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On Air: Syrian blogger and Men Behaving Badly

Jill McGivering Jill McGivering | 14:44 UK time, Wednesday, 8 June 2011

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say in 8 June, 2011. Listen to the programme.



Two topics on our minds today.

First of all, Syria. What do we really know about American-Syrian blogger, Amina Arraf?

An international campaign is calling for the release of the American-Syrian blogger, Amina Arraf. Reports, started by posts on her blog, suggest she was detained by the security forces in Damascus. Amina's blog "A Gay Girl in Damascus" gave her a reputation for being outspoken in writing about her sexuality - she's a lesbian - and in criticising President Assad and calling for reform in Syria.

Now there's a Facebook page dedicated to her release and the hashtag #FreeAmina is trending on Twitter. But some journalists have raised doubts about who's really written the blog - and whether Amina, if that's her identity, has in fact been detained. American journalist Andy Carvin has been looking into this and says he finds it odd that he can't find anyone who's met her in person.

All this points to a wider problem: the information fog surrounding events in Syria. There's little independent confirmation of events and no access for foreign journalists. How much can we know for sure about what's really happening there?

And we're also looking at a very different subject, sexual misconduct.
We ask: Why do powerful men think they can get away with it?

A lot of you are talking about the married American Congressman, Anthony Wiener. He's admitted having online sexual relationships with six women. He was forced to speak out, if you remember, after a female student was sent a lewd photograph via Twitter of him in his underwear.

And then there were the revelations about two other American politicians who recently admitted to sexual affairs: former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senator John Edwards. The Detroit Free Press tries to make sense of the psychology. Meanwhile AskMen.com argues that women are simply drawn to powerful men - and explains why. We'll be hearing from their UK editor on the programme.

What do you think? Do powerful men think they're invincible? Do men become powerful because they're risk takers - in their personal lives as well as their careers?

Look forward to talking later.

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