Sunday, March 27, 2011

Some Disturbing News from Egypt

Amnesty International has put out a bulletin on the Egyptian Army's mistreatment of former protesters, in this case women:
After army officers violently cleared the square of protesters on 9 March, at least 18 women were held in military detention. Amnesty International has been told by women protesters that they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges.
I can only see this as an attempt to re-assert traditional social norms despite political revolution. The ritualistic shaming of women who participate in street demonstrations, and their equation with prostitutes, is a crude attempt to force them from the public space and back into the home.

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