Gendered Memories of War and Political Violence


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  • Gendered Memories of War and Political Violence

    1. 1. Sexual Violence and RapeGendered Memories of War and PoliticalViolenceClass presentation, October 1, 2012Conducted by Boglárka Mácsai, AlexFleming, Anna Mondekova and ShushanHarutyunyan
    2. 2. What to expect• Introduction: Photo exercise• "My plight is not unique" Sexual violence in conflict zones: a roundtable discussion”: general points, group exercise, class discussion (20 min - 5/15) by Shushan• “When Soldiers Rape” in Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women‟s Lives: general points, group exercise, class discussion (20 min - 5/15) by Bogi• “Surfacing Gender: Reconceptualizing Crimes against Women in Time of War” in The Women and War Reader: general points, group exercise, class discussion (20 min - 5/15) by Alex• “Turning Rape into Pornography: Postmodern Genocide” in Mass Rape: The War against Women in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as “Rape, Genocide and Women‟s Human Rights”: general points, group exercise, class discussion (20 min - 5/15) by Anna• UN Security Council Resolution 1325 : Class discussion (15 min)• Evaluation: suggestions on recommended movies ,photo stories, readings: Presenters „comments (15 min)
    3. 3. "My plight is not unique" Sexual violence in conflict zonesSexual violence as military tactic “Performitivity”• Distraction of self (enemy) (p 3/18 , p • From boy to man (p 13/18) 5/18,) • Acting in group or individually (p 13/18)• Birth control (p 3/18) • Sexual lust and lust to kill (p12/18)• Sexual satisfaction for better performance (p 8/18, p 9/18) Other issues“Secondary” targets • Other forms of sexual violence (p• Sexual violence in “own side” (p. 14/18, p 11/18, p12/18) 15/18) • Resistance (p 5/18, p 13/18, p14/18)• Sexual violence against men (p 10/18, p • Underreporting (p. 8/18) 11/18) • “War time” society: acceptance of• Sexual violence against children (p15/18) violence as
    4. 4. “When Soldiers Rape” in Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives • What kind of forms militarized rape has? (Exercise in 4 groups)
    5. 5. Okinawan-case• Context: „Okinawa suffered some of World War II‟s most devastating battles. More than one-fourth of the island‟s population – 150 000 Okinawans – wrere killed in June 1945. The Battle of Okinawa became the Japanese and American forces‟ last major face-to-face engagement of the war. (…) By agreements between officials in Washington and in Tokyo, much of Okinawans‟s most fertile and commercially valuable land has been given over to U.S. military installations. Five years after the end of the Cold War Okinawans played host to 29 000 American troops.” (pp. 111- 112)• Incident: A twelve-year-old Okinawan schoolgirl from the village of Kin was abducted and raped in September 1995 by two American marines ans an American sailor.• Admiral Macke‟s opinion: „I think it was absolutely stupid, I‟ve said svereal times. Fort he price they paid to rent the car, they could have had a girl.” (pp. 117)• How is rape militarized in this case?• What does Admiral Make’s statement imply about the women’s status in war?
    6. 6. Chile in 1970’s• Context: Pinochets regime was responsible for various human rights abuses during its reign including murder and torture of political opponents. According to a government commission report that included testimony from more than 30,000 people, Pinochets government killed at least 3,197 people and tortured about 29,000. Two-thirds of the cases listed in the report happened in 1973. (Reel, Monte; J.Y. Smith (11 December 2006). "A Chilean Dictators Dark Legacy". The Washington Post.• Incidents: „No woman was safe during the Pinochet era. If she were suspected of anti-regime activities on her own or if she were the relative or lover of a man suspected of such activities, she was branded by officials as a threat to national security and thus a potential object of rape torture.” (pp. 131)• How is rape militarized in this case?• What was the cultural conception of women’s status in Chile? (Based on Ximena Bunster’s research)
    7. 7. Rwanda, 1994• Context: The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the East African state of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate. Estimates of the death toll have ranged from 500,000– 1,000,000, or as much as 20% of the countrys total population. It was the culmination of longstanding ethnic competition and tensions between the minority Tutsi, who had controlled power for centuries, and the majority Hutu peoples, who had come to power in the rebellion of 1959–62.•• Incidents: „It appears that every adult women and every adolescent girl spared a massacre by militias was then raped. A majority of the Rwandan women chosen for rape were from families identified by the rapists as being Tutsi or as being of the Hutu intelligencia.” (pp. 132)•• How is rape militarized in this case?• What were the cultural conditions in prewar Rwanda to produce militarized rape?
    8. 8. The 1991-1995 war in the former Yugoslavia• Context: The wars in the former Yugoslavia were fought in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s between the republics that sought sovereignty on one side and the government in Belgrade on the other side that wanted to either prevent their independence or keep large parts of that territory under its control. The wars were complex: characterized by ethnic conflicts among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats and Bosniaks on the other; but also between Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia (in addition to a separate conflict fought between rival Bosniak factions in Bosnia).• Incidents: „Because of the gendered dynamics that make it hard for many women of all cultures to speak about experiences of sexual assault, any numbers that where gathered were only estimates, but the European Union’s investigators calculated that in 1992 alone, 20 000 Muslim Bosnian women and girls had been raped by Bosnian Serb male combatants.” (pp. 140)• How is rape militarized in this case?• What kind of processes did it launch in international politics?
    9. 9. Surfacing Gender: Reconceptualizing Crimes against Women in Time of War • Are gender crimes recognized as war crimes under the Geneva convention / humanitarian laws of war? • Does / Should international law distinguish between genocidal rape and mass rape for other purposes? • Does / Should “these examples” of gender violence be addressed under international law?
    10. 10. Turning rape into pornography: Postmodern genocide • How does pornography emerge as a tool of genocide? • The relationship between pornography consumed and the sexual violence performed (“Pornography is the perfect preparation – motivator and instructional manual in one – for the sexual atrocities in the genocide” p. 77) • What role does pornography play in propaganda in this war? What is the mechanism? “Whatever this rape does for the rapist, the pornography of the rape mass- produces” p.75 • Problems with obtaining testimonies (Even after you’re dead…., on tape – thousands will see you this way” p. 81
    11. 11. Rape, Genocide, and Women’s Human Rights• The notions of human/ woman, what do the struggles for recognizing women‟s right as human rights in the context of violence refer to?• “Women‟s rights are human rights”… why is this popular slogan problematic for some feminists?• Various sexual violence practices (rape, forced motherhood, pornography, sexual murder) although formally illegal, continue to be overlooked. How is this rationalized?• Explain the „genocide – war – rape‟ relations/ hierarchy (p. 187) (war is an instrument of the genocide and rape is an instrument of the war)• Rape as genocidal act – rape under control/ out of control? Which one is the case in this war?
    12. 12. UN Security Council Resolution 1325• The accountability to the victims: (insufficient on both domestic and international level) What are the underlying causes?• calls for implementation of gender mainstreaming in both war time and post-conflict reconstruction• calls on member states to seek gender balance in recruitment as well as ensure prevention and responding to gender-based violence in war.• UN Resolution - how successful it is in addressing the above-mentioned issues?
    13. 13. Recommended
    14. 14. “As if I am Not There” The director Juanita Wilson explores this grim reality through the eyes of the strikingly beautiful Samira, a young woman from Sarajevo, who leaves her family home and moves to the beautiful Bosnian countryside to teach in a small village there. Before she has had time to settle into her new life and get to know the people, armed Serb forces arrive and round up the villagers. They shoot the men, force the women onto buses and set the village alight. Samira shouldn’t be on the bus. There has been a mistake, but she can do nothing about it. She is brought to a detention camp with the other women. Her enduring beauty and youth attract the unwanted attention of the soldiers in the camp and she, like so many other women, is subjected to their brutality and drunken desire.
    15. 15. The WhistleblowerA drama based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska cop who served as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and outed the U.N. for covering up a sex scandal.
    16. 16. Welcome to SarajevoJournalist Floyd from US, Michael Henderson from UK and their teams meet the beginning of Bosnian war in Sarajevo. During their reports they find an orphanage run by devoted Mrs. Savic near the front line. Henderson gets so involved in kids problems that he decides to take on the children, Emira, illegally back to England. He is assisted by American aid worker Nina. A part from the movie
    17. 17. Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams woman and her daughter struggle to make their way through the aftermath of the Balkan war.
    18. 18. Ararat om/watch?v=NdNSe xo9aDg Interrogated by a customs officer, a young man recounts how his life was changed during the making of a film about the Armenian genocide. Most remarkable movie illustrates the sexual violations toward Armenian women within memories of German lady volunteering in camps. These stories are also put in contrast with American-Armenia expressionist Arshile Gorky, the survivor of the genocide, who was witness of tortures and killings.
    19. 19. Grandma’s Tattoos The movie is about thousands of forgotten women—survivors of the Armenian Genocide— who were raped, abducted, kept in slavery as well as forced into prostitution and tattooed to distinguish them from the locals. In fact, this is the first time ever when gendered perspective of Armenian genocide is discussed. The full movie:
    20. 20. Sometimes in April a hutu man, his tutsi wife and two daughters experience the genocide. Full movie here
    21. 21. Thank you!