Trigger Warning: CBS Reporter, Lara Logan, Sexually Assaulted in Tahrir

[TW: for description and discussion of sexual assault and beating]

UPDATE (Feb 16)

Some links about the reporting and reaction of the Lara Logan story:

In the mounting rhetoric, what is getting lost is the fact that a reporter has been raped. As Judith Matloff explained in a Columbia Journalism Review article, female foreign correspondents are often subjected to sexual abuse, and rarely report it for fear of losing assignments. Lara Logan has broken a powerful taboo by coming forward about her rape. And the only reaction to this horrific crime, wherever it took place and whoever the perpetrators may be, ought to be disgust and condemnation.

_________________________

From CBS News:

On Friday February 11, the day Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a 60 MINUTES story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.

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 in the hospital recovering.

There will be no further comment from CBS News and Correspondent Logan and her family respectfully request privacy at this time.

Dan Gainor, a Fox News columnist, wrote on Twitter:

Saying prayers for CBS’s Lara Logan who put her life on the line to cover the news.

And while she clearly did put her life on the line (and so I obviously agree with Gainor), my first reaction to his post was that, no, she put her body AND her life on the line.  In a moment of national jubilation, with a MOB of people around her, she was still sexually assaulted and beaten.  Yes, Anderson Cooper was beaten up, his body was assaulted.  But truly, the only person that this could have happened to was a woman – it is the extra burden a woman carries with her.  Logan was both beaten the way Cooper was and assaulted the way women are.

I am visibly shaken by this news.  It makes me so aware of my own body and the fears that I carry with me simply because I am female.  And to imagine her fear and the terror, it makes me…I don’t have words.

On top of it all, you have to assume if this happened to such an obvious woman (a blonde fair-skinned lady in the middle of Tahrir) that it most certainly happened to Egyptian women in the crowd who would have blended much better.  And that makes me sick.  That brings me to tears.

I am heartened, though, that a group of Egyptian women with soldiers backing them stepped in and saved her life.

______________________

UPDATE:

Ezra Klein just tweeted:

It’s easy to forget how courageous the journalists doing work from places like Egypt are. Prayers for Logan — and gratitude for her work.

But I just can’t help but say that this DIDN’T happen to her because she was a journalist (in comparison to Cooper’s assault).  This happened to her because she is a WOMAN.  And by “places like Egypt” does he mean a group of men?

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5 thoughts on “Trigger Warning: CBS Reporter, Lara Logan, Sexually Assaulted in Tahrir

  1. I’m with you. Horrible terrible feeling as I was reading the CBS report on this.

    This is what “they” do to women in institutionally-misogynistic cultures.

    I’m not sure exactly how much better we are in the states than this. Somewhat? Should be even moreso?

    I’m beyond words.

  2. I don’t think we are really any better. If I was in a crowd of frenzied men here in the States, I would be fearful.

    I keep thinking and writing the same words over and over. I am scared people will try to put this on some scale with Cooper’s assault and they are two totally different things. They were motivated by two totally different things. And I just don’t want the discussion to simply be that she was a brave journalist or that she shouldn’t have been there (that’s paternalistic shit that I can’t stand, like Logan can’t make that decision for herself. Like women shouldn’t be reporters because they carry the extra burden of potentially being sexually assaulted). It should be about how the larger problems at play that make it more unsafe for a woman to be out there in the world, not simply in Egypt, or Tahrir, or wherever.

    God, I’m just sickened.

    Thanks for your comment. I love your Twitter feed. I realized that I didn’t have your blog in my RSS feed and am remedying that now.

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