Outrage – a Response to Freshly Pressed Blog Entitled: Egyptian women: “It’s time for our voices to be heard”

Egyptian women in Cairo’s Tahrir Square celebrate the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak by Tara Todras-Whitehill/ AP
published on guardian.co.uk, Saturday 12 February 2011 06.05 EST
Eyewitness: Egyptian women rejoice
Photographs from the Guardian Eyewitness series

Egyptian women: “It’s time for our voices to be heard”.

I read this “Freshly Pressed” blog this morning.  It contains a very graphic testimonial from a woman sexually molested by male protestors as she was stuck in a crowd.  What they did to her was absolutely reprehensible.  I do not understand how any human would do that to another human.  All my sympathies are with the plight of these women;  to say this is an outrage doesn’t begin to express my anger.

Egyptians you have lost me.  I am so angered by their treatment of this woman and countless others like her. Who should get the blame?  The culture?  The religion?  The madness of crowds? Those particular men?  It was not an isolated incident.  So to dismiss it as a few bad apples is not going to fly.

This case reminds me of what happened to CBS journalist Lara Logan while she was covering the revolution in Tahrir Square and is also similar to the highly publicized rape of a young medical student in India on a bus several weeks ago.  What value set are these individuals born into where it would ever possibly be acceptable to exhibit these behaviors toward others?

I am a physician, yes.  But as an undergraduate, I earned a BA in Cultural Anthropology along with my pre-med coursework.  I graduated cum laude.  I can not be accused of being unsympathetic or ignorant of non-Western cultures or causes.  But I must say, I have never been happier or prouder to be an American after reading what these women are going through.

That War on Women makes our GOP War on Women look like nothing.  That is not to say that we should stop fighting our causes over here as well.  But for a woman to not be able to be in a public place in broad daylight without having to fear for the privacy and sanctity of her own body is completely unconscionable.

For any Egyptian men reading (long shot): you have a lot of work to do.  Egyptian women: keep fighting, our thoughts and prayers are with you.  I hope it will not take continued incidents like that one to be the catalyst of change for you.