Lynsey Addario spent seven days in captivity in Libya, and her story, along with three other New York Times journalists, was published in a March 22 NYT piece.
Reading through the comments on that article, though, Addario says she noticed a pattern.
“Some comments said: ‘How dare a woman go to a war zone?’ and ‘How could The New York Times let a woman go to the war zone?’
“To me, that’s grossly offensive. This is my life, and I make my own decisions. If a woman wants to be a war photographer, she should.”
Yes, it’s different being a woman on the front lines: she might not be able to jump across a 3-foot-wide canal and she admits she’s not as strong as her male colleagues, despite daily exercise (“Because if you do a lot of military embeds, people are not going to wait for you”). And she was groped a dozen times in Libya. “I do find that a woman who is alone is more prone to being mistreated than a woman who is with a man,” she says.
But she can enter private Muslim homes and spend time with even the most conservative Muslim families. That’s something men can’t do.
And despite the physical and emotional toll, she plans to stay in the business. “I will cover another war. I’m sure I will. It’s what I do. It’s important to show people what’s happening,” she writes.