The Challenges of Gendering Genocide: Reflections on a Feminist Politics of Complexity

Citation:

Helms, Elissa. “The Challenges of Gendering Genocide: Reflections on a Feminist Politics of Complexity.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 463–69.

Author: Elissa Helms

Keywords: genocide, Bosnia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia

Annotation:

"When feminists and activists tackle the gendered dynamics of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and contemporary armed conflict, it seems safe to assume that their analyses and interventions are rooted in solidarity with the victims and survivors, in a desire to understand in order to contribute to the eradication of such violence and suffering. Yet some feminist or women-centered positions have sparked serious anxiety and anger among women war survivors and their advocates, rifts in feminist alliances, as well as disturbing political and material consequences for survivors and for the wider societies in which they live. The very collective nature of genocide and ethnicized violence makes them resistant to feminist critique – to scrutiny of the ways in which (ethno-) national collectivities create, and mask, power hierarchies within purported unity (McClintock, 1993) (...) This essay is a reflection on some of the issues and challenges for feminist scholarship and activism that emerge out of critical study of gendered war violence and the politics of collective ethnic and gender victimhood in a postwar setting" (Helms 2015, 463).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Genocide, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2015

© 2021 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.