Lara Logan assaulted in Egypt

CBS Journalist Lara Logan was physically and sexually assaulted in Egypt this week (trigger warning for this whole post):

In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently home recovering.

This story has been discussed extensively, and the coverage has been… disturbing, to say the least. Take, for example, this LA Weekly article, which calls Logan a “Warzone ‘It’ Girl,” a “firecracker” and a journalist “known for her shocking good looks” — and that’s just in the headline, lead and photo caption. There’s emphasis on the fact that she’s a “blonde reporter,” and that she has made a career of “using her Hollywood good looks” for advancement. Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon has covered what she aptly calls “the victim-blaming machine” that seems to kick in as a response to every high-profile rape case. New York University Center for Law & Security (now former) fellow Nir Rosen, another journalist, made a series of stunningly offensive remarks on Twitter about how Logan was trying “out-do” Anderson Cooper. Cooper, for those who weren’t following, was punched in the head while covering the Cairo protests; notably, the coverage of Cooper’s assault didn’t focus on his light hair color or his stunning good looks. (Rosen, to his credit, has given an extensive apology and explanation, which should serve as a model for anyone reacting to a major public fuck-up).

Unsurprisingly, our favorite local rape apologist, Robert Stacy “How can I be pro-rape when I think you shouldn’t even heavy-pet before marriage?” McCain has jumped in to emphasize that this isn’t about an act of violence against a reporter, it’s about brown Muslim savages being so overcome by desire for a hot blonde that they just have to rape her. Never mind that women in the West are raped all the time, by other people who are also from Western countries. Never mind that women who aren’t hot and blonde are also raped. Never mind that if you are hot and blonde and you’re raped, the immediate response is that something about you as a person brought the assault on. Never mind that it was a group of Egyptian women and 20 soldiers who helped Logan escape the assault. “Brown people are savages who will go after pretty white women” is too convenient a narrative (and RS McCain isn’t the only right-winger going this route).

None of which is to say that assault and public harassment aren’t big problems in Egypt. Eighty-three percent of Egyptian women report being sexually harassed on the street, and 62 percent of men admit engaging in harassment. In the brief amount of time I spent in Egypt, I was harassed and followed and cat-called extensively. That viewpoint — that women in public are public property — was pervasive particularly in Cairo, but is hardly exclusive to Egypt and certainly doesn’t correlate with the prominence of Islam in any particular country. We can address the fact that Logan’s assault didn’t happen in a bubble — that assault and harassment and groping are part of a continuum of sexualized attacks that women face in Egypt regularly (including, yes, Egyptian women!) — without going the intellectually lazy route of concluding, “So Muslims.” I would hope that, similarly, visitors to New York who are harassed on the street — and street harassment is very common here as well — wouldn’t be so ignorant as to blame, say, Christians for their experiences. Point being, we should recognize that assaults on women for having the audacity to move through public space are widespread, and are part of a greater, systematic misogyny that impacts all women (not just the ones that you want to fuck) and that doesn’t tie to any particular religion or ethnic background or location. Certainly culture is a factor, insofar as cultures which restrict women’s rights and see women’s bodies as public property are probably going to have greater problems with women in public space. (Welcome, also, to the United States.)

There’s also been a lot of talk about how Logan “put herself in harm’s way,” and how maybe we should be reconsidering the deployment of female journalists, because they are particularly vulnerable — as if it’s not possible for men to be assaulted (and sexually assaulted). Right-wing blogs are saying that it’s Logan’s “liberal mentality” — her audacity in believing that as an attractive blonde woman, she could ever possibly be able to do her job, or even go out in public gatherings — that got her assaulted. The blame is on her, not on the men who actually assaulted her. There’s even a poll asking, “Is Lara Logan to blame for her own sexual assault?” When male journalists are harmed or even killed on the job — and I’d be willing to bet that male journalists are assaulted and killed more often than female journalists — the media narrative is, basically, “He was brave and this is a tragedy.” But when it happens to a woman, the narrative shifts to, “Should women be doing this?”

The same conversation happens about “normal” sexual assault — the kind that doesn’t happen to prominent media figures. Women are lectured about how to keep ourselves safe and out of harm’s way — don’t get too drunk, don’t walk home alone at night, don’t talk to strange men, don’t wear provocative clothing. The message is to be careful while you’re alone or among strangers, when in fact women are much more likely to be assaulted by someone they know, and are most likely to be sexually assaulted in their own home or in the home of someone they know. When women are sexually assaulted, there’s a backward-looking guessing game at what she could have done to prevent the assault — she shouldn’t have gone to that bar, or worn that, or drank so much, or been out that late. The implication is that women are safest if they remain inside. Men are much more likely than women to be physically assaulted in public, but they aren’t repeatedly warned to stay home.

When women do transgress those boundaries — when we do interact in public — some men use that as an excuse for punishment, through harassment or groping or sexualized insult or, as here, assault. That’s what we should be talking about: Cultural and structural misogyny, including hostility towards women moving freely through public space, and pinning the blame on women when men assault them. Blaming Logan, or casting her attackers simply as brown savages who couldn’t help themselves, feeds into the same system that enabled this attack.

The Logan story, of course, is barreling down the usual path. It’s a shame to see it used as a lecture for women everywhere (and female journalists in particular) to be afraid, and as a mechanism to further demonize Muslims.

I hope Logan is able to find a peaceful recovery.


Similar Posts (automatically generated):

About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
This entry was posted in Crime, Gender, Sexual Assault and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Lara Logan assaulted in Egypt

  1. Hugo says:

    Point being, we should recognize that assaults on women for having the audacity to move through public space are widespread, and are part of a greater, systematic misogyny that impacts all women (not just the ones that you want to fuck) and that doesn’t tie to any particular religion or ethnic background or location.

    Yes.

    I’m glad Nir Rosen resigned. Steeling myself for the barrage of claims that he’s a “martyr to feminist political correctness”.

  2. upyernoz says:

    In the brief amount of time I spent in Egypt, I was harassed and followed and cat-called extensively. That viewpoint — that women in public are public property — was pervasive particularly in Cairo, but is hardly exclusive to Egypt and certainly doesn’t correlate with the prominence of Islam in any particular country.

    i’m male but i also saw a lot of sexual harassment during my 2 week visit there. it was extremely common, not just in cairo. when i was in luxor some random guy both harassed and actually touched the woman i was walking with. we were both pretty surprised, the consensus was that she would be left alone if she was walking with a man (who could be her husband). that’s why i offered to walk her to the store.

    but i’ve also traveled in a lot of other muslim countries and they are very different in terms of how common sexual harassment on the street occurs. in tunisia and syria, i didn’t see any instances of harassment, that’s not to say that it doesn’t happen there, but egypt has a particularly bad reputation for that sort of thing in the arab and muslim world, and there are plenty of places outside the muslim world (e.g. italy) that also have bad reputations for street harassment.

  3. gretel says:

    I have nothing to say other than thank you for this. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again. (Okay, maybe I do have more to say.) I have been so incredibly horrified by the response to this sexual assault. Reading strong refutations of what these assholes are saying and publishing really helps, though.

  4. L says:

    When I traveled to Egypt I found the same thing; I was catcalled and leered at and followed around incessantly. I was standing in the hotel lobby and some man came up to me and without saying anything (I don’t speak Arabic and he didn’t speak English), keyed numbers on his cell phone as a way of telling me what his room number was.

    I wonder if it’s as bad for the girls that actually live there? For the record this happened to me everywhere I went, Cairo, Luxor and Aswan.

    I can’t believe people are busting out the old, because MUSLIM thing. How can McCain just conveniently pretend that rape doesn’t happen in North America, and blame this particular event on Muslims? Are you kidding? That’s such a pathetic argument. Women are treated as objects EVERYWHERE, including in the US, in Canada, MOST PLACES.

  5. L says:

    Also I want to say that I have felt as creeped out, if not MORE creeped out where I live, in Canada. I hate when people put value judgments on different countries like that, saying “ooooh the men are so creepy there” as if women are never harassed or touched or leered at in North America. (Not saying you’re doing that, Jill). At least no one outright touched me in Egypt, which has happened countless times here.

    Anyway, thank you for this post. Well-said.

  6. My heart goes out to Logan, whose bravery and courage enabled Americans to see what was going on in Egypt when other reporters backed down. As trite as it sounds, she’s truly an American hero. I hope that she recovers from this in a safe environment, and doesn’t let the conservative wingnuts shame her into believing this was her fault.

    Women are in danger everywhere they go in the world; it’s bullshit that she ‘put herself in harm’s way.’ I put myself in harm’s way crossing the street when a man whistles at me or says something crude and unwanted. The world needs to become a safer place for all women, no matter where they are. Mindset and social conditioning have more to do with that than any political upheaval.

  7. John Emerson says:

    “But when it happens to a woman, the narrative shifts to, “Should women be doing this?””

    Logan has an impressive record as a reporter, and she’s also pushed back against her own corporate bosses and the American media generally. At one point she was also trying to bring attention to the situation of the Palestinians. She’s been reporting from danger zones for 5-10 years. (Unfortunately, she’s also quite a bit too close to the American military, in my opinion.)

    Besides the slut-shaming sort of treatment, there’s also a tendency to treat it as a Natalee Holloway “helpless blonde abducted by dark foreigner” story. The comparison to Daniel Pearl is more appropriate. (And people slimed Pearl too.)

  8. Cat says:

    When male journalists are harmed or even killed on the job… the media narrative is, basically, “He was brave and this is a tragedy.” But when it happens to a woman, the narrative shifts to, “Should women be doing this?”

    Thank you for this very articulate article detailing society’s and media’s often poor handling of sexual assault. The main narrative should never be “What can women do to protect themselves against rape?” because that places the onus of rape prevention on the very targets of the crime, resulting in rampant victim-blaming. Instead, the conversation should always be “How can we change our culture to prevent men (and, occasionally, women) from becoming rapists?” The fault Always lies with the perpetrator, as well as with societies that allow such horrendously invasive crimes to go unpunished or barely punished — and American culture is a main offender in this phenomenon.

  9. upyernoz says:

    As trite as it sounds, she’s truly an American hero.

    not that it matters, but i believe she is south african.

  10. Jim says:

    Anderson Cooper is blond too, or was – I didn’t notice that mentioned anywhere.

    Jill, you read this crap so that I don’t have too, and thank you for that.

    I saw one comment on the CCN article that said that this atmosphere comes of so manty egyptian men spending so much time in the Gulf for work, that this is part of the oil culture, not Gulf culture or Egyptian or anything else. The commenter said that this was a new development, within the last couple of generations.

    It’s plausible; who knows how true it is. The oil culture is basically a bachelor culture and this kind of thing can be a feature of some bachelor cultures.

  11. Sasha says:

    It was also reported that the crowd was screaming “Jew! Jew!” when Logan was assaulted:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/cbs_reporter_cairo_nightmare_pXiUVvhwIDdCrbD95ybD5N

    Your analysis is quite right, that there is no causal link between Islam and sexual violence, but it is quite endemic to Egyptian culture. Anti-semitism is the same thing. Depending on who your Imam is you might grow up thinking that Jews are descendants of apes and pigs, or you might view them as people of the book. The bottom line is that in Egypt both misogyny and anti-semitism are rampant, way beyond what is found in places like Canada or the US. (I’d be quite shocked if 60% of US/Canadian men reported sexually harassing women)

    http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/388.htm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3136059.stm

    The question that remains is if a culture is pervasively racist and misogynistic can it truly provide a democratic society where the majority rules but minorities have rights?

  12. upyernoz:

    Whoops! Well, ixnay on the merican-nay. She’s a hero no matter what nationality she is. I was thinking American mostly because of Anus McCainus and his overly-nationalistic sentiments.

  13. Alana says:

    Several years ago, I dated a seemingly great guy. He was funny, generous, nice, caring. I even introduced him to my mom and sister. About seven months later things started changing. He began to lose his temper over small, relatively unimportant things. But because he’d been so nice before, I thought I must have caused the outbursts. Gradually, it got worse. He became violent: choking, shoving, pushing over furniture (a dresser, a desk) on me, throwing things. He’d throw his plate and glass at me if I made lunch “wrong”. If I’d use a restroom at a restaurant we were at and took “too long,” then I must have been fooling around with some random guy. He kept track of my car’s mileage and accused me of cheating if I went beyond the distance it took to get there, and things like getting gas weren’t believed. He required me to look a certain physical way: if I gained weight, he’d threaten to cheat because I looked disgusting; if I lost too much weight he said I was gross and that he deserved a real woman, and that I knew what he liked and was trying to “bust his b**ls” and “f**k with him” because I knew he didn’t like “twigs with t**s.” But no matter what he said, he didn’t leave. He’d say I was “sometimes cute when I wasn’t a complete b**ch” and that I’d better figure it out because no one would want me for anything else. He said I killed my dad because I was such a bitch that his heart couldn’t take it anymore and that he knew how that felt because I was doing the same thing to him. When I’d have a down day about my dad he’d say I was selfish and that he was “a real man and deserved to have his needs met by a real woman, not some sniveling brat.” Twice he attempted to drive us into a highway bridge abutement because I was “such a b**ch” he “couldn’t take it anymore”, and knew I was going to hell and wanted me there so I couldn’t make his life hell anymore. The first time a car cut him off so he had to slow way down to not hit it (the car), the second time I jerked the wheel in the other direction. He punched a hole in a closet door. There was also an incident with my shimmying front car tires. I took it in and my mechanic said that both tires’ lug nuts were loosened to the point where driving at high speed would make them shimmy the rest of the way off, which would then cause my tired to come off. He said I was very lucky they hadn’t come off yet and there was no way that happened accidentally-and he didn’t know my situation.

    He also began raping me almost daily. Sometimes when I’d get upset he’d leave to “find a real woman who isn’t a cold b***h” because he was “a real man, not a c**t” like me and had needs. Other times, if he heard my muffled crying he’d get worse because I was “being a bitch” and needed to know “what a real man needed”. He didn’t stop even when I was bleeding because he needed to “break me in.” I ended up in the hospital from it. He said I was lucky to have him because I was getting old and used up and no one would want me because guys want willing, young women, not a cold bitch like me. He did the most humiliating, degrading things. I don’t want to go into detail because it’s the thing that haunts me most and thinking about it takes me back there.

    The guy I most recently dated broke up with me after a year admitting he’d never loved me and had just used me for sex and tht because I was a different race than him that I wasn’t “good enough” and was only good for being “hot.” I am a one-marriage for lifetime person, and this came out of left field. I couldn’t ignore the fears I’d had for years anymore, or will it away. It shook me to my core and brought up my fears: not being good enough, feeling that no one except someone intending harm want a life with me, etc. As a sexual assault survivor, I cannot explain how completely devastating it was to hear from a guy who claimed to love me that my own body, which was hijacked and used as a weapon against me and which has produced such ongoing shame, humiliation and hurt, was my only worth to him. I truly can’t put into words how damaging that was. In some ways, I find it worse that what the guy before actually did, because I never expected that from him. He was supposed to be my partner. I bring this up to express my profound depression as to my worst fears: that while most people say sexual violence is awful, no one actually wants to be with anyone who experiences that type of thing. People want “easy”, “cheap”, “quick”, “instant gratification” and God help you if you’re not a porn star who uses her mouth for anything more than sexual acts. Everyone wants a happy ending for rape victims but we end up a punch line rather than people with a happily ever after…When having several options a healthy, normal person picks what’s closest to their life outlook. Rape is disassociative in many ways and good, moral people eliminating themselves as life partners is an awful effect of that. This guy only reinforces the notion that rape victims are a joke: that they take things to seriously, are prudes, and can expect to be cheated on by anyone close to them unless they can just “get over” their issues, especially sexual ones, and be that open relationship approving, anal sex loving, threesome-coveting porn star that guys expect. And if you don’t get over it quickly enough you’ll find yourself replaced because there’s always someone whose never had those experiences and has no problem being a bedroom actress, uploaded for the world to see. This idiot’s response is all that’s wrong with boys who get older but will never be men.

  14. radsaq says:

    There’s also been a lot of talk about how Logan “put herself in harm’s way,” and how maybe we should be reconsidering the deployment of female journalists, because they are particularly vulnerable — as if it’s not possible for men to be assaulted (and sexually assaulted).

    Clearly, it is too dangerous for women to be outside alone. They should stay at home, or if they go outside, at least they should cover themselves up completely so that men don’t feel compelled to assault them.

    … um, wait a minute …

  15. Sheelzebub says:

    L, yes, I’m willing to bet it happens to them more. That seemed to be the case when I lived in Japan (not street harassment, but molesters on the train, etc.) and it seems to be the case in places where that sort of thing is accepted. (Don’t get me started on the whole: “But in this place where you’re catcalled and harassed, rape is non-existant!” No, really, it isn’t, and I shouldn’t have to choose a poison, I should be able to move about freely without worrying about either. Radical, I know.)

    Jim, I remember Natalia posting on a thread about street harassment–she talked about her experiences in the Middle East, including Egypt. I believe she lived in the UAE for a while and said that that sort of thing was NOT tolerated, and that men would actually get in the face of another man who was harassing a woman. Not because they were paragons of feminist virtue, but because it was seen as a bad thing to do.

  16. ACG says:

    When a woman is raped in the U.S., there’s no need for social and cultural analysis, because obviously she was asking for it. When a white woman is raped in Egypt, suddenly it’s time for the analysis, because obviously it’s because swarthy and Muslim and not anything that could ever happen here (and also, she was asking for it).

    Obviously, this sort of thing never happens to good ‘merican women who stay in the kitchen making cookies where they belong.

    (Except for all the times it does.)

  17. Jim says:

    Sheelzebub: Jim, I remember Natalia posting on a thread about street harassment–she talked about her experiences in the Middle East, including Egypt. I believe she lived in the UAE for a while and said that that sort of thing was NOT tolerated,

    Well, so much for that theory. Thanks for that.

    And that’s encouraging to hear about the UAE. Because even though there is a difference between UAE locals and the oil bachelors, what you are saying is that the local men don’t tolerate that behavior in anyone. Good for them.

    So there’s something else going on. It comes down to a lack of self-respect getting projected out onto other people, in this case a group of people who are safe targets. Real cowardly.

    Alana: But no matter what he said, he didn’t leave.

    Of course he wouldn’t leave, Alana. If he did he’d have to find another punching bag. It’s a form of vampirism, and psychic vampires not only groom but tend their sources of nourishment until they use them up.

    What a horrible experience you describe. The second one too. Horrible.

  18. Tawny says:

    Alana’s comment needs a trigger warning. =(

  19. gretel says:

    Jim: I saw one comment on the CCN article that said that this atmosphere comes of so manty egyptian men spending so much time in the Gulf for work, that this is part of the oil culture, not Gulf culture or Egyptian or anything else. The commenter said that this was a new development, within the last couple of generations.

    That’s an interesting theory. I always call myself an “oil brat” as my father worked in the oil industry. It definitely is its own microcosm culturally.

  20. LoriA says:

    @Alana
    I am so sorry for what you had to go through, and I very much understand the sentiment of ” how completely devastating it was to hear from a guy who claimed to love me that my own body, which was hijacked and used as a weapon against me and which has produced such ongoing shame, humiliation and hurt, was my only worth to him.” Reclaiming my body and integrating it as a *part* of my self-worth is a part of healing for me, and one of the ways I do this is through porn. So hearing a fellow survivor paint me as some kind of sub-human enemy who only uses her mouth to perform sexual acts is completely hurtful, and also wildly inaccurate. Also, being an “open relationship approving, anal sex loving, threesome-coveting porn star”? Not a bad, weird, sub-human thing either. I’m sorry if other people are pushing sexual preferences on you that you don’t enjoy, but it doesn’t mean that people who *do* enjoy them are bad.

    I realize I may have been misinterpreting some of your statements- they were rather ambiguous as to whether or not you were demonizing porn stars or just guys who are ignorant and piggish enough to expect every woman to have the same sexual preferences, but the way you talk about women who do porn like we’re not even people– and certainly not people who would be reading a feminist blog!- leads me to believe it was meant to be derogatory. And that’s not okay.

  21. I got this sick comment on my blog about Lara Logan.

    awesome ! good work muslime – such is the future of all leftist cunts defending arab terrorists!

    Logan has advocated for for U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan and invading al-Qaeda safe havens in Pakistan. Logan is married to a former Special forces soldier. I would hardly describe her as liberal. Logan has covered a lot of ugly aspects about the WAR ON TERROR and it pisses wingnuts off. These people only want to hear that the wars are going a okay.

    New York University Center for Law & Security (now former) fellow Nir Rosen, another journalist, made a series of stunningly offensive remarks on Twitter about how Logan was trying “out-do” Anderson Cooper.

    Rosen is the only one that is aware of some imaginary contest where journalists try to get assaulted. There has been more foreign correspondence journalists killed in the last decade than ever before. How quickly people forget what happened to Daniel Pearl.

    ACG:

    When a woman is raped in the U.S., there’s no need for social and cultural analysis, because obviously she was asking for it. When a white woman is raped in Egypt, suddenly it’s time for the analysis, because obviously it’s because swarthy and Muslim and not anything that could ever happen here (and also, she was asking for it).

    I think these people would have said the same thing if Logan was sexually assaulted in the United States. The first group is stupid like Rosen and don’t think about the consequences of their words. The second group are just hateful people. How can they say Logan deserved this? If these people bothered to read the CBS News statement carefully that Logan “suffered a brutal and sustained assault”, by several men was the polite way of saying Logan was gang-raped. I wouldn’t wish that on any woman. Regardless of a woman’s political views. To wish that on Logan says the person is a pure piece of shit. End of story.

  22. Tony says:

    Oh my god, Alana. I’m so sorry. This is why I hate those advice articles where a stranger feels like they have you all sized up and can give you life changing advice in one column.

  23. Seconded on Alana’s comment needing a trigger warning..

  24. Pingback: Political Byline » Blog Archive » CBS Reporter supposedly gets raped in Egypt

  25. Amber says:

    There were these really great commercials for not smoking (or was it not drinking?) not too long ago (and perhaps they are still running), that encouraged parents to repetitively tell their kids to abstain.
    It makes perfect sense– Jimmy, no running in the house. How many times has that phrase been repeated to a single child? Women, similarly, receive: don’t go anywhere alone. Don’t leave with a stranger. Don’t get so drunk you can’t take care of yourself. Don’t let yourself be victimized, etc…
    Boys and men should also, repeatedly, hear: don’t take advantage of a girl. Respect the boundaries of women. Treat ALL women with respect. Don’t leave with a stranger, etc.
    I’m sick of the excuses that imprison women in fear/put them in compromising situations because they are afraid to go places alone. Terrible.

    PS– I’m also sick of the contractors that are working on the apartment nextdoor. If they can take the time to make degrading comments when I walk by with my arms full of groceries, they could instead focus that energy on opening a door for me. Jerkfaces.

  26. libdevil says:

    I think I’ve finally figured out exactly why the victim blaming in this case seems so egregious. It’s because Lara Logan was doing everything that the victim blamers insist women should do. She was modestly dressed. She was in a well-traveled area. She had male chaperons. She was (presumably) sober. She wasn’t flirting. She was (by virtue of professionalism and circumstance, not necessarily intentionally) doing all of the things that blamers find lacking in other victims. But they still found a way to make it her fault.

    That, I think, underscores everything that’s wrong with the blamer mentality. The constant moving target, the unrelenting need to excuse rapists from responsibility, the pure hate and cynicism.

  27. Expat says:

    I am an American woman who has lived in various countries, including Pakistan (2 years). The fact is that fundamentalist Muslim societies are very, very different from the Americas and Western Europe, and no one without firsthand experience can really comprehend just how great the difference is. Women ARE at risk in those societies. It’s not fair, it’s not right, but it is true, and until those societies have evolved, women should not be sent into crowded situations there. Not at all, not ever. Not because women are weak or unprofessional, but because the environment is hostile and dangerous and especially so for women.

  28. Lyn says:

    I agree, libdevil – it’s as if NO woman can ever claim she was raped and be treated with respect. It doesn’t actually matter how she was dressed, who she was with, if she’s white and attacked by someone who is not white – even if she gets a tick on ALL of the rape myths, the target just moves accordingly, based on whatever point is convenient to make. So, the convenient point here is ‘omg – muslims are terrible people!’ and ‘well, really, what did a blonde attractive woman expect when she went to a muslim country?’. Rape survivors just get no freaking respect, their stories and experiences aren’t allowed to be about patriarchy or the power dynamic involved – they’re just wholesale used to affirm the status quo wherever possible. It just makes me sooooo angry!

  29. Sheelzebub says:

    Pretty much. Any time a woman is assaulted, she is to blame. EVEN if she was a virgin in a Victorian era dress and a chastity belt. GET WITH THE PROGRAM PEOPLE.

  30. RD says:

    O/T: Alana, I hope you are still reading. While I agree with Lori about your comments disparaging porn stars (I am not a porn star, but I am a former sex worker and a fellow survivor of a lot of violence, and that hurt and confused me too), there is something else I wanted to talk about in your comment. The idea that no one has pure motives in wanting to be with a rape survivor. I don’t think that’s true. I understand what you’re talking about – there are a lot of people who 1) think they want to be with you, but when they discover you’re not “all better” leave because they don’t want to deal with it, 2) think people have a responsibility to somehow make themselves be all better, and think that you shouldn’t be in any relationship until that happens (even if it will never happen), 3) value women only for our looks and our bodies, 4) get off on being with a rape survivor, triggering you, hearing about your trauma, or 5) seek out rape survivors/people with difficulty setting boundaries to control and abuse, etc. I have been with ALL of these types of people. But I’m in a wonderful, loving, supportive relationship now, of 3.5 years so far. She loves me. She supports me. She’s in my corner, always. She has my back. She values me for myself – my personality, my mind, my love. I gained about 30-40 pounds in the past two years from psych med side effects and too many hospitalizations (which I am trying to lose) but she finds me equally as beautiful as before, if not moreso. We have a semi-open relationship and do a lot of things in bed you probably wouldn’t approve of, but that would not be true if I hadn’t wanted those things…they were not her desire alone. Anyway, I just want you to know that its possible. Good people are out there, and you have a lot to offer.

  31. RD says:

    Well actually past two years from spring 2010 backward. I suppose three years now.

  32. LoriA says:

    Here’s what really bugs me about all of the trolling in this case: people are simultaneously blaming Lara Logan for being a female in a dangerous area and blaming the rapists for being EVIL MOOOOOSLIMS who can’t keep their hands off white women! You have to pick either the victim OR the perps to barf your ignorance and bigotry all over, people! I mean, it’s clear that logic is not your strong point, but come on!

  33. Pingback: The rape of Lara Logan » Blues for Levantium Lost

  34. David says:

    LoriA:
    Here’s what really bugs me about all of the trolling in this case: people are simultaneously blaming Lara Logan for being a female in a dangerous area and blaming the rapists for being EVIL MOOOOOSLIMS who can’t keep their hands off white women!You have to pick either the victim OR the perps to barf your ignorance and bigotry all over, people! I mean, it’s clear that logic is not your strong point, but come on!  

    Conservative newsmedia to the rescue again. Being douchebags often enough that as soon as you begin to forget about the last outrageous thing that they said, they decide to top themselves.

  35. zanamu says:

    Let’s recall that over 3000 US military women are suing Sec Gates & Former Sec Rumsfeld for HAVING BEEN RAPED BY THEIR PEERS WHILE IN SERVICE TO THEIR COUNTRY. Oddly, they did not appreciate not being [at least]reassigned after thier assaults. I am sure they were asking for it – they knew they were female, and that’s the same thing, after all. According to VA Sec Shakashvili, over 30,000 active duty and veterans sought treatment from the VA in 2008 for sexual harassment/assault spectrum disorders. Probably they were asking for it. Or there are a lot of brown people in the military. Or both.

  36. Pingback: Lara Logan assaulted in Egypt — Feministe | U.S. White Collar Crime Lawyers and Attorney, Federal White Collar Crime Laws, Internet White Collar Crime Lawyers, Legal Advice about online scams, fraud and related Crime Prevention blog

  37. Pingback: A Few Thoughts On The Rape Of Lara Logan « In One Ear…

  38. Melba N. says:

    I’ve been following this case closely, and it’s always hilariously ironic how those who scoff and chide at the idea of “EVIL MOOOOOSLIMS” are simultaneously the ones who depict “bigots” as subhuman evil incarnate.

    Psychologically, you’re doing exactly what you accuse “bigots” of doing—dehumanizing your own personal demonized “other.”

    Glad I could straighten all that out, for fuck’s sake.

  39. As I recall, when Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and killed as a result of being a reporter investigating Al Qaeda, no one said it was his fault.

  40. Sheelzebub says:

    You have to pick either the victim OR the perps to barf your ignorance and bigotry all over, people!

    Lori! When are you going to understand that there is enough hate and bile to go around?

  41. William says:

    The fact is that fundamentalist Muslim societies are very, very different from the Americas and Western Europe, and no one without firsthand experience can really comprehend just how great the difference is. Women ARE at risk in those societies. It’s not fair, it’s not right, but it is true, and until those societies have evolved, women should not be sent into crowded situations there. Not at all, not ever.

    Thats certainly true, but I think its a red herring here. Egypt is a relatively secular country and public gang rape is hardly a phenomenon confined to the Muslim world. The fact is that human beings behave in pretty repugnant manners when we’re in large groups: mobs make us ugly and cruel. I think bringing up Islam here is defensive, a way of saying “oh, but this can’t happen here!” to try to defray some of the anxiety that a story like this provokes.

  42. tinfoil hattie says:

    Rosen’s “apology” included a comment that ‘sexual assault is no laughing matter, especially when it happens to men.’ (!)

    How is this an ideal apology?

    (Also, English major coming out: “never mind” is two words.)

  43. tinfoil hattie says:

    Also: “I forgot I wasn’t just talking to a couple of people.” So – that’s what he really believes in private, but hey – he was wrong to tweet it to everyone. In other words, “I’m sorry I got caught.”

  44. groggette says:

    tinfoil hattie: Also: “I forgot I wasn’t just talking to a couple of people.” So – that’s what he really believes in private, but hey – he was wrong to tweet it to everyone. In other words, “I’m sorry I got caught.”

    Good catch tinfoil hattie.

  45. Medea says:

    Sheelzebub: Any time a woman is assaulted, she is to blame. EVEN if she was a virgin in a Victorian era dress and a chastity belt.

    Her ankles were probably showing.

  46. Thom says:

    Am I the only one annoyed by Rosen’s attempts to “defend” what drove his comments in his apology? One defense was frustration that non-celebrities and minority women don’t get this kind of attention. And that frustrates him. It bothers me as well. But you know what? How does attacking a rape victim help the issue? I mean, seriously, when coming forward brings this kind of response from a supposed ally, how does that encourage other rape victims?

  47. Jim says:

    libdevil: I think I’ve finally figured out exactly why the victim blaming in this case seems so egregious. It’s because Lara Logan was doing everything that the victim blamers insist women should do.

    That is the main reason. The second reason is that it obviously looks politically motivated, and that makes the demonization of Egyptian as men, or as Muslims, or whatever general category you choose, men stupid and dishonest. Journalists have been getting beaten for days there and we know why. The sexual aspect of this was just the modality of the attack – the motivation was almost certainly political.

  48. Emeryn says:

    No, Thom, you aren’t alone. His psuedo-apology irritated the hell out of me, too. It gave me the impression that he thinks if you’re a cis-gendered white victim, then you aren’t a survivor, but someone looking for attention.

  49. Pingback: “Lara Logan Update: At Home, In Good Spirits, Sources Say” and related posts | topsaladrecipes.com

  50. Pingback: links for 2011-02-17 « Embololalia

  51. Pingback: Victim Blaming and the “Slut” | The Stay-at-Home Feminist Mom

  52. S says:

    I had a similar experience in San Diego while I was driving with my husband. A very creepy individual in another vehicle was talking about size of his anatomy, what and how often he touched it, and so forth. In hindsight, I should have called the police. I used to think the womens’ rights movement was extreme in their views and actions. Now I don’t think they have gone far enough and am happy to support their efforts so that women can truly live without fear and discrimination.

    L: Also I want to say that I have felt as creeped out, if not MORE creeped out where I live, in Canada. I hate when people put value judgments on different countries like that, saying “ooooh the men are so creepy there” as if women are never harassed or touched or leered at in North America. (Not saying you’re doing that, Jill). At least no one outright touched me in Egypt, which has happened countless times here.Anyway, thank you for this post. Well-said.  

  53. Boy Mulcaster says:

    There’s even a poll asking, “Is Lara Logan to blame for her own sexual assault?”

    And of the 8,735 respondents, a majority said “yes.” Really.

  54. Emeryn says:

    Boy Mulcaster: And of the 8,735 respondents, a majority said “yes.” Really.  (Quote this comment?)

    …I have no words for that. Just utter dismay.

  55. Sheelzebub says:

    (Rosen, to his credit, has given an extensive apology and explanation, which should serve as a model for anyone reacting to a major public fuck-up).

    Yeah, not so much. He had a subsequent interview where he basically whined that HE was set upon by a mob in response to those tweets (figuratively! of course! and not in really bad fucking taste at all) and that he was angry on behalf of ignored women of color (since the way to show solidarity is to mock a woman who was beaten and sexually assaulted).

    Hey! You know how you can highlight the shit women of color have to deal with? You can report on it. You can link to articles about it. You can tweet about Lara Logan and say that it’s been happening to Egyptian women/women of color for a long time. You don’t tweet that because she said stuff you thought was outrageous she deserved it, she is lying, and she’s doing it for attention, you worthless little fuckstick. You don’t then defend that as crude banter (here’s a clue: jokes about farting during sex or quiffing is crude banter. Mocking sexual assault survivors is fucking reprehensible and something I’d expect from Rush Limbaugh. YOU FUCKING DOUCHEBAG.)

    You want to whine about a pack of dogs unleashed on you? “Sanctimonious and silly” reactions to your tweets? Good lord, dipshit, this came FROM THE LEFT. For good reason. You should know fucking better, and you can whine about celebrity culture all you want but you know what? You mocked someone who was beaten and sexually assaulted. That’s not funny, and those “sanctimonious and silly” reactions came from RAPE SURVIVORS.

    You fucking douchebag.

    Way to go, dudebro. . .

  56. BeigeShirt says:

    Handclap for Sheelzebub.

  57. Tony says:

    Nir Rosen just digs deeper and deeper, doesn’t he? It’s interesting how he tries to erase the existence of feminists by passing it off as some sort of right wing political attack, in which he is the heroic persecuted. As if rape is not the real issue, the real issue is how People Are Out to Get Him. Maybe one day in 20, 30 years he will wake up and get it. Today? Not so much.

    I’ve thrown my career out the window for being careless clueless

    Corrected.

  58. Bridget says:

    Alana, if you are still reading I just wanted to say I’m so sorry you were treated so horribly.

  59. A Firangi's Perspective says:

    In the brief amount of time I spent in Egypt, I was harassed and followed and cat-called extensively. That viewpoint — that women in public are public property — was pervasive particularly in Cairo, but is hardly exclusive to Egypt and certainly doesn’t correlate with the prominence of Islam in any particular country.
    *

    Me too. But in India. I correlate public sexual harrassement with lack of strong feminist movements.

    As feminism gains firm ground in these countries, public sexual harrassement will fade.

    (I have also heard that male on male sexual harrassement in not uncommon in Egypt)

  60. Jac says:

    I feel so bad for what has happened to Logan! Its crazy how they are blaming it on her appearance ,the color of her hair and the way she was dressed. She was only doing her job and doing it in a professional manner. When Daniel Pearl was captured and killed, they didnt say anything about his appearance and the color of his hair or the way he was dressed, no one said it was his fault.

    Its like people expect us woman to stay home where it is “safe”. If we do go out what are we suppost to cover ourselves completly so theres a less chance of us getting raped or harressed?

    And Boy Mulcaster when i read your blog i couldnt believe that there was actually a poll asking ” Is Lara Logan to blame for her own sexual assault? … I have the same response, REALLY.

  61. Pingback: TTU Gay-Straight Alliance, Feminist of Lubbock Meeting « RW Resources

  62. Pingback: Digging Into Egypt’s Culture Of Harassment | How To Stop Someone From Snoring

  63. We need journalist like lara logan who can fight back and show their enthusiasm towards journalism
    http://www.newscollective.com/blog/?p=3729

  64. The fight back from lara logan after the assault upon her shows her spirit, passion towards journalism
    http://www.newscollective.com/blog/?p=3729

Comments are closed.