The resignation of Egyptian president Mubarak caused celebration in not only Egypt, but in America and across the entire globe. Of course and unfortunately, there were casualties in the country’s quest for better wages and liberation – between 350 and 400 people died.
Foreign journalists were certainly not immune to the violence; Anderson Cooper admitted on his own twitter that he and his crew were beaten up. For some, the brutality was worse. South African reporter Lara Logan, who reports for CBS News, was gang raped and beaten by a crowd of approximately 200 men. After being raped and beaten with flag poles, a group of soldiers and Egyptian women came to her rescue. According to The Australian, Logan spent five days in a New York City hospital and plans to return to the Middle East once she is finished with her recovery.
Logan is not the first woman to be sexually assaulted when war reporting. In an article by Forbes online, Columbia professor Judith Matloff recalls a study she did several years back in which she documented about a dozen sexual assaults against female journalists abroad in what she called a “short period” of time. Matloff says most of these woman don’t report their assaults because they don’t want to be looked down by their male coworkers. Journalism can be a competitive business just like any other industry. Women want the good stories and jobs too. The threat of sexual assault may hinder their opportunities, thus they remain silent.
NYU professor Nir Rosen only added insult to Logan’s injury when he tweeted, “Logan had to outdo Anderson.” He also tweeted something along the lines of, “wouldn’t it be funny if the same thing happened to Anderson Cooper.” NYU fired Rosen shortly after.
I’m sure Rosen was not the only person to make remarks along these lines, and I’m sure you have all heard of or read of the “rape culture.” However, publishing things like this continues to make the journalism industry an unfriendly place for women. Unfortunately, I don’t see violence against women, particularly abroad, lessening anytime soon.