The serious assault on a CBS journalist, Lara Logan, in Tahrir Square has rightfully drawn widespread condemnation from many quarters, including women’s rights activists and pro-change protesters in Eygpt.
Of course, there were some commentators, such as Debbie Schlussel, who got into the “blame the victim” game, saying that the attack was partly Logan’s fault. That deserves the contempt that Schlussel got for her comments.
However, there was a reaction from Heather Blake, of Reporters Without Borders, reported in the Guardian’s story that I found rather interesting. She said:
“At the moment, female and male journalists have the same training. The truth is that female journalists need to be taught about different cultures and the ways in which men behave in those cultures. They need to know about gender-specific expectations in different countries, from what they wear to how they interact with those they met.”
I’m not sure that I agree with that. I think that both men and women journalists need to be taught about different cultures and the ways in which men behave in those cultures. It seems to me that consciousness-raising is just as important, perhaps even more so, to members of the male gender, who are often blithely unaware of, or complicit in, the various forms that oppression of women can take.