Egyptian protesters

An anonymous Egyptian general has given an interview to CNN revealing that female protesters arrested at demonstrations this spring were forced to undergo "virginity checks" by military officials. In addition to beatings, electric shocks, and strip searches, the military came up with the idea of the checks to prove that female protesters weren't virgins in case they later attempted to bring charges of sexual assault. According to Amnesty International, seventeen women were arrested during the protests.

“We didn't want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren't virgins in the first place. None of them were," said the general. "The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine. These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and [drugs]." Because, as we all know, sexual assault only counts if it happens to a virgin? And in addition to physical assault, it made perfect sense to slut-shame these women, too? I've already lost count of how many things are wrong with this story.

Tags Egypt

Commentarium (16 Comments)

May 31 11 - 5:39pm

If any woman is sexually active in any way for any reason at any time, that means she forever gives her consent for any other sexual act in any way for any reason at any time.
People believe this.

Dec 22 11 - 6:35am

Alright already! I get it! Jesus. You don't have to keep repeating it. On the bright side, I guess this new fact you're telling me enables me to dramatically change my behaviour - and I'll get a LOT more sex! That's good, right?

May 31 11 - 6:49pm


May 31 11 - 9:11pm

But it's their culture, they have a right to blah blah. Where's your moral relativism now?

May 31 11 - 10:41pm

As someone who has taken intro to anthropology, I have to say that Egyptian society considers women to be worse human and even worse than property because they're uncontrollable property.

May 31 11 - 11:58pm

Really?? This is a human rights violation and your invocation of "moral relativism" is gross. Broseth, your prof. must have forgotten that Egyptian society is not unchangeable and that it also has women in it, some of which surely object to being treated like property.

Jun 01 11 - 3:06am

but it's their culture. Don't you like celebrating culture? Aren't you tolerant of behaviors that go against your constructed norms?

Jun 01 11 - 8:32am

Their "culture"? That's like saying wife-beating is cultural among, say, Hispanics, or crack-use is cultural among poor African-Americans. Calling virginity checks "cultural" is just your idiotic attempt to derail the pursuit of social justice and human rights, both of which trump "culture."

Jun 01 11 - 11:56am

The culture in Egypt is dominated for Islam whose tenets are inline with the behavior these women were forced to endure.

The examples you mention for Hispanics and African Americans are not inaccurate stereotypes and not indicative of culture.

Jun 01 11 - 12:47pm

By society I mean what the people with the overt power do in the present moment.

Jun 01 11 - 3:59pm

Are we talking about Gadhafi anywhere in here? I think you're being too subtle.

Jun 01 11 - 5:06pm

oops: "are inaccurate stereotypes..."

Jun 01 11 - 2:59am

"We didn't want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we sexually assaulted them." Flawless logic.

Jun 01 11 - 12:48pm

The quote is so wrong I want to save it to my hard drive.

Jun 01 11 - 3:14am

*shiver*There's something distinctly horrible about the idea of virginity checks. Legs spread, hand darts between them, pushes roughly...all to discover your worth.

Jun 01 11 - 12:13pm
Andre Ramos

i wonder if virginity survives a "virginity test" done by militaries. ( saying this since there was no mention of someone with a medical authority to do such check up , and well.. the idea of the whole check up just seams like a sexual assault or a white flag for such anyway )