At the end of Kasr El Nil bridge

Don’t read this unless you’re prepared to be upset and enraged. It’s Natasha Smith’s account of being grabbed, stripped and assaulted by a swarm of men in Cairo a couple of days ago. It’s horrible.

Don’t read even this brief excerpt unless you’re prepared. Trigger warning, in short, though I don’t usually like the term.

Men began to rip off my clothes. I was stripped naked. Their insatiable appetite to hurt me heightened. These men, hundreds of them, had turned from humans to animals.

Hundreds of men pulled my limbs apart and threw me around. They were scratching and clenching my breasts and forcing their fingers inside me in every possible way. So many men. All I could see was leering faces, more and more faces sneering and jeering as I was tossed around like fresh meat among starving lions.

Meanwhile “Thunderfoot” says we people at FTB talk way too much about sexism.


  1. GMM says

    If you talk about religion, how can you miss the massive amount of sexism/hatred for women in it? I’m surprised it’s not talked about more.

  2. says

    He’s all for talking about how Muslims are sexist. He only has a problem with bringing up sexism for reasons other than scoring points against religion.

  3. GMM says

    “He’s all for talking about how Muslims are sexist. He only has a problem with bringing up sexism for reasons other than scoring points against religion.”

    That seems very common in the atheist community…use women’s rights issues for scoring points against the enemy, then use it to silence the women in your own movement.

  4. 'Tis Himself says

    So, if I say I agree with you, would I be guilty of “Group-Think”?

    I think I’m part of the group.

  5. julian says

    Raped. These women were gang raped in public for having the audacity to stand up for themselves.

    And still everyone no one wants to say anything because you’d offend the sensibilities of Muslims and Imperialism or some bullshit.

    Angry, sick and can’t articulate to well right now.

  6. Rob says

    Yes. Yes you will. Every time any one of us agrees with any FTB blogger, or each other, we are guilty of GroupThink.

    It’s a funny thing though. I’ve seen some real shitfights here at FTB and yet the ERV crowd that come to visit (maybe they’re just a subset?) all seem to be so closely following a script it is spooky. I wonder if they have strategy meeting?

  7. LeftSidePositive says

    @Rob, #10: yeah–did you notice how quickly they decided to latch on to that “FTB are the real bullies thing”? Apparently the flavor this week is now “FTB needs a harassment policy for all the bullying I’m getting [in that people don’t silently nod when I spew bullshit]!” There’s also weird memes like “polite invitation for coffee” that travel around, as does the “Richard Carrier actually agrees with Thunderf00t!” claim that I’ve seen several posters repeat.

  8. Art says

    To some extent I tend to agree with Thunderfoot. He is more focused on the Muslim aspects and is engaged in an activity that is producing limited but meaningful results effecting change in the Muslim world. This sort of post … not so much. Let me explain.

    At some twisted level this story, and so many others, is conventional pornography. A sadist might read the account and feel gratified. But, at some level, pornography also for the poster and readers concerned with women’s rights. Pornography is all about eliciting a emotional and physiological reaction. And you had one. You felt “upset and enraged”. Quite a little thrill ride as the blood rises and the heart beats faster. Some people ogle Jugs, some jump out of airplanes, and some read accounts of women abused. Takes all kinds.

    And the vast majority of stripes, even among dedicated feminists, will have felt like they “did” something. Some mental switch will have been thrown telling you you have advanced the cause just reading and getting worked up about this. This is useless, masturbatory. You haven’t done a thing. While making yourself feel like you have. It has become a feminist feel-good thing to do. Like some later-day quilting bee where the ladies sit around a quilt bitching and ragging on and on about how awful their husbands are and how terrible they get treated and then they all go home and to their house and marriage. (A little incitement of my own.) A situation that has been entirely unchanged by their complaints. And so it has been for thousands of years.

    Because talking and posting about it is not the same thing as doing something about it. Wallowing in the event on a bridge does nothing to change that society, prosecute the men, or even, just, advance the cause of women in Egypt. If anything it points out the basic fact that in Egypt men can do such a thing and get away with it. And this after a revolution and election of a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Things seem to be regressing nicely.

    Congratulations, you have advanced the cause of misogyny by advancing Egypt as a rallying point for misogynists everywhere. Like excessively facile reporting of child rape in Bangkok has gone a long way toward making it a destination for sexual tourism. If you focus on it and wallow in it deeply enough perhaps in another thirty years Egyptian daughters will be sold to whorehouses specializing in gang rape. Businesses that account for a considerable proportion of the national income. Nothing cements a social norm like making it a profit center.

    My point here is that power concedes nothing without a demand backed by money, power, and if need be, the credible threat of violence. Yes, you need to expose and highlight misogyny and abuse to show that there is an issue and that it needs to be corrected. But at some point you have to move from stories that elicit a emotional response to the heavy lifting of accumulating the power to get you a seat at the table where decisions are made. You have to go from hand wringing and hoping thing would change to the dirty business of forcing change.

    If you aren’t backing up the incitement with real action your just another pornographer telling stories so people can get a thrill riding their outrage and anger and then return to their comfortable little lives. A difference here is that fundamentalists do something with it. They change laws, and use the monopoly of legitimate violence under law to change behavior. They take over governments and run nations. Feminists shake their tiny ineffectual fists in outrage and complain about how nobody takes them seriously.

    They don’t because you don’t have money or power. The web is full of stories of women abused. Both real and fictional. When it comes right down to it there isn’t much difference between porn and rabble rousing.

    Talk about how you are moving from outrage to action and from rhetoric and argument to political power. Talk about how you are no longer asking for change. Where is your plan for taking charge and forcing change.

  9. julian says


    Ophelia has been writing about this for years. News links, blog posts, the larger half of a book. Promotion of former Muslims and people critical of Islam around the world. She’s rebutted countless arguments insisting there is no harm in this religion (among others) and outlined where and how it goes wrong.

    Is that all just violent pornography? Does none of that amount to work?

  10. says

    You compare sexism to horrible gang rape? How inflammatory can you be? I am disgusted by your careless comparison only to attempt to one-up thunderf00t. For shame!

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