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Ancient Hatred and Its Contemporary Manifestation: The Torture of Lesbians


Hawthorne, Susan. 2006. "Ancient Hatred and Its Contemporary Manifestation: The Torture of Lesbians." The Journal of Hate Studies 4 (1): 33-58.

Author: Susan Hawthorne


This paper looks at a number of different elements that make up the experience of torture by lesbians in the contemporary world. I draw together elements of popular culture, along with testimonies by lesbians, concerning torture in diverse countries, as well as citing some historical sources. I examine the justifications and excuses given for torture, including the view that rape is a normal part of heterosexual activity. I argue that domination is exemplified in the punishment of lesbians as outsiders in patriarchal culture, in particular when groups and nations go to war. I also look at the way in which arguments for the legalization of torture share similarities with arguments in favor of prostitution, pornography, and consensual BDSM. I challenge the defenders of these acts and argue that such defense is a case of moral neglect. I conclude with the contention that the freedom of lesbians from torture and violence may be an indicator of the social health of a society.

Topics: Gender, Women, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexuality, Torture, Sexual Torture

Year: 2006

Decriminalization, Seduction, and 'Unnatural Desire' in East Germany


Evans, Jennifer V. 2010. "Decriminalization, Seduction, and 'Unnatural Desire' in East Germany." Feminist Studies 36 (3): 553-700.

Author: Jennifer V. Evans


This article discusses the history of homosexuality in East Germany after World War II, with particular focus on male homosexual acts. The author examines social complications occurring after the decriminalization of homosexuality in East Germany, the role of biological explanatory devices in state control of homosexual behavior, and the actions of a subculture that reacted to the government's failure to fully enact the law which decriminalized homosexual acts. Topics include the actions of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), perspectives on masculinity in private and public life in East Germany, and the influence of Nazi perspectives on homosexuality. (EBSCO)

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, LGBTQ Regions: Europe Countries: Germany

Year: 2010

The Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Issues for Congress


Burrelli, David F. 2012. The Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Issues for Congress. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

Author: David F. Burrelli


On December 22, 2010, President Obama signed P.L. 111-321 into law. It calls for the repeal of the existing law (Title 10, United States Code, §654) barring open homosexuality in the military by prescribing a series of steps that must take place before repeal occurs. One step was fulfilled on July 22, 2011, when the President signed the certification of the process ending the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which was repealed on September 20, 2011. However, in repealing the law and the so-called ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, a number of issues have been raised, but were not addressed by P.L. 111-321. This report considers issues that Congress may wish to consider as the repeal process proceeds.

Keywords: military, human rights, Don't Ask Don't Tell


This report examines such issues as “congressional oversight of the repeal process, differences in benefits and privileges some individuals may experience (especially differences created under the Defense of Marriage Act), changes involving sodomy prohibitions, and efforts by some to expand the repeal to include transgender individuals.” Burelli concludes that the final resolution to these additional issues that complicate the repeal of Section 654 may extend well beyond the initial date of repeal.

Topics: Governance, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2012

Assessing the Integration of Gays & Lesbians into the South African National Defence Force


Belkin, Aaron, and Margot Canaday. 2011. "Assessing the Integration of Gays & Lesbians into the South African National Defence Force." Scientia Militaria: South African Journal of Military Studies 38 (2): 1-21.

Authors: Aaron Belkin, Margot Canaday


During the apartheid era, the South African military maintained a dual policy on homosexuality – prohibited among members of the permanent force, homosexuality was officially tolerated among conscripts. When the regime fell, the new government committed itself to human rights considerations, and after the South African Constitution adopted a provision of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in 1996, the South African military followed suit. In 1998, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) implemented the Policy on Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action that declared that there would no longer be discrimination against gays and lesbians. This article draws together military and government documents, secondary research, press coverage and interviews with individuals with knowledge on this topic to assess the effects of this policy change. The evidence suggests that the integration of gay and lesbian personnel has not had a negative impact on recruitment and retention, morale, unit cohesion or operational effectiveness in the SANDF.

Keywords: military

Topics: Gender, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2011

Spam Filter: Gay Rights & the Normalization of Male-Male Rape in the US Military


Belkin, Aaron. 2008. "Spam Filter: Gay Rights & the Normalization of Male-Male Rape in the US Military." Radical History Review, no. 100, 180-85.

Author: Aaron Belkin

Keywords: military, rape, masculinity


  • Belkin discusses the meaning of militarization, and how it is essential both for American citizens and international allies to view the army as a force for good that also represents an idealized form of masculinity. In order to maintain this image, the U.S. military covers up and naturalizes such occurrences as male-male rape in the armed forces. One of the ways in which this naturalization takes place is through connecting stigmatized outsiders such as homosexuals with these instances of rape, and portraying these outsiders as the perpetrators when in reality they are usually the victims. Belkin offers a critique of LGBT activists’ strategy of staying silent in reaction to the problem of male-male rape in the U.S. military.

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against men, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2008

Sex and the Sandinistas

"Nicaragua is known for the Sandinista Revolution, an inspiring struggle for national liberation. What has never been told before is the story of how homosexuals, in the teeth of a machista Roman Catholic culture, battled for their own space inside the Revolution. What really happened when the Sandinistas found their soldiers and revolutionary comrades falling in love with the wrong sex?

Rape For Who I Am

"This powerful documentary offers a fascinating and moving insight into the lives of South Africa’s black lesbians who, raped because of their sexuality, refuse to become victims. Set in Johannesburg and its surrounding townships, the film interweaves the experiences of four women, victims of rape, as they prepare for an annual Gay Pride celebration. With courage and a remarkable resilience, they describe the immense prejudices they have had to endure in their townships.

Children of the Crocodile


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