This is what life in Egypt under military rule looks like for female political activists:
Cairo (CNN) -- A senior Egyptian general admits that "virginity checks" were performed on women arrested at a demonstration this spring, the first such admission after previous denials by military authorities.
The allegations arose in an Amnesty International report, published weeks after the March 9 protest. It claimed female demonstrators were beaten, given electric shocks, strip-searched, threatened with prostitution charges and forced to submit to virginity checks.
...[A] senior general who asked not to be identified said the virginity tests were conducted and defended the practice.
"The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine," the general said. "These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs)."
The general said the virginity checks were done so that the women wouldn't later claim they had been raped by Egyptian authorities.
"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," the general said. "None of them were (virgins)."
Not only are these so-called virginity tests an entirely degrading and humiliating practice, they also defy logic. Administering such a test implies that raping a virgin counts as a criminal offense, while raping a woman who has had previous sexual encounters (including women who have been raped previously) is no big deal. And to top it all off, these "virginity tests" are themselves tantamount to sexual assault. If nothing else, this despicable practice lays bare the contempt that those now in power in Egypt have for women. May the world take notice.