Logan’s unfortunate assault

Lara Logan. She decided to fling herself into the middle of a crowd in Egypt's revolutionary quarter, and eventually found herself beaten and sexually harassed. All in the line of duty. Utterly brave woman.

Ms. Logan, we salute you for your courage. However, may we take collective umbrage at the narrative that's stemmed from therein?
Let's be very clear - women do not regularly get raped and beaten on the roads of Arab capitals. I'm not an Arab, but I recognize the whims of the street. And the street has always believed a man who needs to force himself on a woman requires prosthetic help. Arab society is considered blatantly patriarchal- and in many instances, it is: much like Indian, Pakistani, Japanese and even American social structures. The upside - if there could ever be one - of this uber-masculinity is that a man brutalising women in public would be considered persona non grata very quickly. The very act of physical force against females emasculates men in the Arab world. The fact it goes on in private is unfortunate, and must be addressed. But that's digressing from what is important at present juncture.

Ms. Logan, you courageously presented yourself in a zone categorically considered one of the most dangerous in present weeks - where peaceful demonstrators have repeatedly clashed with pro-Mubarak thugs willing to use semi-lethal force. You were separated from your crew, assaulted and sexually abused, for which there can be little to no excuse. Egyptians, and most commentators monitoring the revolution, have in turns been appalled, contrite and utterly ashamed. As well they might be.
However, Edward Said would be happy. Not because he condones rape, but because his thesis on 'Orientalism' and 'Othering' has just been confirmed for the umpteenth time. His work has yet again found the philosopher's stone, and benefitted from the elixir of life.