Rape in War

Claudia Card

in The Atrocity Paradigm

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780195145083
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833115 | DOI:
 Rape in War

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Sexual enslavement of women and girls, for the enjoyment of soldiers and officers, destroys countless young female lives, and mass rape in war is further terroristic, aiming to intimidate and demoralize the enemy, tamper with the identity and loyalties of the next generation, undermine national and cultural solidarity, splinter families, and disperse populations. The relative invisibility of the evils of both sexual slavery in war and rape as a weapon of war may be explained by the “magnitude gap” between perceptions of perpetrators and victims, by the intimate nature of the harm to victims, by the deaths of victims whose stories are never heard, and by the absence of sadism in the culpability of many perpetrators. As strategies of resistance, women could become armed, skilled in weapons use, and become integrated into the military at all levels. More long‐range goals are to dismantle domestic and international protection rackets and change the symbolic meanings of rape. Fantasies of castration and compulsory transsexual surgery for rapists are explored, with attention on the attitudinal advantages for women of supporting such penalties and the self‐defeating character of such penalties as means to changing the social meanings of rape.

Keywords: castration; protection rackets; rape; sexual enslavement; symbolic meaning; terrorism; transsexual surgery; war

Chapter.  9873 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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