Imagine a moment from your past, a time when you felt incredible joy and elation, a feeling of powerful hopefulness that right now was the beginning of your future, a future which was going to be incredibly brighter. Perhaps it was the day you won an important award at school, or got a great new job. Maybe it was the day you got married, or the day your daughter gave birth to your first grandchild. It could have been the day you first left home to live on your own as an adult.
Remember that wonderful feeling? An uplifting, expansive feeling that all was right with the world, that things were just going to get better and better, and it was just so wonderful to be alive? I want you to close your eyes and try to recapture that moment, and pay attention to the positive feelings you reexperience. And now I have just one question.
At that moment, did it occur to you to rape someone?
NO, you say? You’re really sure? Well, as we know, that’s what a horde of Egyptian men did to Lara Logan. This crowd of primarily men, thousands and thousands of them, was gathered to express joy in unison at the end of the Mubarak dictatorship. Imagine how that must have filled these people with joy, how it must have seemed to them that now that world would be set right-side-up again, that their lives would be better, that their future would now be brighter.
So their response is to gang rape a woman who, through her job, is showing the world their joy….? I know it’s really hard to make sense of that, but don’t worry – last week a man stepped forward to enlighten us.
His name is Dan Rottenberg (yes, something is definitely rotten in his burg), and he writes for the Broad Streeet Review, which is a Philadelphia website which reviews local arts. I learned about this sage editor-in-chief from “The Frisky”, a website which wouldn’t link to him – I won’t, either. So Dan the Man explains:
” … having stumbled across a CBS publicity photo for Lara Logan, I can’t (help) thinking that women also need to take sensible precautions before they’re victimized. … Yes, yes, I know: Each of us wears many personas. A woman journalist like Lara Logan should be able to celebrate herself as both a journalist and a woman, even a sexy woman. But the operative word in that sentence— should— is the sticky point.”
You got that? He saw a publicity photo and realized that because Lara Logan had cleavage in the studio, savages attacked her in Egypt. The victim is to blame. Why, oh why, did it take thousands of years for someone to come up with THAT idea? We know that only a tiny percentage of women who are raped actually report the crime, but even that tiny percentage led to too many innocent men being persecuted for something that was the WOMAN’S fault! So, now we know why a huge group of men who were celebrating, reacted by gang raping a woman. It was because she was there, and she was a she. She was Present While Female.
Here is the “60 Minutes” video of Lara Logan explaining what happened that night. I believe it may be the only time she has spoken about the event.
In the video, Lara remarks that she has since found out that Egypt has a HUGE incidence of rape and other sexual harassment of women. The men don’t have the slightest thought that there is anything wrong with what they’re doing; it’s just culturally acceptable. But wait – Dan the Man says women bring it on themselves because of how they choose to appear. Gosh, the women in Egypt must have incredible eyes – because that’s all that shows through the full burka, and those women are having to deal with sexual harassment on a daily basis! Oh, and remember UW’s recent post? It turns out that even 77-year-old women are too sexy for men to control themselves. Oh, Dan, wherever I look, there’s just more and more empirical evidence for your well-thought-out, original theory!
Dan the Man goes on to explain that women cause men to SO totally not be able to control themselves, that he has some more specific rules for us:
“Don’t trust your male friends. Don’t go to a man’s home at night unless you’re prepared to have sex with him. Don’t disrobe in front of a male masseur. If you take a job as a masseuse, don’t be shocked if your male customers think you’re a prostitute. And if you want to be taken seriously as a journalist, don’t pose for pictures that emphasize your cleavage.”
Ok, so Dan’s rules for women are (1) blame the victim, and (2) the women should change THEIR behavior and thoughts, it’s not men who should change theirs. Wow. This guy is SHARP! He’s come up with TWO brand new insights about how to view women. Yes, Dan is the MAN. His IQ must be as high as Obama’s.
(I’ll leave it to your imagination what I hope happens to Dan the Man. Maybe you’ll share your own ideas about it with us :) If you feel you want to share your thoughts directly with Dan the Man himself, you may write to him and his goat – this comment box will reach his cave.)
Marlo Thomas (“That Girl” for those of us of a certain age!) recently wrote a piece in which she praised “the union hotel workers — all women — protesting outside the Manhattan Criminal Court last week, as Strauss-Kahn and his wife made their exit following his arraignment hearing”. As I did above, she also points out that most women do not report their rape. The negative societal reaction and stigma tend to cause a second trauma for the woman.
Marlo observes that this brave hotel maid speaking out and making sure that her attacker is held accountable for his crime, and her fellow service workers standing up on her behalf, are sounding “a siren that has inspired women worldwide. And it will empower every maid who ever hears the lock snap on a hotel room door”. Although Marlo’s article was limited to the one particular sexual assault, I’ll bet that she also feels the same way about Lara Logan speaking out on national TV. Marlo also feels encouraged that the most recent high-profile wives humiliated by their cheating husbands (Maria, Huma) did not stand by their man while he publicly confessed his sins to save his own hide.
Marlo concludes by saying, “We are seeing the end of a tradition and the beginning of a revolution”. I hope she is right. That would certainly be worthy of a celebration. And somehow I don’t think that the celebrating women will be raping anyone and blaming it on what they are wearing.