Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lara Logan Was Sexually Assaulted in Tahrir Square

Apparently, there was more to the festivities surrounding the fall of Mubarak than we knew at the time. Last night we learned that CBS reporter Lara Logan had been beaten and sexually assaulted by a gang in the midst of all the celebratory mayhem.

Clearly, it was news. Just as clearly, it should have been reported sooner. As  Richard Cohen says in the Washington Post: “As I'm sure even Logan would admit, the sexual assault of woman by a mob in the middle of a public square is a story. It is particularly a story because the crowd in Tahrir Square was almost invariably characterized as friendly and out for nothing but democracy. In fact, some of the television correspondents acted as if they were reporting from Times Square on New Year's Eve, stopping only at putting on a party hat. In those circumstances, a mass the sexual assault in what amount to the nighttime version of broad daylight is certainly worth reporting.” Link here.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the assault lasted between 20 and 30 minutes, and that it was not a rape. Logan was rescued by a group of Egyptian women and soldiers from the Egyptian Army. Link here.

But was this assault significant? Writing on the DoubleX blog Rachel Larimore suggests that it might be a bad omen for Egyptian women. Link here.

One hopes that Larimore was not so completely caught up in the celebration that she neglected to examine the current conditions of Muslim women living in Egypt.

As I have blogged before, Egyptian culture requires that nearly all Muslim women suffer genital mutilation. And a solid majority of Egyptian Muslims would like to live under Shariah law.

Under that regime, a woman who has been sexually assaulted has nearly no chance of accusing any man of rape. If she comes forth, she will most often be condemned as a whore.

It should also be noted, again, that the Mubarak regime had outlawed the practice and that religious leaders from all Egyptian communities had condemned it.

Still and all, it continues, as a cultural practice, in defiance of the law.

As most of us know,  girls are forced, often by their mothers, to undergo this savagery, because, in Egyptian Islamic culture, it is a precondition for finding a husband.

Why is it necessary to excise a girl’s clitoris? The reason must be that a woman who is apt to experience sexual pleasure cannot be trusted to remain chaste, either before or during marriage.

A woman who has not been deprived of her ability to experience such pleasure would be counted, by such a culture, as a whore.

And once a woman is identified as a whore, wouldn't that make it more like that an Egyptian Muslim feel that he has the right to assault her?

No one is going to be punished for sexually assaulting Lara Logan.

A sexual assault is not like any other assault. While other journalists were beaten in Tahrir Square, often brutally, no other one was sexually assaulted by a mob.

This leads to another issue, one that everyone has been avoiding. Should Lara Logan, mother of a small child, have put herself in such a dangerous situation? There is a difference between courageous and foolhardy.

Worse yet, should her producers have assigned her to cover the events in Tahrir Square once they understood how violent it was.

For our culture the issue is: should a woman be able to do anything and everything that a man can do? Is that what it means to achieve gender equality?

Of course, there’s nothing about gender that would make it impossible for a woman to be a war correspondent. We are not talking about situations where requirements have to be changed in order to find places for women.

One may seek gender equality by requiring the fire department to change its physical exam in order to make it something that a woman can pass. But then, ask yourself whether you want that woman or a much stronger man to be responsible to rescuing your child from a burning house.

When it comes to female war correspondents, we know that these women are at great risk of sexual assault. Few talk about it because they feel that if they did they would not be allowed to do their jobs. Link here.

At the slight risk of sounding sexist, how many husbands would want their wives to go off to a war zone if they knew that their wives would very likely be sexually assaulted?

Or, how many fathers would want their daughters to pursue such a career path if they knew the risk?

Given the state of our culture, I am sure that many people will answer that husbands and fathers should not have a say in what career path a woman chooses to pursue. Of course, given that she is the mother of a child, and given that any harm that befalls her will hurt her child, should her husband have any say in these matters?

After all, an autonomous independent woman like Lara Logan makes her own decisions.

If a woman’s actions increase the likelihood that she will be hurt, who would fail to warn her. And what is the distance between issuing a warning and trying to prevent her from doing something that entails far too much risk.

Then again, if a man believes that a woman should be under his protection, does this make him a tool of the patriarchy, wanting only to oppress the woman?

Or are the women who choose to take extreme risks in order to show that they can do anything a man can do sacrificing themselves for a cause?

I recognize that this sounds paternalistic. But is it paternalistic to recognize that women have a specific vulnerability to certain crimes, coupled with a relatively weak physique? One might say that I am being realistic.

If we are to think through these issues, we need to know that Logan’s decision was not autonomous and independent. Feminism notwithstanding, no wife and mother undertakes such a task without hearing what her husband has to say about it. Beyond that, producers at CBS had to agree to it, though if they had refused to send her into Tahrir Square they might have been hit with a gender discrimination suit.

But once the producers agree to Logan's assignment, then they are responsible for protecting her and providing her with security?

Is it paternalistic to expect that they would do everything in their power to protect their correspondent? And is it fair to say that they bear some measure of responsibility for what happened to her?

If they could not assure her safety, they should not have allowed her to go out there.

Traditionally, any serious definition of masculine behavior begins with the idea that men are charged, as a primary moral responsibility, to protect and provide for women.

Our politically correct culture has proclaimed this to be a prejudicial anachronism, but it persists in the emotional core of all human males.

If a man’s wife or daughter is sexually assaulted, he will feel in some way responsible, regardless of the circumstances. If she is injured he will feel that he failed in a primary moral duty, to protect her.

Human emotion does not ply itself to the demands of political correctness.

If men abrogate their role as protector of women, does that mean that they care so much about women that they respect their freedom and independence or does it mean that they do not especially care what happens to women?


Anonymous said...

Was she raped?

Anonymous said...

Here is a picture of Lara Logan

Anonymous said...

Andrew Bostom has a link re: Lara Logan’s-rape-and-egyptian-muslim-jew-hatred/

Anonymous said...

You're a sick man, blogger! If you were a reporter you should be the one to be violated because a man could be just as easily anywhere anytime anyplace while doing their job! God help you men or should I even say as much!

New Buffalo MI fishing said...

Poor Lara. Feel so sorry for her. Perhaps she will be helpful in making a change to inform the world about the horrors of Islam.

Anonymous said...

It appears more and more to have been a prolonged gang rape.

...200 people or more.

"Lara Logan, chief foreign correspondent for CBS News, suffered "a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating" last Friday while covering Egypt's anti-government protests, according to a statement Tuesday from CBS News."

Anonymous said...

TO: Dr. Schneiderman, et al.
RE: Another Reason....

Of course, given that she is the mother of a child, and given that any harm that befalls her will hurt her child.... -- Stuart Schneiderman

....that I'm no fan of women in the Armed Forces being deployed forward of the COMMZ.

Look at that hapless Hopi(?) Indian captured along with a number of her comrades-in-arms when that Maintenance Company was ambushed by Iraqis early in the invasion.

She was murdered, along all the other male POWs. The only 'survivor' was the blonde cutie. Three guesses as to why in her case.

At any rate, she went off to the Army and to war and wound up dead, leaving her young child an orphan.

It's sad how pathetic these people are when you look at what their insane overreaching pride brings about.

Maybe we'll learn the truth about what happened to Logan. We probably won't learn it directly. We'll have to evaluate what she does in the future to try to ascertain how bad the event was. And even then, unless she speaks out, we'll probably not have the best idea.


[Women will never be the principle combatant in war until they can hump an 80-pound rucksack better than most men. And THEN conduct a close assault on an heavily defended the knife. And WIN. THINK the knife fight scene from Saving Private Ryan.]

Anonymous said...

TO: All
RE: Heh

You're a sick man, blogger! -- Anonymous @ February 16, 2011 7:31 PM

Take about 'projection'.

If you were a reporter you should be the one to be violated because a man could be just as easily anywhere anytime anyplace while doing their job! -- Anonymous @ February 16, 2011 7:31 PM

Considering I did 27 years in the infantry, a much more hazardous 'profession' than being a journalist, I have to tell you, lady, that it would be a sorry SOB who tried to rape ME.

I suspect you'd be a much easier 'target' for such attention than most men I'm familiar with.

TO: Dr. Schneiderman
RE: I Suspect....

....that the woman making that allegation against you was 'touched' by what you wrote. In a manner that made her ashamed of what she does. Or perhaps her feminist views.


[Hell hath no fury as a feminazi exposed.]

Dennis said...

As much as I dislike CNN one has to give them credit for ensuring their female reporters do the minimum to pay respects to the culture they do their jobs in. A head scarf would have gone some way to militating the outcome.
May I remind our militant feminist that every woman laughed loudly at the genital mutilation of Bobbit, who did not commit rape, but was possibly cheating. Every woman thought it was a hoot for a woman dentist to run over her husband repeatedly until she was sure he was dead. Until women can clean up their own act I would suggest they might be a little more circumspect, not enamored of circumcision, about the realities of the world.
Suffice it to say that when one works in foreign countries one should be conversant with local customs and mores. What was CBS thinking and one begins to wonder why the media placed so much emphasis here and not on the fact that this was a VIOLENT demonstration. I guess it does not fit that warm and fuzzy narrative we are supposed to get when we see and hear about the Muslim Brotherhood.

Anonymous said...

TO: Dennis
RE: Uuuuhhhhh....

....don't you mean 'mitigating'?


[The Phantom Grammarian STRIKES AGAIN!]

Dennis said...

Its early in the morning. What can I say.

Anonymous said...

TO: Dennis
RE: I Can 'Epmthazie'

Its early in the morning. What can I say. -- Dennis

Seeing my great fault. With eye-opening coffee. I begin again. - Haiku Error Msg


[There's too much blood in my caffine system.]

Anonymous said...

P.S. Your use of 'Its'....

....should be "It's".

[And he STRIKES AGAIN!!!!]

Have another cup of 'joe', compadre.....

And maybe some good Irish in it to help anesthetize the 'pain'.

Anonymous said...


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