Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lara’s sadly predictable horror

Most everyone know s by now what happened to CBS reporter Lara Logan,
"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,"
First reports can be only outlines, but we can assume that this is accurate by this time.

We all wish her well and are glad she is alive and in good hands now.
This was avoidable though, but also unavoidable as well due to our own decisions about what is or is not acceptable conversations.

Mrs. Salamander and I had a talk about this last night and we both came to the same conclusion – one I originally didn’t even want to post about. I would like to say that I didn’t want to post about it out of respect for Ms. Logan and the nightmare she lived through and need to recover, but though that a reason, that is not the primary reason.

I realized that the primary reason that I didn’t want to post on it was the same reason that Ms. Logan found herself in a place she should not have been – fear. I was afraid to discuss the hard truth of the real world and how women outside the protective bubble of the West are viewed – and the tragic results of thinking that in the middle of the global scrum – reality does not apply to us.

CBS news – regardless of your opinion of it – has a lot of very educated professionals, especially in among its international correspondents. Somewhere among Ms. Logan’s co-workers was someone who had to know what the Arab world was like in 2011. They had to know what the reputation of Western women in general – and American woman in particular – is in that part of the world.

The low position their own women are held in Arab society combined with what Hollywood and pr0n has done to warp reality around the world about what a blond-haired, blue eyed American female is all about – and this horror was almost predictable.

Those who have spent time in Italy all know the low-opinion Italian men have of American females. Take that and increase it by a factor of 10 and you have the opinion of the average Arab male on American women about right. You ignore that fact to your own danger.

Why do we have “honor killings” by Arab men of their Westernized daughters? It is because they do not want their women to become what they have in their head American women are – and are willing to kill their own children because of it. Yes, it is that sick.

Somewhere in CBS, someone had to say, “This is a bad idea. Lara has no place in that mob. She is in danger and we can’t protect her.” They kept it to themselves though, I am sure, out of fear. Fear of being called sexist or worst. Even if they had spoken up, the some person up the chain would have told them to squash it.

Being the driven professional that she is, Ms. Logan probably would have told that person to not worry – that she was fine.
Even after Greg Palcot and Anderson Cooper’s assault – CBS sent Lara Logan in that mix. They had to know that if attacked, she would be sexually assaulted.

Every female prisoner taken by the Iraqis in both wars were sexually assaulted. This is what happens to women, Western or otherwise, who are taken by force – again, especially in that part of the world.

From the start, this should have been a concern. What was happening in Egypt was not like what was happening in Iran where you saw plenty of females. Even there, as is normal now in most of the Muslim world, they were covered women. Egyptians are not Iranians. You saw a few females in the Egyptian crowd, but not many and when you did they were in groups and protected.

In an environment where Western reporters are attacked, you threw an under-protected, un-covered, female, blond American. She was brutally beaten and sexually assaulted.
No one at CBS or in the audience should be shocked. No one who has socialized with men in that part of the world will be shocked. I’m not.

I won’t expect that we will hear too much of this though for the same reason I almost didn’t post on it. It is uncomfortable to discuss, painful to think about, and out of respect for the victim you want to just avoid the topic.

However, that is not how you address the real world though. The real world is a mean, nasty, brutal, backward, and unforgiving place. We need to be reminded of that now and then, sadly. If we talk about it enough – then maybe others will not be put in harm’s way unnecessarily.


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