When you have been around as long as Philadelphia writer Dan Rottenberg has, it is safe to assume you think you are untouchable, especially if you have your own website where you can say whatever you want. The problem is that's not true, and if you are a POS, you get treated like one. Rottenberg is Exhibit A of the POS that people are looking to flush, and it's because he decided to use his column in the Broad Street Review, a blog he edits that focuses on the arts here in town to attack Lara Logan, the CBS newscaster that was sexually assaulted in Egypt while covering the recent uprise there that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak. Using a picture of Logan at an awards show (not in Cairo) where she showed some cleveage, Rottenberg took the position that she and women who are similarly attacked invite such attacks because of how what they wear, how they carry themselves, etc. Sample quote: "Earth to liberated women: when you display legs, thighs, or cleavage, some liberated men will see it as a sign you feel good about yourself and your sexuality. But most men will see it as a sign you want to get laid. Forewarned is forearmed." Now the rule is generally that we wouldn't link to his article because we wouldn't want him to get the hits, but this article is so bad that we think it is important for everyone to see this, especially with this resurgent climate of attacking rape victims that has sparked the recent Slutwalks around the country. We don't even know if the above is the worst thing he wrote. Hell, his response to all the outrage over it (remember he's the editor so he thinks he's untouchable) is even worse! Another sample quote: "... I would still argue that it’s irresponsible to contend, as the anti-date rape activist Robin Warshaw once put it to me, that “even if a woman is lying naked on a bed, ‘No’ means ‘No’.” Tomorrow in Philly is what they call First Friday, a time each month in the Art District where artists come out to show their work. We submit that this First Friday, being that the Broad Street Review is an website dedicated to the arts, that artists show their support for victims like Lara Logan and disdain for Mr. Rottenberg the best way they can. This crap went away before, it needs to go away again.
Remember Lara Logan, the CBS reporter who was separated from her crew while covering the revolution in Egypt and brutally raped by a mob of men? When she spoke publicly about her attack, she bravely broke a longstanding silence on the part of female reporters assaulted on the job.
But Dan Rottenberg, editor of the online arts magazine Broad Street Review, doesn't have any sympathy for Logan or outrage on her behalf. Instead, Rottenberg says Lara Logan is to blame for her gang rape because she once showed cleavage at a US award show.
Rottenberg's editor's letter, published on June 6th, is titled 'Male Sexual Abuse and Female Naivete,' six words that from the get-go suggest if women were to act more responsibly, men wouldn't commit "sex abuse," i.e rape. The letter is accompanied by a photo of Logan (above) on the red carpet, wearing a v-line neck dress and smiling for the cameras. The caption under the photo reads, "What message was the TV journalist Lara Logan sending here?"
Rottenberg goes on, "Earth to liberated women: when you display legs, thighs, or cleavage, some liberated men will see it as a sign you feel good about yourself and your sexuality. But most men will see it as a sign you want to get laid. Forewarned is forearmed."
Rape is not "getting laid" and no one ever, ever does or wears anything that "asks" to be raped. To suggest that Lara Logan's choice to wear a dress perfectly appropriate for a US awards show sent a message to Egyptian men that she wanted to be raped while doing her job as a foreign correspondent takes rape apologism to new heights.
Rottenberg ends his column by blaming a neighbor for her attempted rape and the molestation of her daughter because she cleaned her house in a halter top and shorts.
There is nothing redeemable about anything Rottenberg said; he makes excuses and blames the victim multiple times in multiple situations. He has far overstepped the bounds of an editor of a culture magazine and appointed himself arbiter of which rapes are a victim's fault and which are not. This is unacceptable.
We call on the Publisher and Board of Directors of Broad Street Review to take Mr. Rottenberg's offensive piece off the site and remove him from his position as editor.