I have something to say and I'm saying it

One of the things that I've always enjoyed about blogging is that I feel I have a space to express my thoughts and make connections to people, ideas, places. There are times that I am certain that writing here makes a difference, at least in my own life and there are times that I am certain I can do more, I can say more, that I need to speak out even if only a few people read what I have to say. This is one of those times.

Let me begin by saying I feel a deep empathy for what CBS News Correspondent Lara Logan has experienced. I am horrified by the fact that all over various websites that are carrying this story are comments from people who say, "Well, she knew what she was getting into; she went into a violent place, what did she expect?" I am troubled by these comments because they are essentially saying, "she was asking for it," a dangerous rhetoric that is misogynistic and at its core, just as violent and hateful as what Logan and others have endured.

Worse were the tweets written by Nir Rosen who has since resigned from his position as an NYU fellow at the Center for Law and Security. His tweets have been deleted but in a fashion all too typical in sexual assault cases, Rosen suggests Logan made up the attack, called her a warmonger and said it would have been funny had the attack also happened to Anderson Cooper.

I know, firsthand, about sexual violence and the damage that it does to one's spirit. The physical pain will end; those scars heal. It is the mental and emotional consequences of violence that take their toll. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have the story of your assault be an international news story. Nor can I imagine it being a punch line to a terrible, not even remotely funny, joke. I hope that eventually, Logan will find a power in speaking out.

Lara Logan is a reporter. It was her job to report what was happening in Egypt. Yes, her job is dangerous but that in no way excuses what happened to her or other women who suffered similar fates during the turmoil or in their everyday, mundane and not dangerous lives.

Rosen appeared on Anderson Cooper last night insisting he was unaware of the details of Logan's attack, though he linked to the CBS news story about it. He said he was frustrated that "dozens of women suffered from this attack, and one of them is going to get all the attention because she's white and she's a celebrity correspondent. I'm not -- again, I'm not defending myself here or justifying it, but just explaining."

Well, Mr. Rosen, I'm frustrated, too. I'm frustrated that men like you think any kind of assault is funny. I'm frustrated that people comment on these kinds of stories with all sorts of ignorance and hatred. I'm frustrated that girls can't walk home after school, fearing that boys will push them against a playground set and rape them, like what happened in the California suburbs. I'm frustrated that women have to fight every day to be taken seriously, that we get less pay and more bullshit from people like you while all we're trying to do is our jobs. Shame on you.

It is because of such ignorance that sexual assault goes unreported and that victims are made to feel bad about violence enacted upon them. Your flippant remarks need no explanation, Mr. Rosen. Unfortunately, they are all too familiar to us.