Women are okay for bodyguards, but just because Qaddafi entrusts women with his continued survival doesn't mean he is one. "We won't surrender again; we are not women; we will keep fighting," said Qaddafi in a televised statement according to the Associated Press. Beyond the not-so-surprising inherent sexism of his comment, it's not all that obvious that Qaddafi wouldn't want women holding down his fort because he famously employed lady-bodyguards while in power. From The Washington Post: "Gaddafi has kept a cadre of about 30 women, known as his Amazonian guard, close by his side since the early 1970s. At times, the women took bullets for Gaddafi--one woman died and two were injured when the Libyan leader was attacked in 1998."
Unfortunately, it's not looking like the employment of female bodyguards was some sort of progressive statement. The Post also points to a Times of Malta article from a few days ago. Apparently some former bodyguards are now saying "Gaddafi and his sons raped and abused them and then discarded the women once the men became 'bored' with them."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.