The Rape of the Nation: Women Narrativising Genocide


Lentin, Ronit. 1999. “The Rape of the Nation: Women Narrativising Genocide.” Sociological Research Online 4 (2): online.

Author: Ronit Lentin


In this article I will firstly argue that genocide and wars are gendered but also often feminised via the positioning of women not only as sexual trophies exchangeable between male enemies, not only as markers of collective boundaries, but also as the symbolic representations of national and ethnic collectivities. I will then interrogate the centrality of rape as a component of ethno-sexual identities and an instrument of war, focusing on the difficulties we have as women but also as social scientists, to theorise wartime rape. Finally I will propose that creating a forum for women war victims to narrativise their traumatic experiences is a vital feminist strategy of beginning to close the gap between genocide and gender and between trauma and the discourses available to narrate it.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Genocide, Health, Trauma, Sexual Violence, Rape

Year: 1999

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