the Toronto Van Attack, where on April 23, 2018, a vile man purposefully drove a rented van into the sidewalks of Yonge Street in Greater Toronto killing 10 people is in the news again because the Toronto Police have released video of the man’s interrogation interview. CBC only released small portions of the video citing respect for the victims and their families and I will not even print the man’s name herein.
What we need to be aware of is that this man killed 10 and seriously wounded 16 people because of his hatred for women. Just before the attack, he posted on Facebook, “The Incel Rebellion has already begun.” Incels (involuntary celibates) are subculture brotherhood of men who hate women because they have been unsuccessful in gaining their positive attention – specifically have been unable to get laid. As Barbara Perry, a criminologist specializing in hate crime at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, told The Fifth Estate “…they think they have some inborn inherent right and privilege to access women and women’s bodies…” during their research for their January 21, 2019 episode The Lone Wolf.
The Fifth Estate piece was named The Lone Wolf because more often than not, these horrific violent attacks, when not immediately linked to terrorism are labeled by the police and media as arbitrary, senseless, one-off acts of mentally ill individuals without any purpose. In fact, this is not true. Many of these offenders have found online groups of other men who feel they have been alienated by attractive women whose attention is given to attractive men. Ergo, they hate all women and some even encourage violence against them. They are driven by an ideology – a resistance against feminism which in their perception doesn’t value men. This is pretty scary stuff.
What’s the takeaway? How can we prevent this from happening? Well, first, recognize that there are misogynistic groups who target the lonely, the bullied, and society’s outcasts. It starts in our schools. We can work to be more connected to each child that may feel excluded, promote inclusiveness, or simply encourage your child to say, “Hello” to a classmate. Second, we can encourage our police, media and politicians to call out these horrific incidents for what they are: Extreme right wing example of violence, a form of terrorism. And, thirdly, we can do like the D’Amico family: Focus on doing some good.
Anne Marie D’Amico was one of the victims of the Toronto Van Attack. Anne Marie was a vibrant woman who volunteered her time and put her heart into everything she did. The family launched the Anne Marie D’Amico Foundation to help women affected by violence. This year their focus is the Turtle Project, a fund-raising event to benefit the North York Women’s Shelter. They are presenting a celebration at the Meridian Arts Centre on December 3, 2019. To read more, donate, or buy tickets, click here: https://www.damicofoundation.org/
Shedding light on the topic of violence against women is the beginning of ending it.