Egyptian General Admits To Virginity Tests

Illustration for article titled Egyptian General Admits To Virginity Tests

For the first time, a military official has admitted that detained female protests in Tahrir Square were subjected to spurious, invasive "virginity tests." His comments to CNN don't exactly constitute an apology.


An anonymous general said the women detained "were not like your daughter or mine. These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters." In other words, wanton sluts who deserve to be sexually assaulted. It gets worse: The general went on to justify the tests by saying, "We didn't want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren't virgins in the first place."

So far, it's known that 17 women were subjected to the "tests," which constitute sexual assault in and of themselves, in addition to being based on zero medical or scientific merit.

Amnesty International, which helped bring the tests to light, said in a statement, "This general's implication that only virgins can be victims of rape is a long-discredited sexist attitude and legal absurdity. When determining a case of rape, it is irrelevant whether or not the victim is a virgin...This admission is an utterly perverse justification of a degrading form of abuse. The women were subjected to nothing less than torture."

Or, in the words of one of the women subjected to it: "They wanted to teach us a lesson. They wanted to make us feel that we do not have dignity."

Egyptian General Admits "Virginity Tests" Conducted On Protesters [CNN]
Egypt: Admission Of Forced Virginity Tests Must Lead To Justice [Amnesty]
Earlier: Virginity Tests Forced On Egyptian Women Protesters



For those familiar with Egyptian culture — Does this reflect a widely held belief in Egypt about rape/virgins/women, or is this an example of the Egyptian military going way off in its own direction — a la "waterboarding is not torture"?