What is the Sex Doing in the Genocide? A Feminist Philosophical Response

Citation:

Schott, Robin May. 2015. “What is the Sex Doing in the Genocide? A Feminist Philosophical Response.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 397-411.

Author: Robin May Schott

Abstract:

This article reviews the literature on Holocaust and genocide studies to consider the question, ‘what is the sex doing in the genocide?’ Of the three answers usually given: (1) sexual violence is like other forms of genocidal violence, (2) sexual violence is a coordinate in genocide and (3) sexual violence is integral to genocidal violence, the author argues for the third position, but takes issue with Catharine MacKinnon’s claim that sexual violence destroys women as a group, thereby destroying the ethnic, racial, religious, or national group to which women belong. Drawing on Hannah Arendt’s concept of natality, the author argues that sexual violence is an attack on a fundamental condition for the possibility of the existence of human groups. When political violence is used to force biological birth in the service of death, it is a form of thanatonatality.

Keywords: genocide, Holocaust, natality, sexual violence, thanatonatality

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Genocide, Race, Religion, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence

Year: 2015

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.