Buried on page 14 of the Washington Post today was a story that is a bad omen for women in post-revolutionary Egypt. A march of about 300 women in Tahrir Square on International Women's Day ended when men began attacking the women, shouting at them and sexually groping them. (Apprently Egypt is second only to South Africa in the sexual molestation of women.)
The article stated: "Gone was the spirit of equality and cooperation between the sexes that marked most of the historic mass gatherings in the square." Although a chain of men had surrounded the women to protect them, they were overpowered by those who feel that women should not have a place at the table as Egypt forges a new constitution.
But at least this story made the pages of WashPo -- there was no mention of another clash between Muslims and Christians, who make up only about 10% of the Egyptian population, that killed one Christian man. (We'll see if a story on their website today about a clash that killed 13 Christians will be fit to print tomorrow.)
UPDATE: That story did make the front page and the article extensively reported on the struggles of women and Christians in the new era in Egypt. They listened to me!
On March 9, there was turmoil that left 13 Christians dead. It started from a feud involving a modern Romeo and Juliet -- animosity between the families of a Muslim and Christian who have fallen in love escalated and a Christian church was torched leading to further clashes.
While all media were saturated with front-page stories about the protests that led to the ousting of the old regime, tales of the growing pains of the nascent "democracy" (that conservative outlets forewarned would more than likely occur in the predominantly Muslim nation) are not worthy of prominence.
Is the mainstream media afraid it would be anti-Muslim to mention the oppression? Sure, go ahead and ignore the plight of Christians as usual -- why should that change? But to relegate stories about the blatant sexual harassment and domination of women to the back pages?
We have the opportunity to lead the rest of the world in setting high expectations for the new government. Let's not fail the women of Egypt -- and all the emerging newly-led nations.