When I use the word “barbarian,” I use it to denote phenomena which are just difficult to comprehend from my own Weltanschauung. For example, Egypt’s Women Find Power Still Hinges on Men:
At first Samira Ibrahim was afraid to tell her father that Egyptian soldiers had detained her in Tahrir Square in Cairo, stripped off her clothes, and watched as she was forcibly subjected to a “virginity test.”
Six other women were subjected to “virginity tests” by the soldiers that night in March when Ms. Ibrahim was assaulted. The humiliation was so great, Ms. Ibrahim said, that she initially hoped to die. “I kept telling myself, ‘People get heart attacks, why don’t I get a heart attack and just die like them?’ ”
Her mother’s advice was to keep silent, if she ever hoped to marry, or even lead a dignified life in their village in rural Upper Egypt, Ms. Ibrahim said in an interview.
When she did speak out, Egyptian new media shunned her, she said, and only the international news media would cover her story. She received telephone calls at all hours threatening rape or death. But with the support of her father — an Islamist activist who was detained and tortured two decades ago — she persevered, and next week will go back to military court in an attempt to hold the perpetrators accountable as well….
I can intellectually try and characterize what’s going on here. But the first reaction to hearing that a woman who speaks out about being sexually abused is threatened by strangers with rape because of their anger with her is “what the fuck!?!?!”