“60 Minutes” reporter Lara Logan has still not spoken publicly about being attacked on February 11 in Egypt‘s Tahrir Square while she reported on civil unrest there, but alleged details have emerged in an Australian newspaper about the physical and sexual assault Logan endured. It has really, really annoyed me reading internet commenters who have parried back and forth about Logan being “raped” (usually while discussing whether she put herself in the position for such a thing to happen), when, in fact, “rape” is a complete assumption. In its statement regarding the attack on Lara Logan and her TV crew, all that CBS News said regarding the assault was, “In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating …” People made their own inferences that “sexual assault” meant “rape,” when, in fact, it appears it did not.According to a “friend” who spoke to The Australian:
“South African-born Logan, her crew and a security detail appear to have been surrounded near a tent city that had sprung up in the square. Logan became separated from her crew and security. One source said soldiers went in to rescue them, but Logan fell as they tried to escape. Sources in the US said the attack went on for up to 30 minutes. Her clothes were torn off and the crowd hit her and beat her with [flag] poles. Shouts of ‘Israeli’ enraged the crowd even more.”
Logan recovered at a New York hospital for several days and now is with her family at their Washington, D.C. home. The source also told The Australian, “Lara is getting better daily. The psychological trauma is as bad as, if not worse than, the physical injuries. She might talk about it at some time in the future, but not now.”
Lara Logan may never speak publicly about the attack or the assault, as is her right. However, if she ever does address it publicly, I hope she speaks to the fact that there are many ways a person can be sexually assaulted and all of them are bad, wrong and terrible.
Oh, and if you really want to get your panties in a wad, go read some of the comments on the Gawker post about the details of Logan’s assault. One commenter charmingly questions whether being stripped, pinched and beaten with flagpoles by hordes of men counts as “sexual assault”:
“On the face of it, the way this is described, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with this necessarily being described as a “brutal and sustained sexual” assault. Because she is a woman, her clothes were torn off, and she was pinched, the assault is sexual? It could be there are elements to the attack that aren’t being reported out of consideration for Logan, but to the extent it has so far been reported, I might think to call it a ‘sustained, misogynistic assault,’ but not further than that. To me, ‘sexual assault’ would have to involve some overt sexual interest of the attackers toward the victim.”
So much stupid in a few short sentences. Do they not understand that sexual assault is about power, not sex? Ah, so first people wondered if Lara Logan brought the physical and sexual assault upon herself for being a white lady reporter in a Middle Eastern country. Now we can throw on top of the heap that maybe she wasn’t sexually assaulted enough for it to count. Lovely.
Then again, if the Lara Logan story has taught us anything, it’s that some people just don’t get it.