What happened to Lara Logan is tragic and I want to express my unequivocal disapproval of it. The Egyptians and Arabs I know are angry and disgusted with the perpetrators. I hope those men will be brought to justice.
Women in Egypt face daily sexual harassment and their legal rights are limited. When I was there in 2007 I swore I would never go back, just because of how fed up I was by the way men treated me on the street. I felt unsafe every moment I was in public. I hope Lara Logan’s case will help bring to light the work needed on the ground and in courthouses all across Egypt.
Let’s not forget that a group of Egyptian women rescued Lara Logan. I truly hope this doesn’t paint the entire revolution in a negative light. It ought not matter what the rapists’ cultural or religious background is, just as it ought not matter that Lara is blonde or femme. What happened to her was wrong, period.
Tahrir Square was seen by women for 18 days to be a kind of utopic environment where women had a voice and were not sexually harassed. A friend of mine in Cairo says there’s now a man down the street from her house who holds up a sign all day that reads: “Men: Do not harass the women of your country.” But unfortunately, revolution is not a light-switch. When Mubarak stepped down, it did not mean that rapists instantly disappeared from the streets or that respect for women was turned on as quickly as a song. This is a long process. I hope the women & activists of Egypt do the work to ensure that all of society there, including women, will be treated with dignity and respect.