Lara Logan. 7 P's. Sexism. Misogyny.


Writes Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon,
Like countless women around the world, Lara Logan was attacked in the line of duty. She was assaulted doing her job. It was a crime of unspeakable violence. And your opinion of how she does that job, the religion her assailants share with a few million other people, or the color of her hair has nothing to do with it.
It was a crime of violence. Let's reserve the "unspeakable" for things where people get their throats cut while conscious. Or get skinned alive and suffocated when the bastards cut your skin at your waist and then pull it up over your head and tie it together. Or when you're beaten, tortured, get your legs broken then raped then killed.

Lara Logan got roughed up, felt up and possibly raped. That sucks. Anyone going into Egypt already knows what an atrocious environment it is for females and foreigners.

If it was up to me and I could just flip a switch and make it so any woman on the planet could wear whatever she wanted and some diamond jewelry and walk alone through every single city on the planet I'd be more than happy to. In the meantime things like this are going to happen. If you care to avoid it I suggest you get some security and be mindful of local practice. Like not showing your blond hair. And not walking into crowds when you - to them - appear very foreign and exotic.

The guys who did this won't get caught. I wish they would get caught. I wish they'd get punished. Sure people should be outraged by that, but that's a drop in the bucket compared to the huge amount of stuff that happens every day. Doesn't mean you can't be outraged and scream and yell about it. But how best to fix it? Writing blog posts - hardly. An end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a gradual opening of the repressive Middle East regimes the US supports, a reasonably fair solution to the Israeli-Palestinian mess and a gradual spread of internet and twitter and facebook in the face of religious fanaticism and propaganda from the dark caves of the last fundamentalist holdouts. Yeah - that'll eventually have an impact on how women are treated in that part of the world in general and Egypt in particular.

Hopefully some good will come of this incident. Like, a lot of people in Egypt will find reason to talk about sexual assault and the status of women - so maybe Lara Logan really did Egypt and the world a huge favour by inadvertently publicizing these issues.

Piss poor prior planning prevents proper performance. Watch out. Especially in war zones and conflicted countries where there's a lot of very conservative very crazy religious fundamentals. Female reporters face more risk than their male counterparts. That's unfortunate and hopefully it'll change but til then you'd better prepare for trouble. I sympathize with anyone who just wants to get on the story and do their job, but either pay attention to your security or any given situation could just come back and smack you in the back of the head with a vengeance.
The NY Post says Logan "is known as much for her toughness as for her good looks," and also includes a total of four paragraphs about her various romantic liaisons. Simone WIlson [sic] of theLA Weekly (via Salon) kicks the jerkitude up a notch, calling Logan a "Warzone 'It Girl'" and a "gutsy stunner" who "has long attacked Hollywood-lite reporters for their dumbing down of overseas violence — at the same time using her Hollywood good looks and spotlight to push a more hard-hitting agenda." Wilson also winds up her piece with this creepy line: "Impressive, indeed — but nobody's invincible." In fact, all the emphasis on Logan's "toughness" seems to imply, albeit indirectly, that the assault was some sort of inevitable comeuppance.
I'm terribly sorry, but I fail to see a massive amount of stuff to be offended by in the above quote. The tabloids and newspapers will want to sell copy. Saying she "is known for her toughness" won't sell as much as she ""is known as much for her toughness as for her good looks." That's America for you. Capitalism and our celebrity, sex & drugs-obsessed public discourse. (Rock 'n roll seems to be on the way down as far as getting attention goes.)

She has guts. That's moderately indisputable. She's good-looking by most accounts. "Stunner" is just reporters trying to catch attention. What's the problem? Why can't she use her looks and spotlight to pursue an agenda? Why can't another reporter use the first reporter's looks to get the story out there where, you know, people will actually start paying attention to sexual assaults in the Middle East?

She's a public figure doing her job in a very volatile region - if anyone thinks she has an expectation of privacy after a very public assault at a political demonstration, think again. That'd be incredibly naive.

So, mad respect for Lara Logan for doing her job in a rough part of town. But a little Operational Risk Management, some cultural sensitivity and a bit more common sense in how you approach demonstrations and lawless mob situations might go a long way. Piss poor prior planning prevents proper performance.

Who's guilty of a serious crime here? The bad guys who messed her up.

Who's guilty of a lapse in judgement and failure to properly manage risk? Her boss and/or her security detail and/or her.

College friend of mine (that I had a huge crush on, friendzone'd something hardcore) was a very good-looking girl, model type. She had gone to Morocco on vacation and was later pissed off about the fact that she had been followed while she went out jogging. I asked her what she'd been wearing. It had been hot. She'd gone running at the outskirts of town in a sports bra and shorts.

Yes, you have the moral high ground. Everyone should accept you doing what you did. Should. But they won't. Protect yourself. Plan ahead. The real actual world out there is a bit more crushingly heavy than your noble ideals and aspirations and anecdotal evidence from your friends.

If you choose to - as do I - live a life full of taking risks, then sometimes those risks will come back to haunt you, in a bad bad way. Plan for it. Be ready for it. Emergencies, threats and accidents don't happen when you're rested and all set to deal with them. Good luck.

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