CBS reporter Lara Logan has reportedly checked out of a hospital five days after suffering a beating and sexual assault last Friday in Tahrir Square. Logan’s story is appalling and yet odd. Her attackers were presumably anti-Mubarak types who’d been celebrating the Egyptian leader’s resignation from office, an obvious contrast from the beatings and shovings that Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour and Katie Couric received earlier at the hands of pro-Mubarak thugs.
And why, I wonder, did this story lie dormant for four days before breaking yesterday?
The Daily Beast‘s Howard Kurtz, a friend of Logan’s, has written that the episode “underscores that the Middle East remains a particularly dangerous place for women.” Particularly, I would add, for Western-culture women of stature, as this presumably stirs resentment. “It is hard to imagine that…members of the mob didn’t realize that she was an American television correspondent,” Kurtz comments.
I’m also presuming that Logan’s blond hair was some kind of factor. Few things in Cairo (or anywhere in the Middle East, I’ve guessing) say “well-heeled American or European woman with connections” more than a well-cut golden mane. Something tells me that if Logan looked like Rhea Perlman she might have been left alone. Or maybe not.
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.