How Sexual Trauma Can Create Obstacles to Transnational Feminism: The Case of Shifra

Citation:

Weinbaum, Batya. 2006. “How Sexual Trauma Can Create Obstacles to Transnational Feminism: The Case of Shifra.” NWSA Journal 18 (3): 71-87.

Author: Batya Weinbaum

Abstract:

Obstacles to organizing peace can sometimes emerge because women have suffered previous sexual violence. Consequently, the frame through which they react to contemporary political situations, including peace demonstrations organized by transnational feminists, might at the core have an internal structure derived from previous violation that women then project to identify, modify, and contain controversy in external events. Therefore, closely examining the border between private and public spheres in women's lives might not always lead to progressive politics for women as a group, as some might hope. Rather, some women might attempt to recover from specifically sexual violence in previous wars, seizing upon discourse bound of national security. They may attempt to regain internal strength by fortifying gender identity that has been thrown into crisis, using nationalistic contours to reaffirm their sense of self. This might lead them to actively protest other women working for peace. Since trauma survivors exhibit modes of recounting life histories that vividly dramatize past events in order to draw attention to private pain in public, the force of such narrators who speak in the streets can upstage peaceworkers' events.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Trauma, Nationalism, Religion, Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Western Europe Countries: France, Israel, Morocco, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Spain

Year: 2006

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