Street Harassment Is Everywhere

Several readers have written to make this point:

Street harassment is not a "middle eastern" problem. It is not something that the US has figured out.

Organizations like demonstrate this well--women are harassed on the street daily, and often their cries for justice are ignored or belittled. Any action that dehumanizes or threatens a person because of their sex (or heck, any other reason) should be seen as a public faux pax.

Just as in that Egyptian sample, most American men would likely deny they've ever harassed a woman. But any woman who has walked down city streets knows that there are many who either have or who have sat by complicitly while women are made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Unwelcome attention is harassment...and I hope that this tragic assault on Ms. Logan does not precipitate even more "holier-than-thou" xenophobia about the middle east. Yes, there are obviously degrees of difference here, but the underlying culture of macho masculinity is the same.

I'm sorry but analogizing the treatment of women in many Middle Eastern cultures to American sexual harassment is not just a degree of difference; it's a huge difference. How many Bahrainian women, after all, would produce an ass-cam video? I don't want to deny the repellent aspect of dehumanizing and objectifying women in public anywhere. But please, on women's rights, I think the West is largely holier than them. And I think many women are capable of dealing with men in public is a little more robust than my reader implies.