I’m still desperately upset and angered by the ignorant and mean-spirited backlash against Lara Logan, so let’s be clear about a few things:
- Rape is wrong.
- The person responsible for rape is the perpetrator of the crime, not the person against whom the crime was committed.
- No one asks to be raped, deserves to be raped, or picks a job that makes it her fault for being raped.
- Rape is not a crime of passion triggered by hawtsexxxy women flaunting their bodies in front of men who can’t be blamed for giving in to instinct. Rape is a crime of violence and a tool of domination not unique to any one culture, country, race, or religion.
And, while we’re at it, women who work as reporters can go anywhere men who work as reporters go and do the same job:
- They can report on professional sports teams.
- They can report from war zones.
- They can report breaking news from anywhere in the big, wide world.
When any of us do our jobs, even when we just stay home, we are at risk. Women have the same right as men to evaluate that risk and elect to do a job.
Lara Logan’s story has provoked some incredibly juvenile and offensive reactions. I wonder how women who work in the media feel, seeing a colleague called out, slut-shamed, and humiliated for being the victim of a crime? Hearing a colleague who holds the job title chief foreign correspondent lambasted for having her job only because of her looks, her “exotic” accent, or sex appeal? Having people question whether what happened to her was “really” rape because of the exact nature of which part of her body was touched or not touched?
I’d love to see the women and men of Houston’s media community put together a team in honor of Lara Logan at the HAWC Race Against Violence. We need to send a strong message that women have the same right as men do to work on the front lines of journalism, or we risk falling further behind in this latest round of the backlash.