Duane Gundrum

Duane Gundrum
Grand Rapids, Michigan,
February 12
Writer, professor (did his Phd work in political science and holds another graduate degree in communication), former computer game designer, previously a counterintelligence agent, and currently an all around strange person. Author of 13 novels of all different types. Lives a life that is sadly in the shadow of a room full of stuffed animals who have a lot more Facebook friends than he does. Writes a lot of humor, even if his mommy is the only one who says he's funny. Also the creator of the comic strip, The Adventures of Stickman and the Unemployed Legospaceman. *********************************** My first book, Innocent Until Proven Guilty, is now on Amazon in the Kindle store. See the link as part of my links below. *********************************** If you're interested in my science fiction novel, Thompson's Bounty, the link for it is at the bottom of my profile, under Professional Writing. The link is for the Kindle version, but the paperback version is also available on Amazon. ************************************ My blog can now be subscribed to on Amazon. See my links below. ************************************ If you want to friend me on facebook, feel free to send me an invite to www.facebook.com/duane.gundrum ********************************* For twitter, follow me at DuaneGundrum.

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 18, 2011 9:04AM

"You Need to Live in the Real World"

Rate: 42 Flag

A couple of days ago, a female reporter from CBS was sexually assaulted in Egypt. What's unique about the whole situation is not just that it happened, but it occurred right after a number of assaults on western media entities by pro-government forces. To put it more poignantly, it happened after those pro-government forces stopped attacking and took place during the celebrations of the succeeding revolutionaries who managed to overthrow the Mubarak government. In other words, she was attacked by a bunch of Egyptians celebrating a successful revolution against oppression. In even more other words, they were celebrating their freedom by sexually assaulting some random woman.

There are a couple of things that haven't received a whole lot of attention because right now everyone in the world is so happy that "freedom" won the day against oppression. Yet, right after this horrible oppression, a newly "free" people took it upon themselves to conduct horrific, barbaric activities perpetrated against a woman, as if freedom is great, but it should never get in the way of a bunch of guys getting together and taking sexual liberties with random women. After all, isn't that what freedom is all about? Sadly, there is probably an entire country of people who may be thinking just that.

But what bothers me about this is not just that it happened, which does, of course, bother me, but how I first found out about it. I follow news through a number of message boards, and it just so happens that there are a couple of computer gaming boards I follow where some of the more brilliant current events people hang out. I take great pleasure in debating all sorts of issues with these individuals, and it was on that particular day when I first read a thread of this event happening. However, what kept bothering me about the thread was not that the event had happened (which again, bothered me a great deal), but that almost all of the commentary was from people indicating that Lara Logan was the one who should be considered at fault, because she should have known better than to be in a place where she might possibly be raped by men.

I remember staring at the screen, thinking to myself, how could anyone even think something like that? In all of the years I've been arguing with these people, not once did I ever think of them as a bunch of Neanderthals who thought that women should be treated as sexual fodder to be used randomly because they're soft and cuddly, and men are going to do what men are going to do. Yet, in post after post, that's all I was reading.

So, I fired off a response in which I indicated that I was shocked that we still have people who think this way in this day and age. I was astonished at this behavior, and I couldn't believe they would EVER blame a woman for the simple crime of, well, being a woman in a man's world. I knew I was going to rile up some people, but right after I posted my response, the usual suspects started chiming in about how "you need to live in the real world" and that the world is a dangerous place, and if I can't handle the way things happen, then maybe I should stay inside and not dare to play with the big boys, because "your panties might get tussled."

Shortly after this, one post after another came across indicating that I was clueless as to how people live in the real world. Then, one of the posters responded with "um, guys, you know he's an Army special forces guy, right?" And then suddenly the insults stopped. But it literally took another member from the group to point out that the person they were insulting was actually someone who wasn't some girl-like guy for them to actually stop treating me like I was some wastoid of humanity.

But that never changed the perspective of the people who were posting. They still believed it was her fault for being in a place she should not have been.

Shortly after this, Nir Rosen imploded on himself with his tweets saying almost exactly the same thing. The upshot was he lost his job, and today Rosen has tried to salvage any future career by writing a veiled article about how his undoing was really his "enemies" out to get him by taking pot shots at him for things he didn't mean to say. Unfortunately for him, most of the comments generally aren't buying his banter, as he already threw away his career by saying some of the stupid things he said.

But the sorts of things he said were no different from any of the people who I was talking about from that message board. Yet, what I've discovered is that once these people realized their comments were seriously wrong, and they were, they've now just stopped talking about it, moving onto the next subject and pretending nothing happened. That, unfortunately, is what happens all of the time with our mainstream media, and I don't think people really recognize what's going on. People feel they can get away with it as long as they move onto the next subject and pretend they never said anything ridiculous. Mainstream news pundits are filled with morons who do that sort of thing. I'll be honest. I've done it from time to time where I've taken the wrong tact on an issue and then just tried to pretend I never said anything and moved on. So, it's not just enough to point fingers and leave it at that.

The problem we really have is that people do not take accountability for much of what they say and do. Yet, people like Lara Logan still have to get up and try to make it through the next day, realizing that when things turned bad, the people who claim to be the voice of the rest of the people threw her under the bus and hoped no one would ever hold them accountable for doing so. I can't imagine how it must feel for someone who has been treated like dirt, after being treated like an object, and has to face a new day alone.

That's someone who has to live in the real world. I'm just not sure that's all that great a world to have to live in.

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The prıce of war ıs sometımes as horrıble as death.
GOOD FOR YOU! Thank you for standing up to those jerks, and for being a man and thinking that way. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Rated by a woman.
Excellent post,Duane. I have to wonder if "group think" hasn't seriously altered the view of reality for so many. What the hell happened to common decency, compassion and, ultimately, as you point out so succintly, to personal accountability?
Good piece.. I am getting darn sick and tired of seeing the word 'assault" when it was a gang rape.
Things will never change in that area of the world ... ever.
rated with hugs
Great stuff here. Great points made. Loved it. Sobering.
Best Wishes,
Ouch! It didn't hurt personally, was shocking and confusing; I tried to figure out why she put herself in harms way, I can't fathom news people. It's just a mucking mess. I don't suppose she could fathom it either; I hope the people who did this become known and are held accountable. It would be the beginning of the end for any society which accepted such action as OK and is a loud warning to this one when people blame her, or 'change the subject' to avoid it. This is reminiscent of the 'she wanted it' syndrome or 'if she says stop, it means don't stop'. What in the Hell casued them to think it was something they could do without reprisal or should do? Hopefully, there are enough decent people who witnessed this to bring law and justice; they can never undo it, but there would be some satisfaction and closure. Thanks. I'd rather not have looked at this ugly thing, but there it is.
"almost all of the commentary was from people indicating that Lara Logan was the one who should be considered at fault, because she should have known better than to be in a place where she might possibly be raped by men."

Are they this heedless and uncaring when speaking about a reporter who has been killed in a dangerous place? Is that the reporter's fault too?

Reporters often go to chaotic, dangerous spots, places where they might be beaten, tortured, raped, or even killed. They know this, as I'm sure Lara Logan did, but that doesn't in any way excuse, or detract from, the barbarism of their attackers.

Very powerful post. You said it all. Thanks.
So-called professionals on their worst behavior. Good on you for holding them accountable.
Good work. You hit every important point in this issue. This should be required reading for high school boys. It's sad that you have to establish your bona fides as a genuine masculine man before the insults stop. And how stupid is "you have to live in the real world" in this context? Murders also happen in the real world. Is this how those idiots would respond to one?
Very well said, Duane. I'm glad there are men out there standing up for what's right.
I hope the men you talked with have the opportunity to get raped. It can happen to men, too, and I'm sure they would have a different perspective after the experience.
Good to see this. I tend to agree with your last sentence.
A bunch of Egyptian thugs rape a western woman during what in this country might be called "wilding", and westerners who ought to know better respond to that hideous crime the "traditional" way, and only stop dissing the lone dissenter when the threat of violence is brought up.

So much for this being a new century.

The problem we really have is that people do not take accountability for much of what they say and do.

Hey, accountability would imply that we actually care about others. And everybody knows that would inevitably lead to socialism and the decline of American society, right?

Will - I'd never put anything past the scum, thugs and flat-out crooks which our government has propped up over the decades in the name of "freedom", anti-communism, or corporate profit.
Good post. I appreciate you taking on the violent chatter we sometimes accept.

I question one point of view in your piece..."In other words, she was attacked by a bunch of Egyptians celebrating a successful revolution against oppression. In even more other words, they were celebrating their freedom by sexually assaulting some random woman."

We don't know who attacked her. An elite class of people who supported Mubarak and benefited from their alliance with him just witnessed the collapse of the world as they knew it. These individuals would have whole other motives and anger regarding western journalism.
Good post. I appreciate you taking on the violent chatter we sometimes accept.

I question one point of view in your piece..."In other words, she was attacked by a bunch of Egyptians celebrating a successful revolution against oppression. In even more other words, they were celebrating their freedom by sexually assaulting some random woman."

We don't know who attacked her. An elite class of people who supported Mubarak and benefited from their alliance with him just witnessed the collapse of the world as they knew it. These individuals would have whole other motives and anger regarding western journalism.
If she'd died after getting blown up in a car or shot in the head, I'm sure the comments would have been quite different. And you're right, people don't take much accountability for what they say and do, probably because it's so easy to spew vitriol while texting or on Facebook. Thought-provoking post and congrats on the EP.
One of the reasons I'd never go to the Middle East alone, or most other places in the world, is the constant physical and sexual harrassment of women. Does it make it right? No. Do women in Egypt expect to get raped? No. Do men everywhere hassle women- especially women who stand out? Yes.
We see this behavior often enough, when men get together and get a mob mentality. If it was a man, he'd be beaten senseless or to death. Older women, beaten senseless or to death. Girls and women, raped, then beaten senseless or to death. As long as men feel rape is justified, there will be rape. And sadly enough, a lot more men do have a justification for rape than we will ever know. If it had been an Egyptian woman, not on the news, we'd never know this happened and as far as we know, Lara Logan was not the only woman sexually assaulted in the last month in Egypt or in any city in the world. Any town. Any college campus. We know about it because she was a reporter, on assignment, and she was forced to give the info up because someone else leaked it. Normally, it is not common to release the name of a rape victim, or sexual assault.
We also assume that everyone there was a pro democracy loving freedom patriot. There were men from all over, from different- and fighting- factions of religious and political groups. Not everyone was happy Mubarek was out. But if you have ever celebrated a holiday in a major public square, you really have no idea who you're standing next to. Sadly, she got separated from her team in a bad spot.
I don't think all or even most Egyptian men would rape, but a lot of angry men together will do horrible things as a group they would never do alone. I am sorry she was there, I am sorry for all the people who were murdered there as well, or beaten senseless, or sexually assaulted or robbed. I hope she recovers with the peace and grace she deserves.
You are a class act, Duane. Thank you for letting us know about this twist on the situation.
YES. Please see my blog on the similar subject. rated.
Thoughtful post Duane. Your response was exactly right. The short answer is that she didn't deserve to be assaulted or raped. You'd think that by now enough folks would have learned that blaming the victim is, well, pretty unfair to the victim. And what's the implication of the "she put herself in harm's way" line of thought? That if you're a pretty woman you'd best keep to the kitchen because some men (no one like me or my friends of course) are bound to rape and it's your own fault if you don't know this?

It reminds me of years back when some of the "I'm not racist but..." gentlefolk argued against marriage outside one's race because "Think of the children. They won't be accepted by blacks or whites. It's a shame really".
Well said, Duane. While I'm discouraged and disgusted that there are men out there who think as those on the message boards do, thank you for speaking out on the injustice and being a real mensch who cares about justice in a world of misogynist creeps. (Notice that none of THEM had the courage to be where Logan was, while doing her job reporting on history as it happened.)

Just to center the discussion on facts, according to the WSJ, quoting a CBS senior spokesman, the Lara Logan was sexually abused but 'not raped.'
There seems to be two discussions going on here. The first is whether or not Logan the attractive, blond, woman should have waded into a crowd in which there was clearly a danger - let alone the liklihood - that something could happen to her. The second is whether or not Logan the woman had a right to expect respect for her person from anyone. I believe the answer to the first is no and to the second, yes.

Of course, the point of your very well written piece, that people *here* think she was at *fault* for doing what she did is well taken. There is no fault here, on her part. She was trying to do a story and, in my opinion, miscalculated.

The people who blamed her just indicate how much further we have to go in terms of looking past gender - or sexual orientation, or race, or religion. And if we still have a long way to go here, one only imagines how much a mob in Egypt can be expected to behave appropriately.
You are absolutely right. I see the same horrible comments on Twitter from locals there and transplants here dismissing Lara Logan's rape as just happenstance. Even Egyptian women are commenting that why is she getting all the attention when it happens there all the time. It is not shocking to me anymore this kind of mentality, it is there, and it is naive to think that people in the mid east or other parts of the world have the same "normal" thinking that we do here in America - that is to have empathy for others. Also, to take responsibility for our own actions, but you have to understand they have a "martyr" mentality - they - meaning - the Islamic world - relate everything in their life to being done for the sake of Islam. So, an American woman, such as Lara Logan, being attacked by their own, is just a happenstance of the situation to them and their mentality is "so what" what about their women being subjected to it. They lack empathy, its just not there. I know I sound like I am generalizing, but my knowledge comes from over 25 years of being around mid east cultures and getting first hand knowledge from their local news media. It makes me sick to hear and know their lack of empathy towards Lara Logan, but at the same time I don't expect anything more of them. The other misconception that Americans have is that Mid East countries appreciate our help - they don't. Maybe some local people do in small cities but for the most part - they don't. They think they are smarter than us, they think we want to take over their country, that any help we give is with ties and they simply do not appreciate the help - rather they feel "owed". I am American, My husband is from the Mid East and he was born Muslim, he does not follow Islam, and I am fortunate to get the real facts from all sides for many years. The world is a great place we just need to get rid of Islamic Fanaticism and the warped mentality that goes with it.
The aspect about the whole Lara Logan matter is that it was supposed to have happened on a Friday ... and it hit the news-making-machinery the following Tuesday. And there has actually been very little more released than just a bare handful of factoids. She was assaulted by - whom? exactly? And why? exactly? What was the prevailing mood in the Square - had it been dangerous for other TV reporters, or just some of them? Who - exactly constituted her camera crew and wasn't there security of some kind with them, and if not, why not? She was rescued by - supposedly - some women and Egyptian soldiers; I'd sure like to know more about those women. I still have all these questions - and I would have thought that a news organization like CBS news would have made at least some attempt at answering them. Which I am fairly sure they would have made an attempt to ask, should this dreadful thing have happened to anyone who wasn't one of their reporters.
Thank you, resoundingly! Both for this post and for what you did.
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Thank you for getting it, challenging those who don't, and sharing your thoughts. One would think that wouldn't be so challenging to so many people. I cannot imagine what Ms. Logan is going through ... I understand from a UK piece that she intends to continue reporting. A courageous woman who should be celebrated with gratitude for the dangerous work she does. R.
What really stands out for me is the cultural relativism at play. I suspect those message board pundits would not be singing the same tune if this occurred in the states. But since it happened on foreign soil, they applied different standards. Interesting how that logic works.
I think that the internet allows a lot of men who are not overly confident in their real lives to do a lot of macho insensitive posturing over the internets. What is it that draws trolls out of their shells? Why do people feel like they can say something online that they would be ashamed to say in front of their mothers or wives or at work? I am not even sure it's honesty--more like putting on a show. And even online, they suddenly hush up because there is a stronger man in the room--isn't that telling?
Decreasing religion equals increasing barbarism. Happens every time. Religion is the cause, civilization is the effect.

What about the guy in Pakistan. Some guy walks up to him and points a gun at him, so he shoots the guy and the crowd goes insane and wants to prosecute the guy for murder for defending himself.

Why is it the bullies do that? Attack people and then cry foul when the people they are assaulting defend themselves. Its really odd!

And I've read the Holy Quran from cover to cover 4 times. There is no true religion on earth that condones murder or rape, and Islam is a true religion. Self defense is a universal human right.
Thank you and it isn't a great world to live in.
Since we can be certain more than one person recorded the entire attack on their cellphone (faces and screams, and all), we can now eagerly look forward to WikiRapes to feul our pious hypocrisy.