The focus on technology in the international media may also misrepresent the character of liberation movements — hiding, for example, the important role played by women in the Arab Spring…
…While social media undoubtedly shaped the unfolding of liberation struggles in the Middle East and North Africa, to say that these were Facebook or Twitter revolutions is misleading. The focus on technical aspects of the Arab Spring marginalizes and minimizes the role of traditional organizing and downplays the risks and commitments made by ordinary people who put themselves, embodied and in real time, on the line for freedom.
The most troubling aspect of the myopic focus on “Liberation Technology” is the suggestion that if you add internet, you can produce instant revolution.
There was no doubt in my mind that I was in the process of dying. I thought not only am I going to die, but it’s going to be just a torturous death that’s going to go on forever.
Lara Logan, CBS Correspondent, describing the assault she suffered while covering protests in Egypt’s Tahrir Square. The interview will appear this Sunday on CBS’ 60 Minutes.
Emily Wax, Washington Post. On ‘60 Minutes,’ Logan describes assault in Cairo.
While the prominence of women in the revolutions has been moving, there is a psychology behind celebrating and glorifying women’s political activity when it is part of a popular push. In these times women are almost tokenised by men as the ultimate downtrodden victims, the sign that things are desperate, that even members of the fairer sex are leaving their hearths and taking to the streets. The perception isn’t that women are fighting for their own rights, but merely that they are underwriting the revolution by bringing their matronly dignity to the crowd like some mascot.