[W]omen in Benghazi have already moved beyond playing a subservient and supporting role. Hanaa el-Gallal, a lawyer in international law and human rights, is one of the spokeswomen of the uprising.
"Out of the 13 members of the revolution coalition, there are three women, two of which are not veiled," she said.Spoken by a "revolutionary" who appears to be looking for the peace, order and bad government that comes when Allah's laws are applied to the letter in an Islamic state. If that's "progress," then I'm the Queen of Sheba.
"With men, we have cried together, shared victory together. But outside, taking into account that we are Muslim, men tend to protect women, as they do children, so they are not jostled."
The women's anger at Col. Gaddafi appears to match that of their male comrades.
"Gaddafi is a great liar, no one wants him," Fatma al-Madgub said in an outburst in response to the Libyan leader's claims his opponents were isolated groups.
"Let him go to Israel. He has nothing to do in this country."
Ms. Gallal, a 40-year-old mother of two, also gave no credit to Col. Gaddafi for the advance of women's rights under his regime, saying some of changes went so far they triggered a conservative backlash.
"One might consider that we owe him that, but he did so only to create chaos in society, as he has always done," she said.
"Our mothers wore short dresses, but because Gaddafi has gone too far opening society, we decided to wear the veil."
Progress on women's rights only happened on paper, she added...