My friend, Gwen, just read Pride of Baghdad, and totally hated its guts.
I always thought Brian K. Vaughan was beyond reproach when it came to the gender stuff. In the sexist world of comics writing, he's one of the good guys - he wrote Runaways, for cripes sake! However Gwen's reaction to the rape scene that takes place in Pride of Baghdad made me wonder, is Vaughan no better than the likes of Robert Kirkman and Brad Meltzer when it comes to "rape as plot device?"
On a first read, I didn't agree with her at all. Then, the more I thought about it, the more I thought the matter deserved more careful consideration.
Bookslut agrees with Gwen, its reviewer making the comment, "the rape is unnecessary for establishing Safa's jaded attitude towards freedom." Other reviewers had no problem with the scene. Karen Healey of Girls Read Comics (And They're Pissed) was surprisingly silent on the issue.