Friday, February 18, 2011

Duh, Lara Logan's Looks Are Irrelevant (Mostly)

I just wanted to call out an aspect of the Egypt rape case (you know, "the" Egypt rape case!) that is pertinent to my topic here: It is surprisingly rare to hear someone say in a public forum that's not explicitly feminist that harassment is about the harasser, not about the harassee. Responsible news outlets might focus on harassment with a sympathetic eye, but it's often left unsaid or unthought that women who are literally covered from head to toe can be victims of harassment just as easily as the woman dolled up in a miniskirt. So, as a white middle-class urban left-winger, I'm proud to point you toward this NPR story that does just that!

There's also lots to be said about the attention given to Lara Logan's looks, but to be honest I've only read criticism of just that, not the attention itself, so I'll just point you toward Jezebel and Mary Elizabeth Williams's take on it.

It's also interesting to read this 2005 New York Times article (yes, I've name-checked both NPR and the Times, in the same story!) in that light. In addition to some bits that now read tragically ironic ("her knack for getting access to dangerous to dangerous places is reminiscent of a young Dan Rather"—well, sort of, except when Dan Rather was attacked nobody talked about his looks or his right to be walking down the street, though the bizarre circumstances may have aided that, and it wasn't in the line of duty), the piece focuses largely on her personal appearance and its possible role in her career. Overall I think it's an engaging piece that at least touches on issues pertinent to women in public roles and how their looks might intersect with their work. We even get to hear from Logan herself (though I wish that the story about her dogging the editor of her local paper at age 12 for a job had appeared above the fact that she was briefly a swimsuit model, but whatevs). Logan's looks here are not the issue—her attack is—but since some people insist on making it a part of the conversation, we may as well have it.


  1. This act of violence is beyond my comprehension. I read the articles, I hate LA.

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