I published a post several weeks ago about female journalist Laura Logan, who was gang-raped by a mob of men while reporting on the revolution in Egypt.
Logan has not given any interviews until now. She spoke to her home network- CBS- during a 60 minutes special. She recalled her experience in a very straight-forward fashion. I was honestly a bit surprised with how candid she was:
“And I feel them tearing at my clothing. I think my shirt, my sweater was torn off completely. My shirt was around my neck. I felt the moment that my bra tore. They tore the metal clips of my bra. They tore those open. And I felt that because the air, I felt the air on my chest, on my skin. And I felt them tear out, they literally just tore my pants to shreds. And then I felt my underwear go. And I remember looking up, when my clothes gave way, I remember looking up and seeing them taking pictures with their cell phones, the flashes of their cell phone cameras…I didn’t even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks and things, because I couldn’t even feel that. Because all I could think of was the sexual assault, was all I could feel, was their hands raping me over and over and over again….From the front, from the back.”
As a woman who is considering journalism as a profession, I feel that this was an important interview. It is important for the world to know the risks journalists take when going abroad to cover a chaotic situation. It is important to know the dangers females face daily. It is an important debate on whether or not woman should go be reporting in a world where mob mentality vindicates rape. I would love to believe that I could travel anywhere in the world and face the same dangers as a man would. We don’t live in that world though. As female journalists, we are at a stalemate. Do we speak up and risk losing important, ground-breaking stories? Do we go abroad and face potentially being sexually assaulted in unstable areas? As women, we are generally stuck between a rock and a hard place, not just in journalism either. Do we sacrifice our dreams and who we are for our safety? I wish I had the answers, but I don’t. I do know this is an important issue to explore, and I hope that an open forum on the matter continues.