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  What Every Good Cultural Relativist Knows About the Gang Assault on Lara Logan

Posted on February 26 2011 2:00 pm
Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. For extended biography visit The Phyllis Chesler Organization.

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Originally published on February 21, 2011.

On February 11th CBS foreign correspondent, Lara Logan, was publicly gang-raped and beaten for 20-30 minutes by Egyptian men in Tahrir Square who, all the while, cursed her as a “Jew.” CBS only revealed this four days later. Writing at the London Guardian, blogger Amanda Marcotte chose not to focus on this act of  jihadic barbarism because she did not want anyone to draw negative conclusions about Islam, Muslims, Egyptians, or about the so-called Egyptian pro-democracy “revolution.” Instead, like many other commentators, Marcotte bemoaned the fact that “rightwingers” might now draw some politically incorrect conclusions. Marcotte writes:

“In this case, rightwingers who have an interest in stoking fear and loathing of Muslims worldwide pounced at the opportunity to smear all Egyptians with this crime.”

She dismisses the possibility that any “rightwingers” might have a genuine concern for the victim and condemns them all for using Logan’s public gang-rape and beating for “political score-keeping.” After all, every good multicultural relativist knows that all cultures, all countries, all religions are equal and therefore are pretty much the same—except for Western cultures which are somehow worse.

Thus, while Marcotte admits that Egypt is well known for its sexual harassment of women, she insists that women in the West, especially in the United States also endure street sexual harassment. Marcotte cites one study that shows that “up to 100% of women in the United States are sexually harassed” on the streets and claims that at similarly “jubilant” times, such as fraternity parties on the American college campus, women are also ”sexually assaulted.”

I doubt that fraternity gang-rapists curse their victims as “Jews.” But forgive me: I am about to accuse Islam and Egypt of having an anti-Jewish bias. I also doubt that boozed up American fraternity gang-rapists claim that they are overthrowing a dictator and taking power for the people.

In any event, according to Marcotte, “rightwingers” are also delighted to focus on the vulnerability of female journalists because “rightwingers” want to keep women pregnant and barefoot and out of the job market, certainly far away from war zones.

Well, at least they don’t want them to wear burqas. Again, forgive me: I am suggesting that burqas are not a sign of freedom but that burqas and face veils do, increasingly, characterize Islamic gender apartheid in a jihadic era; and that they were all over Tahrir Square.

Ultimately, Marcotte believes that the real assault on Logan is a “rightwing” “assault on all women who have ambitions, or who are willing to be out in public while looking attractive. This response to Logan’s attack should make it clear that the US and Egypt differ on the issue of sexual violence perhaps only in degree but not in kind.”

On the same day, February 17, 2011, The Huffington Post published their politically correct article on the Logan Matter. Asra Nomani, the co-director of the (Daniel) Pearl Project at Georgetown University, accomplishes Marcotte’s goal more deftly.

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