Over the past few months I’ve seen a few op-eds in various women’s magazines challenging the criticism lobbed on female war journalists, in particular Lara Logan, for “getting themselves into these predicaments” in the first place. One that stood out was written by journalist Deborah Copaken Kogan in the July issue of More magazine.
She vividly but simply describes her own experiences with sexual violence while in the field. And if that were not enough, she shares the criticism she received for basically “asking for it.” Like Lara Logan, she wasn’t receiving accolades or even comfort for persevering as a journalist despite the crimes against her, but, instead, was being blamed for it! The argument of these critics is that many of these female journalists, including Lara Logan, are mothers and are therefore being irresponsible to their children by being in danger zones. But male journalists, many of whom happen to be fathers too, don’t get criticized for abandoning their children. No, they get huge pats on their backs for being heroes!
I can’t help but think that if Lara Logan were homely she wouldn’t be getting the “tsk tsking” from the media. Our culture has both an awe and hatred toward beautiful women. And by finding fault in them, we, the less physically blessed, feel a bit better about ourselves.
I’m frankly a little sick of it. If we’re not supposed to judge people by how they appear if they aren’t necessarily conventionally attractive, shouldn’t we also refrain from judging them if they are.