Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Joyce Carol Oates Blasted For Egypt Tweets Linking Islam and Culture of Rape

Prolific writer Joyce Carol Oates  is receiving a lot of flak for posting on Twitter about the troubling culture of rape in Egypt and linking it to Islam.

Oates's 140-word political tweet-bombs began by remarking: "Something dispiriting about 'Brotherhood' political parties – wonder what it is."
And drove on with "Where 99.3% of women report having been sexually harassed & rape is epidemic – Egypt – natural to inquire: what's the predominant religion?"
Legitimate question to ask, but these are some of the responses she received..

Open City author Teju Cole (@tejucole) responded: "This makes me sad. Religion is a non sequitur here. You're being unfair, and presenting that unfairness as forthrightness."

Writer Edward Champion (@drmabuse) replied "80 sexual assaults in one day, @joycecaroloates? Try 720 in one day in the US…"

Journalist and novelist Lorraine Adams (@lorraineadams) added: "Violence against women is rampant across almost all cultures since time began. Why is that so hard to understand?"

Other Twitter users poked fun at Oates, with @cszabla saying "love your literary experiment tweeting in the voice of Oates tweeting in the voice of Fox News, @JoyceCarolOates!"
Not surprisingly, she backpedaled, because that's what people do when faced with a barrage of negative response.

 "Blaming religion(s) for cruel behavior of believers may be a way of not wishing to acknowledge they'd be just as cruel if secular."
Edward Champion's comparison of rape statistics between Egypt and the U.S. is asinine. First of all:

Population of Egypt in 2012: approximately 83,688,164
Population of the U.S. in 2012: almost 313 Million people

Uh, no comparison Edward.

And yes, there were rapes and sexual assaults during the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) demonstrations- if we're going to compare apples to apples- but again, no comparison in terms of amounts of rapes in one day. Although, granted, there weren't the hordes that were protesting in Tahrir Square at the OWS protests.

She had every right to pose that question. There may be a lot of rapes and sexual harassment in this country, but I would venture to say that the percentage is far from 99% of the female population.

Why is sexual harassment so rampant in Egypt, a Muslim-majority country?

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