According to reports from Amnesty International and various Egyptian bloggers, Egyptian women who took part in street protests with men have been accused of promiscuity and prostitution. Some have been detained, where they say they were subjected to humiliating “virginity tests,” slapping and taser shocks.
From a Western perspective, this comes off as rather barbaric, perhaps because the overwhelming majority of unmarried women would utterly fail such tests, and the subsequent detention would swamp our incarceration facilities with tens of millions of not-virgins.
It may seem alien to us, but chastity is taken seriously in Islamic countries, and anecdotal evidence suggests that it is supported by women at least as much as men. Even so, as an American, the idea that government officials should be probing people’s private parts is repugnant to me.
However, it strikes me as disingenuous to see feminists making so much hay over this particular abuse when they were entirely silent over the depredations of Abu Ghraib. Again, as an American, I find it repugnant when people are gratuitously humiliated by the state — especially when it is our own state doing it.
The Egyptian government is now taking heat for its callous treatment of female detainees. I’m sure feminists are outraged over this. But did they give a damn when it was men who were being sexually tortured by “strong, empowered American women” like Lynndie England?
No, if we raise that issue, they’d dismiss it as no big deal. It isn’t only that they don’t give a damn — they tacitly support this kind of abuse of men they consider their enemies. Muslims are “patriarchal” after all, so in the feminist universe they deserve to be subjected to humiliation and menaced by attack dogs, just like American men back home.