Addendum to ‘Rape as a Weapon of War’


Card, Claudia. 1997. “Addendum to ‘Rape as a Weapon of War'.” Hypatia 12 (2): 216–8.

Author: Claudia Card


Learning about martial sex crimes against men has made me rethink some of my ideas about rape as a weapon of war and how to respond to it. Such crimes can be as racist as they are sexist and, in the case of male victims, may be quite simply racist.


“Journalist Beverly Allen quotes a United Nations report (Bassiouni 1994) as documenting that the rape and death camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina have also been sites of forced castrations, ‘through crude means such as forcing other internees to bite off a prisoner's testicles’ (Allen 1996, 78)” (Card 1997, 216). 
“Asked whether they were victims of sex crimes, Arcel said, the men answered negatively. She noted that they attached a great stigma to the idea of being the victim of a sex crime. Asked whether they had been tortured by instruments applied to their genitalia, however, the same men answered affirmatively” (216). 
“These reports are evidence, I conclude, that sex crimes in war can be racist as well as misogynist, insofar as they have or are meant to have the consequence of hindering the reproductive continuation of a people” (217). 
“Some sex crimes against men, such as rape, may also carry misogynistic symbolism. But castration, like rape, appears to have its own history of symbolizing domination” (217). 
“Reports of forced castration also raise questions about the idea that integrating women into the military might effectively eliminate, or substantially reduce, rape as a weapon of war” (217). 
“Yet it is worth pointing out in a treatment of the general topic of martial rape that martial sex crimes, including rape, can be racist as well as sexist, and that the rape of women and girls can be the intersection of martial racism and sexism” (218). 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Health, Reproductive Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Race, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Men, SV against Women, Weapons /Arms

Year: 1997

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