Intent to Shame: The Rape of Lara Logan

Feb 15 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Heroine Lara Logan

Top CBS foreign correspondent Lara Logan, who joined CBS in 2006 and has covered the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, was brutally raped repeatedly in Egypt while covering the downfall of Hosni Mubarak.

“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 a frenzy,” CBS said in a statement on Tuesday. “In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew.” A group of women along with the military intervened to rescue Ms Logan.

Lara Logan serves on Committee to Protect Journalist’s Journalist Assistance Committee, “which oversees the program that provides financial and other support to journalists around the world who have been victims of violence and repression.” Logan has been a hard-hitting foreign correspondent criticized much by the left for her suggestion that you have to treat the military with respect or they “won’t let you back.” Being respectful doesn’t mean being dishonest, of course. It means knowing the organization you are covering well enough to know the challenges they face and the reasons for some of their less than savory decisions and putting those issues into their proper context before simply blasting the organization.

Rape is a crime of aggression, violence, power and control. Rape and sexual assault are seen as a violent hate crime, not a sexual crime, although the intention is to use the sexuality of the victim to humiliate and shame them. So, contrary to some right wing websites who are suggesting that they would have “raped her too” if they could get away with it, rape and sexual assault are not an act of sexual attraction. It’s an act of violence. While others were beaten, Lara Logan was sexually assaulted.

Ms Logan’s last report before the attack:

Rape and sexual assault are crimes meant to shame and silence the victim. Lara Logan has long stood for fearless journalism, and has been and will continue to be a role model to many women and a source of excellent information uncluttered by the dumbing down American news is famous for.

Ms Logan is a hero to many women for the courageous way in which she has time and time again overcome the US media’s attempt to minimize her power by sexualizing her — tainting her with the stain of sexual scandal. She has done what she pleased in her personal life and not apologized for it, while attacking her work with a personal power unique to her. Ms Logan has always owned herself and her own choices. She has never allowed the male patriarchy of the American media to define her or intimidate her.

I wish Ms Logan healing and personal strength in her recovery from this brutal assault. Before the Right gets too sanctimonious about the Egyptians (as they are already doing), they should examine their party’s current stance against rape victims here in the “free” US.

Updated: 10:15 PM to add “rescued by women” along with the military.
Updated: 11:25 to include Logan’s participation in CPJ’s journalists’ assistance committee.

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