Male Editor Blames Lara Logan’s Cleavage for Her Sexual Assault

Women are often reluctant to report incidents of sexual assault for many reasons. The aftermath of the victim-blaming they may face is just one of many, but the insults that come can be ugly, sexist, and to be honest, completely idiotic.

Take, for example, Dan Rottenberg, editor-in-chief of the Broad Street Review  (an online Philadelphia arts and culture website), who recently had some choice words about Lara Logan, the CBS journalist who was sexually assaulted by a mob in Tahrir Square while covering the political protests.

After finding a picture of Logan in a low-cut gown displaying cleavage, Rottenberg basically makes the argument that her sexual assault shouldn’t be surprising given her decision to wear a cleavage baring dress. Under the picture reads the caption: “What message was the TV journalist Lara Logan sending here?”

Well apparently it was an invitation for unwanted sex.

“Earth to liberated women,” says Rottenberg, “When you display legs, thighs or cleavage, some liberated men will see it as a sign that you feel good about yourself and your sexuality. But most men will see it as a sign that you want to get laid. Forewarned is forearmed.”

Rape is Not About Sex

Women are not raped because they choose to bare cleavage, wear a mini-skirt, or strut down the street in thigh high boots.

Rape isn’t about sex or attraction. It’s about power.

Logan was of course not wearing the cleavage baring dress Rottenberg refers to in Tahrir Square and I doubt the men who attacked her have ever even seen this picture. They didn’t attack Logan because of what she looks like or what she was wearing, they attacked her because they wanted to exert their power over a female journalist who, in their minds, was poking her nose in their country’s business. To suggest that a picture in a cleavage baring gown is to blame for her attack is ignorant, not to mention insulting.

Men Are Not To Be Trusted

In addition to avoiding skin baring clothing, Rottenberg adds:

“Don’t trust your male friends. Don’t go to a man’s home at night unless you’re prepared to have sex with him. Don’t disrobe in front of a male masseur. If you take a job as a masseuse, don’t be shocked if your male customers think you’re a prostitute.”

If I were a man I would be insulted by these comments. Are men such sex crazed animals they can’t keep it in their pants?

And Rottenberg doesn’t stop there:

“Women today are technically free to do all sorts of things that were forbidden to their grandmothers, which is all well and good. But in practice, rape and the notion of sexual conquest persist for the same reason that warfare persists: because the human animal— especially the male animal— craves drama as much as food, shelter and clothing. Conquering an unwilling sex partner is about as much drama as a man can find without shooting a gun— and, of course, guns haven’t disappeared either.”

So what? Women are supposed to just accept the fact that men have an animal instinct to rape them? And men are you supposed to accept this imagine of yourself?

This guy is ridiculous, not to mention completely ignorant. I really hate to give him any more attention, but there was no way I could let this go without adding my own two cents.

What did you think about Rottenberg’s comments?

Related from Care2:

Female Journalists Reluctant to Report Sexual Assault 

Attack On Lara Logan Unleashes Victim-Blaming and Islam-Bashing

CBS Reporter Lara Logan Speaks About Assault in Tahrir Square

Photo copyright: Photo from Wikimedia Commons.


Emma E.
Emma E1 years ago

I'll tell you what message she was sending: I'm still allowed to be beautiful. Being raped doesn't mean I have to wear nothing but ashes and sackcloth for the rest of my life.

Jennifer W.
Jen W6 years ago

Wow, what an image this stupid man puts in my head. He is basically implying that ALL men have absolutely NO self control--even to glance at a woman walking down the street. Sigh. Sounds to me like he has a serious issue himself. This is horrible she had to endure this just because she was doing her job.

Richard K.
Richard K6 years ago

@ Joy J This bears repeating:

How many saw the 60-Minutes interview that Lara gave recounting the events? A horrible ordeal lasting several minutes that began after camera lights failed! Footage prior to the assult show her wearing a cleavage-showing white T with a sleeved shirt. That and she is a beautiful blond woman in a mob of sexualy repressed Muslim men in a society with few women's rights. It was a recipe for disaster. Had she dressed more conservatively would it have made a difference? Perhaps not given the circumstances. Safety/security was lacking it seems, as the assult ensued when she became separated from her one securty guard who heard, "Let's get her pants off!" Discretion should have either provided her with more security or kept her out of the area altogther. I can't imagine anything more terrifying than what she endured and it has to have left scars that will never heal.

Read more:

Joy Jin
Joy Jin6 years ago

Why is the victim always being blamed. It is not their fault. It is the rapist's. What the victim is wearing doesn't make them responsible for the rapist's actions.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari L7 years ago

This guy(?) is obviously envious of women. He haven't any female friends, his wife (if he has one) is probably suffering from the delusion that he's a good man and if he at one point in his life learned about an assault on a female relative, he would in a heartbeat blame her for what happened. Or is he just pointing a finger at successful women because he feels threatened by their superiour intelligence? Who knows. All I know if that I will never read anything he has written or support any of his affiliates.

Terry C.
Terry C.7 years ago

I remember when Rottenberg "edited" a freebie called The Welcomat about 20 years ago. Even then, he was a pompous jackass.

Elderly women and babies get raped. What causes THAT, Mr. Rottenberg?

Richard S.
Richard S.7 years ago

Dan Rottenberg has written a response (of sorts) to the reaction to his editorial that up on the Broad Street Review website:

I feel it's a weak excuse for the apology he'd have been wise to have issued. If you want to continue to call for his removal, you need to reach out to the board of directors.

They're names are listed here:

Below is the only contact information I have found for the board members. Please be civil and use reason. If we come off as too angry, we’ll be less effective (even if makes us feel good at the time), and I’d like to see results, such as Rottenberg’s dismissal.

Dr Gresham G Riley 156 N 3rd St Philly. PA 19106-1814 (215) 413-2036

Ruthrauff, W. Bourne

Neil Kleinman
(voice mail can be left at uarts) 800.616.2787

Priscilla M. Luce
The Albert M Greenfield Foundation

You can also call the Review directly (but those calls all go to Dan himself)

Jean Sage
Jean Sage7 years ago

Given this reasoning, would a pedophile be excused if the child victim was wearing a t-shirt and diaper? Stop the blame and shame and get it through your skull that it isn't the victim's fault. In this case, they weren't only trying to rape her, they would have killed her, given more time. Don't forget that there are instances of men being raped. Let's show compassion and protection for all victims and hold perpetrators responsible. THERE IS NO JUSTIFIABLE REASON FOR RAPE.

Maarja L.
Maarja L7 years ago

Of course it must be nice to shift all the blame to someone else. Or the victim, for that matter. If he doesn't acknowledge that rape is about power then he can not feel squeamish about this kind of power.

Lika S.
Lika P7 years ago

His name is befitting. So anyway, men are too stupid to think with their brains? The gray matter between their ears?

So if a rapist uses a penis to rape with, can we blame the penis and put IT on trial? Because according to Rottenberg, that's where all men's brains are. And if that's where men's brains are, why are men in charge of so many things? I think that is an insult to all men, especially for those who are honest, respectful, and more.