CBS News correspondent Lara Logan has described in some detail what happened during that horrific sexual assault she suffered on Friday, 2.11 in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. She’s given an interview on the subject to N.Y. Times reporter Brian Stelter, and will also speak about it on 60 Minutes this Sunday.
The word “rape” surfaced in some news reports about the attack, and to most of us that word means what it means. Logan tells Stelter that for 40 minutes 200 or 300 men “raped me with their hands” and that her clothes were “torn to pieces.” Good God.
Rape is rarely about sex but about the rapist asserting power over a victim and venting rage about some social or emotional issue. In their heads, the animals in Tahrir Square were showing a connected, well-heeled western woman with blonde hair that they deeply resent her elite-media position compared to their scraping-to-get-by lives and that they have the power to subjugate her and thereby make the statement that they’re just as good and not her social lessers.
That plus the fact that Middle-Eastern men are not exactly paragons of enlightened thought when it comes to women. As I wrote last February, “Most of us are under the impression, I think, that the patriarchal and sometimes brutish attitudes of many Middle Eastern men toward women make typical Mediterranean males — once the leading standard-bearers of sexist behavior — look like radical lesbians.”