Anorak | Lara Logan’s Assault In Egypt Proves How Vital Female Reporters Are

Lara Logan’s Assault In Egypt Proves How Vital Female Reporters Are

by | 17th, February 2011

IN light of the sexual assault on Lara Logan in Egypt, Ann Friedman looks at the lot of the female reporter and how it differs from that of a male colleague:

Do reporters like Lara Logan and [Mac McClelland] face greater threats to their safety than male reporters do in similar situations? Yes. But do they also, by dint of their gender, gain greater access to certain sources — and arguably do their job better? Sometimes, yeah. I have a hard time believing that rape survivors in Haiti would have been as open with a male reporter as they were with Mac. Doing everything in our power to ensure the safety of women reporters — and supporting them unequivocally when that safety is threatened or violated — isn’t just important on feminist grounds. It’s important on journalistic grounds, too.

But what about the American woman abroad. Katherine Lonsdorf recalls her experiences in Jordan:

It became clear to me that being a white, blonde woman in the Middle East seemed to mean two overarching things to the men around me: easy sex, and the possibility of a green card.

All women are potential victims, writes Ursula Lindsey:

A survey released in 2008 by the Center for Women’s Rights found that 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women had experienced harassment. Still, many here remain in denial about the extent of sexual violence and the very nature of harassment. Until recently, there was no word in Arabic for it—with people instead using the much lighter terms mu’aksa (“flirting, teasing”).

And many women remain uncomfortable discussing sexual harassment or assault because they fear they will be stigmatized or blamed for it. When I reported on the subject a few years back, some men I interviewed said only girls who dress provocatively get harassed; other denied flatly that harassment takes place at all.

Resorting to the police has been largely useless; they are often accused of harassment themselves.

Is it so different for women out alone in the UK?

Posted: 17th, February 2011 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink