I've been asked several times today why I'm "shying away" from the Lara Logan story, as if I have something to hide or am ambivalent about it. For the record, as a woman this story is particularly awful for me, since when I was a young teenager I was molested by a male mob in a large crowd, although it sounds as if I got off very easy compared to Logan. More importantly, as a human being, this kind of thing is so disturbing and dark that it makes you lose faith in your fellow man altogether.
Without knowing who the perpetrators were or what their agenda was, it's hard to know how to think of this in light of all the talk of freedom and democracy talk in Tahrir Square over the past month. But regardless, I think it's fairly clear that the idea of universal human rights for women isn't yet at the top of the agenda --- anywhere. I've been told by some American feminists that it's wrong to question that --- "cultural interference" or something. But I don't know why that should be. Women make up half the world's population so why their position in society should be ignored when people are celebrating liberty and democracy eludes me.
And anyway, judging from the comments about this awful event, America isn't much better so I don't think we can attribute this to "cultural" differences at all. Echidne has a rundown here. It's enough to make you puke. This is a species problem.
Update: Media Matters has more on disgusting reaction to Logan's assault, here. Ugh.