Gender Communal Terrorism or War Rape: Ten Symbolic Reasons

TitleGender Communal Terrorism or War Rape: Ten Symbolic Reasons
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMatusitz, Jonathan
JournalSexuality & Culture
Date Published03/2017

This paper examines gender communal terrorism in past conflicts across the globe. Gender communal terrorism is a symbolic form of war rape. It was used systematically during the Bosnian War (1992-1995) and the Second Congo War (1998-2003), as part of a large-scale campaign to wipe out ethnic groups. In fact, war rape in the Second Congo War has been considered the worst in the history of humankind. To increase our understanding of war rape as a form of terrorism, ten symbolic themes (i.e., symbolic reasons) emerged from this analysis: (1) identicide (or ethnic cleansing), (2) punishment, (3) conquering territory, (4) proof of manhood, (5) wounded femininity, (6) wounded community, (7) rejection from family, (8) abjection, (9) ritual, and (10) fantasy. An important conclusion of this analysis is that all ten symbolic reasons of war rape have one purpose in common: the cultural elimination of the enemy. As such, gender communal terrorism is a weapon of war and an instrument of terror that cause profoundly negative effects on entire communities. Hence, a recurrent keyword among those themes is the word “wounded.”

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