Unapologetic progressive. Fearless activist. Plucky liberal.

When ABC journalist Bob Woodruff suffered serious injuries covering Iraq in 2006, no one said he shouldn’t have been where he was. No one said he deserved what he got because he was in a dangerous area. No one criticized him for doing his job. No one brought his personal life into the story. Instead, there were well-wishes and prayers for quick recovery from every corner.

Fast forward a few years to Feb. 15, 2011. News breaks that CBS journalist Lara Logan has been sexually assaulted and beaten covering the protests in Egypt. Immediately, the victim blaming starts. Cue the misogynist jokes.

From LA Weekly: “South African TV journalist Lara Logan, known for her shocking good looks and ballsy knack for pushing her way to the heart of the action, was brutally and repeatedly raped while a crowd of 200 celebrated the February 11 resignation of 30-year Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.” (bolding mine)

It also calls her a “gutsy stunner” with “Hollywood good looks.”

From supposedly left-wing journalist Nir Rosen, in comments made on Twitter: “Jesus Christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger”

“Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than [sic] I’m sorry”

From Debbie Schlussel: “So sad, too bad, Lara. No one told her to go there. She knew the risks. And she should have known what Islam is all about. Now she knows. Or so we’d hope. But in the case of the media vis-a-vis Islam, that’s a hope that’s generally unanswered.”

From a truly vile blogger: “Sucks that Lara got raped, but she had it coming.”

And these:

Yes, Logan knew the risks. She had been interviewed just a few days before the attack about the danger involved in her job, because she had been detained once before and forced to leave the country. She said about why she went back:

“It’s very hard for me to be away from this story,” said Logan. “I feel in one sense like a failure professionally. I feel like I failed because I didn’t deliver and I take that responsibility very seriously. … Fundamentally it is in my blood to be there and to be on the streets and to be listening to people and to do the best reporting that I can.”

For that sense of duty, a dedication to her job that most of us can only imagine, Logan is being mocked and belittled. Obviously the people doing so are in the minority, but they need to be called out and denounced for what they are: slime.

People who have actual feelings have also written some commentary. A roundup at Salon covers many of the people mentioned above with the title “What not to say about Lara Logan.” Columbia Journalism Review has “Unspoken: Foreign Correspondents and Sexual Abuse.” Ann at Feministing wrote “When rape is a risk that comes with the job.”

Another point that must be made is that this attack is not unique to Egypt. Women are raped and sexually assaulted every minute of every day in every country on Earth. The only thing that causes it is hatred of women, not what the women were wearing or doing or saying or drinking or eating. Really, the only thing that’s different about this case is we have a face to put on it: Lara Logan’s. And I feel a little slimey myself even writing about this, considering this should be a private matter for Logan and her family, but the attack wouldn’t have been publicized at all if she hadn’t given her OK. She had the courage and bravery to disclose it. The least she deserves is a little respect.

As Jamil Smith, a producer for “The Rachel Maddow Show,” put it:

Update: As of Feb. 17, this post is closed to comments.


Comments on: "The misogyny of victim-blaming" (72)

  1. I actually called it. While watching coverage I thought it was insane they had attractive women covering the story. Anyone who knows anything about societal breakdown knowns that in chaos people are more likely to do things like that. People who may have never committed a crime in their life. Anderson Cooper is in the same boat since he is openly gay. I understand the points but it’s just reality. No woman should ever know what can go through any mind of man during the course of a day(or while dreaming), so it doesn’t shock me this happened

    • You did an excellent job of proving my point.

    • gee what an ass you are. if you are ever a victim of crime, i’m sure you’ll say it was your fault for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. or is that only women? my bad. if your daughter, wife, mother, sister, or female friend is ever raped, i’m sure you’ll say she deserved it or shouldnt have looked as good or should know her place and not engage in professions that while doing her job in the way any man has the right and expectation to do, put her in danger. i feel sorry for All the women connected to you in any way.

      • Thanks for the support. I agree I wouldn’t want to be a woman who knows this person in real life.

      • without saying what happened is her fault in any way, saying “if you are ever a victim of crime, i’m sure you’ll say it was your fault for being in the wrong place at the wrong time” is silly.
        if you were driving an expensive convertible round a gang dominated part of town, there’s a very high chance you’d get carjacked. is that your fault? surely it must be partly?

      • I think that’s too much of a slippery slope. If you just lose your car, maybe you should have known better. If you lose your life, is it your fault? Did you deserve to die because you were in the wrong part of town? I tend to err on the side of victims in those cases.

  2. Those who took part in this violent assault are hateful and twisted. Those who excuse or diminish this vile act have lost their heart and their moral compass.

  3. Wow, so a blonde-white-pretty girl goes to on of the most dangerous places in the world and she doesn’t expect to be beaten and raped?!


    Hell I look like a turk and I would still not go there for fear of getting my ass kicked solely for not speaking their language.

    Get a grip please. It’s a riot, not a a protest.

    • Gotta disagree with you Seed. It is not the victim’s fault for the vile actions of others.

    • You did a great job of proving my point.

      • He didn’t prove your point. He merely pointed out a fact. We all have the moral obligation to our selves to recognize danger and avoid it. What she did was stupid. Thats not to say she deserved it or that it wasn’t horrible. People seem to loose sight of the fact that we are animals, and though you can hold yourself to a higher standard others aren’t to be trusted until they have earned it.

      • I’m curious; do you also think Anderson Cooper and the male journalists working in Egypt are stupid?

      • Yes and no. Hes still taking an unnecessary risk so yes. At the same time hes at a significantly lower risk.

      • You must think an awful lot of people are stupid, then. It’s an unnecessary risk to drive a car, yet millions do it every day. I don’t see a lot of people being blamed for being hit by drunken drivers.

      • When you do something theres a level of risk that you have to accept. My opinion might be jaded because I’m paranoid, but before I do anything I consider the risks.

        Honestly if you get hit by a drunk driver, thats unfortunate. Its not ok that she was assaulted or violated, but she chose to be in the center of a riot. Why do you think I sat home and read about it from people inside trying to get out?

      • Yes, she knew the risks of being where she was. I guess where I disagree is that I don’t think she was stupid for choosing to be there. Do we call police officers or firefighters or soldiers stupid for being injured while doing their jobs? They also know the risks that come with their professions but choose to do them anyway.

      • And if a single cop busted in the doors to a meth lab, isn’t that stupid?
        If a cop goes into a firefight he does it to protect others and enact justice. Mrs. Logan walked into a riot for publicity and media, media that was provided elsewhere by hundreds less at risk than herself. I consider it stupid because I wouldn’t put myself in that kind of danger to get paid or to get publicity. I would however walk into a firefight (if armed, and with authority) to protect others. Intention has everything to do with my judgement of intellect, and it should have something to do with yours.

      • As I said before, I disagree. Let’s leave it at that.

      • I’m not willing to drop it just because you cant find ground to fight me on. I’m not trying to instigate, only to expand your mind. This action is more than a vial act, and it is more than a bad decision. Its both. Rape is horrible, but if you look at the signs – there was a huge probability of this happening. So why cant you just agree that it was a bad decision on her part? Life isn’t fair, thats why you should always lookout for yourself first. When it all breaks down the only person who’s actions you can anticipate are your own.

  4. The vile actions of others?! They are hanging men from lamp posts in Cairo! Isn’t it YOUR FAULT if you go outside knowing that you will be beaten/killed?

    Her boss took a risk with her. Every risk has a reward, be it negative/positive. It’s sad that this happened but it could’ve been easily prevented : send a middle-eastern looking reporter who knows the language and the local customs.

    • Sexism/racism as its best. You prove my point.

    • and if it were a middle eastern woman, and she were raped, you’d say, send a middle eastern man. and since we here in the western world have so very very many middle eastern people in high positions in all professions, that’ll be a piece o’cake. i’m sure that black reporters shouldnt have reported on the kkk or the bus boycotts or the … either. and don’t get me started on the frankly billions of places that women reporters, or lawyers, doctors, business people, tourists, human beings, shouldnt go in the world under that logic. in fact, i think women should just stay at home, unless they are covered by their burkas and our with a male relative. oh wait, you’re one of the American Taliban, you don’t mean that, do you?

      • I had that same thought about women staying home. Once you start declaring places off-limits to women, where do you draw the line? It would never stop.

  5. Manhood101 . com

    Cause bitches are THAT hypocritical and entitled.

    Next time let me know how much sympathy and support from the public those men raped in prison receive, OK sugar tits?

    Manhood101 . com

    keeping mindless bitches in check.

    • You are the definition of misogyny. Great job proving my point.

      • now that one is over the top repulsive hate speech. why dont you delete things like that? your readers should not have to be subjected to that level of vileness and you shouldnt give it a platform for expression.

      • I agree it’s repulsive. I find most of the comments to this post repulsive, but they also do a good job of proving my point that way too many people think Lara Logan “deserved” what happened.

      • Lara didn’t deserve this at all. No one deserves to be raped.

    • Very inappropriate comments Rory. Respectful comments please, not name-calling.

  6. It never ceases to amaze me when people are shocked that this has happened. Anonymous had it correct. Societal breakdown and chaos spawned this. If you are a woman (attractive or not) in a situation where the structures/morals/mores of society are essentially suspended, and surrounded by a bunch of men, it is a recipe for disaster. I’m willing to bet Rick that the men who did this are not hateful and twisted. I’m betting that they are men with jobs and lives, whio got caught up in what was going on, and was instigated by some spark (whether it was a hateful and vile man, or maybe one of the guys wasn’t getting enough sex, and his urges took over). Their actions are vile, no doubt, and they will sadly never be punished for this.

    The ultimate problem here is that in the end, we are men. We have base desires which can be activated by the simplest of things. Yup, we’ve built all sets of culture and laws to change that and have made some progress, but to assume it is a universal constant is ignorance.

    Is this admonishing Logan? Well, in honesty she should have thought better, but if her journalistic convictions override her sense of judgement (which from what I have heard/read is the case) than that’s the risk she takes. So it’s hard to say, “Bad Lara!” because she knew what she was doing. I do applaud her bravery for likely giving the okay to publicize the story. Her actions are one more step to combating those evolutionary instincts we as a species fight so hard against.

    • Wow, way to insult both men and women. “We can’t control ourselves” is nothing more than a cop-out.

      • Umm, hate to break it to you, but a lot of people CAN’T control themselves. Don’t even try to believe otherwise. If people could control themselves, the world would be very different.

        Let me ask you… specifically what is it that is bugging you?

      • Excusing rape by saying “men can’t control themselves” is bullshit. What’s “bugging” me is you and people like you who believe that.

      • Ummm, where did I excuse rape in what I wrote? Please show me. I’m trying to find the ‘why’ of it. Trying to understand it – because once you understand the why, you can solve the problem. It sounds to me like you simply want to bash anyone who doesn’t agree with you 100% And I do, btw. I agree 100% that rape is wrong and should never happen. Sad part is, it does. But knowing why it does helps to prevent it. I was hoping to have a reasoned discussion with you on this, as it is a topic worth discussing, but you simply seem to want to hate. That’s cool. Your perrogative.

      • Rape doesn’t happen because men lose control. The only “control” involved is that which they want to exert over women. Rape happens because men hate women. And plenty of “hateful and twisted” men have jobs. Most of them do. Having a job and a life does not mean you’re a good person.

      • For chrissakes, try using logic, reasoning and intellect rather your misandrist drivel. You disgust me.

      • Rest assured the feeling is mutual.

      • You can disagree all you want, but do not need to be mean.

        Sexual assault is a crime. A crime was committed against Lara Logan. Our thoughts, prayers, and best wishes should be with her and her family as she recovers. Hopefully, those who committed this crime will be caught and prosecuted.

  7. The law doesn’t believe women can control their own behavior like grown adults either. That’s why women consistently receive a pussy pass for crimes that they commit, whether its groping men at bars and then keeping a straight face with moral indignation about “victims of sexual assault”, or its aging hags glamorizing sex and having sex with teenage boys and then labeling men as pedophiles or screaming for their castration if they have sex with fully developed 15-17 year old girls. Thy name is hypocrisy and self-serving tyranny. Letting women out of the kitchen was like handing a toddler a loaded shotgun and pointing it at society’s head.

    • Great job proving my point. How many women have you raped?

      • Do you all notice how this bitch MOLLY completely ignored all of the posts that took the time to rip her flawed feminist arguments to shreds using logical analogies and compelling objective points. And instead she hones in the one post which has an entirely emotional element to it. Like a woman, she ignores real scrutiny, real debate, which expose the flaws of her feminist talking points. The only post she acknowledged the existance of is the overly emotional one like hers. This latest mind-numbingly ignorant one-line post makes that point.

        Do you know what hypocrisy and double standards as applied to big bad men and poor innocent victimized women are little bitch?

      • I get the feeling you’re trying to insult me but I’m more amused than anything else.

      • Rory, I like the cut of your jib.

    • Rory, I find your name calling to be very inappropriate. Closed-minded comments like “letting women out of the kitchen…” is does not address the issue either, it only display your unfortunate and dated opinion of women. Please stop name calling.

      • Tell Molly to stop saying things like, “How many women have you raped?” (is that slander?) and maybe he will, but she’s being just as immature about all this as Rory is.

      • Oh, I get it. He can call me a bitch but I can’t call him out on his behavior–which shows a complete lack of respect for women, which is a prime characteristic of rapists.

      • How about you both are being name-calling idiots? Sheesh.

      • If you’re so disgusted with the conversation I can’t imagine why you’re still hanging around the blog. Please feel free to leave.

      • It seems the only discussion you wish to have is one where everyone agrees with you. I’ll be off now, living in my horrible “man-shame” whilst you sleep comfortably known how superior women are. :roll:

      • Hussman, I like you already.

  8. I am shocked an saddened by much of the incoming commentary. Blame the victim is a cowardly and in this case sexist way to address the problem. I do not recall Bob Woodruff being blamed for his war injuries in Iraq. I do not recall the Today show reporter being blamed for his death the first week in Iraq. Why is different for women? It shouldn’t be. Lara Logan is the victim, not the cause.

    • The tactic of “you’re blaming the victim” sweeps personal responsibility under the rug. But only for women.

      • You’re proving my point again. Women are NEVER responsible for being assaulted. When was the last time you blamed a shooting victim for stepping in front of a bullet?

    • This is pretty typical for any feminist who expresses a thought in her head or dares to point fingers at men who participate in rape culture.

      • I have no problem with feminism. I do have a problem with a person who makes a public post then refuses to have a debate about it. Dennis Miller said it best. “What I do have a problem with are the people who fail to see the glaring hypocrisy of screaming the words “shut up” into a bullhorn.”

  9. http://vimeo.com/19843219

    The Story of Feminism–as told by WOMEN

    This is the TRUE story of feminism. And just so nobody can accuse us of being sexist, misogynistic pigs, we’re only going to let WOMEN tell this story.

    Warning: this video may cause more rioting than in all of Egypt. Prepare yourselves. Hold onto your balls.


  10. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sara Chipps, Lars Wilhelmsen. Lars Wilhelmsen said: RT @SaraJChipps: Literally sick in my stomach reading this, without words. http://bit.ly/eMAoa8 My heart goes out to Lara and her family … […]

  11. I hate men. Men are the worst. Men cause all problems. Men are the worst. I hate men.

    • I feel bad for you, if you’re being sincere. I don’t hate men. I hate rapists and rape apologists.

  12. What exactly is rape culture? I have never seen an actual rape. If we live in a culture of rape, shouldn’t this be happening everywhere I look?

    • You can find a definition by doing a Google search. The short answer is rape culture is displayed in the above reactions to Logan’s assault: that she “deserved” to be attacked because she was a woman who shouldn’t have been where she was. And yes, rape pretty much is everywhere: according to RAINN, 17 million American women have been the victims of rape or attempted rape.

  13. Uncle Dave said:

    Rape is the most of sad things a man can do to a woman or anyone for that matter; the ultimate abuse of one person to another !
    Their is no excuse; Men have treated women badly for most of time; Men need to teach their sons to treat women with respect; we all need to do this no matter what gender we are.
    We must bring peace to all for our world to succeed .

    • Thanks for the comment, Uncle Dave. I too wish fathers would teach their sons respect for women, and that more men would speak out about violence against women.

    • Ditto to Uncle Dave’s comments. One other example I thought of. To my knowledge, nobody ever blamed Daniel Pearl for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sadly, he lost his life while doing his job.

    • It’s a good thing women don’t rape men. And I would venture to say that mothers teaching their daughters to respect men, just as men teach their sons to respect women, is just as important. In fact, let’s just make this simpler… how about people just teach other people to treat people with respect?

      • Rapists come in all shapes and sizes, male and female. The vast majority of the time, men rape women, which is why I think it’s especially important that men model respect toward women for their sons, because that’s where the sons are most likely to pick up the attitudes toward women that they will hold for the rest of their lives. But yes, I agree we should teach respect toward everyone.

  14. I must say I beginning to think Nir Rosen was right. I know he resigned but it doesn’t seem she was really raped but just hugged. She is from South Africa which means she is a racist so I’m guessing she was upset when colored people were hugging here after Mubarak stepped down.

  15. […] and she was one of the first to respond to me, calling me a “truly vile blogger” amid other nuggets like these:Another point that must be made is that this attack is not unique to Egypt. Women are raped and […]

  16. It is as simple as this – sexual assault is wrong, no matter who commits it. It does not matter where you are from, what country you are in, what you believe, or your sexual orientation.

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