Online posts about killing feminists prompt University of Toronto to increase campus security

The has increased campus security after allegedly receiving reports of a series of anonymous web comments urging readers to kill “feminists.”

“We have increased campus police presence on our three campuses, and we are monitoring the situation closely,” said university provost Cheryl Regehr writing in an email to students and staff.

In the letter, Regehr says the university was the target of “anonymous threats made on a public blog,” but provides no details.

However, a later statement by CUPE 3902, the union representing University of academic staff, said the posts “were gendered threats made specifically toward women and feminists.”

“We can also add that the threats specifically encourage violence and target our members in their workplaces,” it reads. “Specifically mentioned are those working in Sociology and Women’s Studies classrooms.”

According to a Reddit forum used by University of Toronto students, the threats in question originated in the comments sections of several BlogTO articles.

On September 5 a user named “Kill Feminists” is said to have posted at least similarly worded comments encouraging readers to rent a gun from a “gang” and use it to stage a mass-shooting inside a women’s studies classroom.

“Next week when a feminist at the University of Toronto tries to ruin your life with false sex rape allegations, rent a gun from a gang and start firing bullets into these feminists at your nearest Women’s Studies classroom,” reads one recorded in a September 5 screen capture by Twitter user Carly Stuart, who also reported the post to Toronto Police.

[email protected] Person threatening to shoot feminists @UofT on @blogto article. This warrants investigation!!

— Carly Stuart (@StuartCarly) September 5, 2015

Another comment captured on the same day by a Reddit user reads “go into the nearest Sociology or Womens Studies classroom next week, and fire bullets into the Professor’s head and spray bullets all over the room until all the feminists are dead.”

The comments have since been deleted. Representatives for BlogTO could not be reached before press time.

The posts are particularly troubling due to their ideological similarity to those of Marc Lépine, the perpetrator of the 1989 Montreal Massacre.

Motivated by the delusional belief that “feminists” had ruined his life, Lépine murdered 14 women at the École Polytechnique engineering school in Montreal.

“We are following the advice and direction of Toronto Police Services with respect to their expert assessment of safety on campus,” read Regehr’s letter, which encouraged staff and students to “report any suspicious activity.”

CUPE 3902, meanwhile, told members that they have “the legal right to refuse unsafe work.”

“You do not have to enter a work situation in which you have reason to believe your safety or the safety of others may be at risk,” read the Thursday statement from the union.

About Tristin Hopper