Violence and Work: Lara Logan: Telling Her Story

While some of my jobs have entailed helping people who may do harm to themselves, I think the most violent thing that happened to me while on the job was having a client get mad and break a chair over my desk. I’ve never had to deal with the true threat of or actual personal physical harm. I’m sure war correspondent Lara Logan thought she knew what she was getting into when she covered the protests in Cairo, Egypt. But here’s the thing: even savvy travelers do not get how hated Americans are outside the United States. To many of us who travel for pleasure or work, the world seems to be our oyster. It is ours for the taking. And attitudes towards women in other countries are very different from here in the U.S.

I am a suspicious person by nature. I would have researched Egypt forwards and backwards and hopefully along way would have discovered that rape is common and attitudes towards women in that country are pretty deplorable. Not that Lara can be faulted for not knowing how bad it really is. Not by a long shot. However, even if she did not know, her news bureau, CBS should have briefed her along the way and had better security. And it was supposed to be a celebratory crowd… Hmmm, any excuse for some celebratory raping?

I hate this — I hate when these horrible things happen over and over. I, like a lot of women, have to remind myself when listening to this horror that most men do not rape and violate women, that most would have come to her aid to protect her. For sure, her “60 Minutes” colleague Scott Pelley who interviewed her was having a hard time listening to Lara’s account of the attack. I admire her courage and decision to go on national television and tell her story. Her reason: women should not have to stay silent about sexual violence so that they can continue to do jobs at which they excel and in which they make a difference. She’s right. These stories, as horrible as they are, need to be told.

I am grateful that the Egyptian women who helped her did not hesitate, even at risk to themselves. I am grateful to the soldiers and drivers who rescued her. My heart aches for the people involved, including Lara and her crew. This was not their fault. They were just trying to tell another story that needed to be told of people who have had enough and who rose up. I think women have also had enough of the violence; it is time to tell their stories out loud so that these atrocities are named and the people responsible are held accountable.

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