Women and Genocide

English
207 Pages
Read an excerpt
Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more

Description

The genocides of modern history–Rwanda, Armenia, Guatemala, the Holocaust, and countless others–and their effects have been well documented, but how do the experiences of female victims and perpetrators differ from those of men? In Women and Genocide, human rights advocates and scholars come together to argue that the memory of trauma is gendered and that women's voices and perspectives are key to our understanding of the dynamics that emerge in the context of genocidal violence. The contributors of this volume examine how women consistently are targets for the sexualized violence that serves as an instrument of ethnic cleansing, how female perpetrators take advantage of the new power structures, and how women are involved in the struggle for justice in post-genocidal contexts. By placing women at center stage, Women and Genocide helps us to better understand the nexus existing between misogyny and violence in societies where genocide erupts.


Acknowledgments
Preface / Joyce W. Warren
Introduction: Memory, Body, and Power: Women and the Study of Genocide / Elissa Bemporad
1. The Gendered Logics of Indigenous Genocide / Andrea Smith
2. Women and the Herero Genocide / Elisa von Joeden-Forgey
3. Arshaluys Mardigian/Aurora Mardiganian: Absorption, Stardom, Exploitation, and Empowerment / Donna-Lee Frieze
4. "Hyphenated" Identities during the Holodomor: Women and Cannibalism / Olga Bertelsen
5. Gender: A Crucial Tool in Holocaust Research / Marion Kaplan
6. German Women and the Holocaust in the Nazi East / Wendy Lower
7. Romani Girls: Resiliency and Caretaking during the Holocaust in Romanian-controlled Transnistria / Michelle Kelso
8. Birangona: Bearing Witness in War and ‘Peace’ / Bina D’Costa
9. Very Superstitious: Gendered Punishment in Democratic Kampuchea, 1975-1979 / Trude Jacobsen
10. Sexual Violence as a Weapon during the Guatemalan Genocide / Victoria Sanford, Sofia Duyos Alvarez-Arenas and Kathleen Dill
11. Gender and the Military in Post-Genocide Rwanda / Georgina Holmes
12. Narratives of Survivors of Srebrenica: How Do They Reconnect to the World? / Selma Leydesdorff
13. The Plight and Fate of Females during and Following the Darfur Genocide / Samuel Totten
14. Grassroots Women’s Participation in Addressing Conflict and Genocide: Case Studies from the MENA Region and Latin America / Lisa David and Cassandra Atlas
Selected Bibliography: Further Readings
Index

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 10 April 2018
Reads 0
EAN13 9780253033840
Language English
Document size 3 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0025€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

Report a problem
WOMEN AND GENOCIDE
WOMEN AND GENOCIDE SURVIVORS,VICTIMS,PERPETRATORS
Edited by Elissa Bemporad and Joyce W. Warren
INDIANA UNIVER SIT Y PRESS
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press Office of Scholarly Publishing Herman B Wells Library 350 1320 East 10th Street Bloomington, Indiana 47405, US
iupress.indiana.edu
© 2018 by Indiana University Press
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses’ Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Cataloging information is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-0-253-03276-8 (cloth) ISBN 978-0-253-03381-9 (paperback) ISBN 978-0-253-03383-3 (ebook)
1 2 3 4 523 22 21 20 19 18
To Joyce, who believed in the power of education and in the empowerment of women
C O N T E N T S
Preface / Joyce W. Warren Acknowledgments Memory, Body, and Power: Women and the Study of Genocide / Elissa Bemporad 1. The Gendered Logics of Indigenous Genocide / Andrea Smith 2. Women and the Herero Genocide / Elisa von Joeden-Forgey 3. Arshaluys Mardigian/Aurora Mardiganian: Absorption, Stardom, Exploitation, and Empowerment / Donna-Lee Frieze 4. “Hyphenated” Identities during the Holodomor: Women and Cannibalism / Olga Bertelsen 5. Gender: A Crucial Tool in Holocaust Research / Marion Kaplan 6. German Women and the Holocaust in the Nazi East / Wendy Lower 7. No Shelter to Cry In: Romani Girls and Responsibility during the Holocaust / Michelle Kelso 8.Birangona: Rape Survivors Bearing Witness in War and Peace in Bangladesh / Bina D’Costa 9. Very Superstitious: Gendered Punishment in Democratic Kampuchea, 1975–1979 / Trude Jacobsen 10. Sexual Violence as a Weapon during the Guatemalan Genocide / Victoria Sanford, Sofia Duyos Álvarez-Arenas, and Kathleen Dill 11. Gender and the Military in Post-Genocide Rwanda / Georgina Holmes 12. Narratives of Survivors of Srebrenica: How Do They Reconnect to the World? / Selma Leydesdorff 13. The Plight and Fate of Females During and Following the Darfur Genocide / Samuel Totten 14. Grassroots Women’s Participation in Addressing Conflict and Genocide: Case Studies from the Middle East North Africa Region and Latin America / Lisa Davis and Cassandra Atlas
Selected Bibliography: Further Readings Index
P R E FA C E
SOME OF the genocides described in this book will be familiar to readers, while others will be relatively unfamiliar stories. But even the most familiar stories will appear unfamiliar for most readers because of their emphasis on women. Conventional narratives have not pointed out, or in some cases even mentioned, the separate ways in which women have functioned during genocidal actions, either as actors or as victims. In some of the instances of genocide discussed in this book , women were among the perpetrators. But women were primarily victims of genocide, and were subjected to gender-speci$c treatment which oen was sexually violent and particularly brutal. 'e master narratives have focused on the horrors of the mass murders of marginalized groups, but what the chapters in this book bring to light is the way women were speci$cally targeted during many genocides. In some instances, the sexual maltreatment was a deliberate and oen official strategy of the perpetrators as a way of exterminating a culture and an ethnicity. A mass assault on women’s reproductive abilities was seen as an effective means of destroying a people, their culture, and their posterity. 'at women were speci$cally targeted in so many of the genocides suggests that there is a signi$cant thread of misogyny underlying the actions. One explanation for gender-speci$c violence is that in all cultures there has existed—and continues to exist—a hostility toward females, ranging from the brutality witnessed in genocides, to the hostility that today manifests itself on the internet and in social media, which abound with violent sexual insults and threats directed at women. Of course, cyberaacks are not only directed at women; they also aack people for their race, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity or because of personal animosity. However, only women seem to receive sexually violent aacks and threats. Women have been verbally aacked, humiliated, and in some cases, destroyed virtually by the hate-$lled sexual violence of internet trolls. Even a relatively benign $gure like Emma Watson, known and beloved by many as Hermione in the Harry Poer $lms, was the victim of aacks directed at women. Aer she spoke at the UN in September 2014, she not only received messages of support for her feminist HeForShe speech, but also hate-$lled insults, including threats to reveal 1 nude photos of her on the internet. If women are seen as intruding on male turf, the aacks can become particularly ugly. When Anita Sarkeesian and other women spoke out against the misogyny in the male-dominated gaming culture, they were harassed and threatened with sexual violence and death. 'e aackers discovered their addresses and phone numbers, and so stalked, harassed, and threatened them that, in some cases, they had to leave their homes. Sarkeesian’s life became a nightmare, with constant death and sexual threats made against her and her parents. A video game was even created in which the viewer could punch her 2 face until it was bloodied or looked as if it had had acid thrown on it. Similarly, sports fans who disagree with female sports reporters have aacked these women on social media, threatening sexual violence and death. Recently, male sports reporters were asked to read aloud the Twier messages the women received; they were shocked. Some said the threats were so horrendous that they refused to read them aloud; the men said that 3 although they had been criticized, they had never been subjected to anything like sexually violent attacks. However, gender-speci$c violence is not con$ned to verbal or virtual aacks. According to Department of 4 Justice calculations, a woman is beaten or sexually assaulted every ninety seconds in the United States. 'e FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) does not keep a record of hate crimes against women, although it keeps 5 tabs on crimes against other targeted groups. And there have been few recorded cases of crimes against women that are officially labeled as hate crimes. If a person is killed or beaten because of hatred of identity (the person’s race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation), the crime is labeled a hate crime. But if a woman is beaten or killed —as occurs daily—even if the perpetrator is heard to spew gender-speci$c hatred during the aack, the crime is seldom labeled a hate crime. In 2006 an armed killer invaded an Amish elementary school. He forced the girls to come to the front of the room, and then he shot them all. 'e media was outraged at this crime against “school children.” Most people did not even notice that the murdered children were all girls. As Bob Herbert wrote in theNew York Times,
“Imagine if a gunman had gone into a school, separated the kids up on the basis of race or religion, and then shot only the black kids. Or only the white kids. Or only the Jews. 'ere would have been thunderous outrage. . . . 'e aack would have been seen for what it really was: a hate crime. None of that occurred becausethese were just girls[italics added], and we have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny 6 that violence against females is more or less to be expected.” For the most part, history has wrien of genocidal mass killings in the same way—speaking generically of the horror of mass murder, but not taking note of the gender-speci$c nature of much of the horror. With this book, we hope to start a conversation about why women and girls are targeted as objects of hatred, a conversation that we hope will lead to a beer understanding of misogyny, not only in the past or in other parts of the globe, but today and in our own culture now. 'e ubiquitous nature of misogyny in American culture was emphatically brought to light during the 2016 presidential election campaign. Anti-woman campaign merchandise was openly sold at the Republican National Convention and at Trump rallies (T-shirts and buons that read, for example, “Life’s a Bitch. Don’t Vote for One”). At the same time, anti-woman hate groups have been proliferating on the internet. In 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center published a list of some of the groups, and the editor commented that he was “completely astounded” at the $ndings, stating, “I had no idea that there was this dark world of women hatred. A whole universe of these people was quite shocking.” He noted that within the radical right in recent years 7 there has been increasing evidence of misogyny. Within this background, perhaps, it is not surprising that it was so easy for her opponents to demonize Hillary Clinton, with a tumult created over her use of a private server for some of her government email—despite people hardly noticing when male politicians commied 8 irregularities with their emails. Donald Trump labeled her “crooked Hillary,” and used that dubious epithet to 9 elicit anti-Hillary venom from his raucous crowds. “Lock her up,” Trump supporters chanted. “She lies,” they insisted—despite independent fact checkers rating her as one of the most honest of politicians, and Trump as 10 one of the least. Even more damning was the way in which people were willing to believe even the most outrageous fake news about Clinton, for example, that she was the head of a trafficking ring that held children in 11 12 sexual slavery. ('is about a woman who had dedicated her adult life to helping children.) At the same time, when Donald Trump was caught on video tape bragging about how he could sexually harass and assault 13 women with impunity, even grabbing them by their genitals, the most common reaction was to shrug. As one man said, all it proves is that he is a “healthy heterosexual.” And many women who voted for him excused his 14 behavior with the explanation that this is just the way men are. He was like their husbands, they said. 'ey seemed to have internalized the misogyny and accepted it as part of the culture. Sexist comments might annoy some, but the tendency is oen simply to shrug them off as stupid, or perhaps as innocent culturalisms. 'e term “bitch” as a demeaning insult appears in popular songs, in movies, and in ordinary speech, and many just accept it as evidence that “boys will be boys.” But the stories in this book stand as evidence of how far such aitudes can carry people, and the horri$c results of gender-speci$c hatred apparent in so many genocides are nothing to shrug off.
JOYCE W. WARREN is Professor of English and Director of Women and Gender Studies at Queens College of the City University of New York. Her books includeWomen, Money, and the Law, Fanny Fern: An Independent Woman, and'e American Narcissus: Individualism and Women in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction. Among her edited books isFeminism and Multiculturalism.
NO TES 1.The threat to reveal nude photos later proved to be a hoax, designed to humiliate and discredit Watson. 2.See, e.g., Nick Wingfield, “Feminist Critics of Video Games Facing Threats,”New York Times, October 16, 2014, A1. In 2012 Sarkeesian had started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a video onTropes vs. Women in Video Games, which critiqued the treatment of women in games. In addition to cyberattacks, the attackers also sought to prevent her from speaking. When she was scheduled to speak at the University of Utah, for example, the university received a threat of the “deadliest school shooting in American history,” and the email message was signed with the name Marc Lépine, the man who in 1989 systematically went from class to class killing
women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, who claimed that he was “fighting feminism.” Sarkeesian’s talk was cancelled because the university could not provide sufficient protection for the students in the audience. Other women who were also viciously attacked for speaking out on gaming include Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu. 3.See, e.g., Julie DiCaro, “Threats. Vitriol. Hate. Ugly Truth about Women in Sports and Social Media,” Sports Illustrated, The Cauldron, September 27, 2015,www.si.com/cauldron/twitter-threats-vile-remarks-women-sports-journalists. The websiteJust Not Sportsmade the video “#MoreThanMean,” in which male sports reporters read aloud the tweets that DiCaro and Sarah Spain had received. 4.See the 2012 Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice. The figures are calculated from the US Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey, 2009–13. 5.According to FBI statistics, of the 113,000 hate crimes since 1991, 55% were based on race, 17% on religion, 14% on sexual orientation, 14% on ethnicity, and 1 % on disability. See, e.g., Jim Abrams, “House Passes Expanded Hate Crime Bill,”Washington Post, May 3, 2007. The 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr., National Hate Crimes Act was drawn up as a response to the torture and murder of two men—Shepard for his sexual orientation, Byrd because of race. For the first time, gender and sexual orientation were included as categories of hate crimes. For information on the 2009 Hate Crimes Act, see the Civil Rights Division, US Department of Justice, accessed May 27, 2016,https://www.justice.gov/crt/matthew-shepard-and-james-byrd-jr-hate-crimes-prevention-act-2009-0. 6.Bob Herbert, “Why Aren’t We Shocked?”New York Times, October 16, 2006, A19. Italics mine. 7.Southern Poverty Law Center,Intelligence Report(Spring 2012). See also, Ginia Bellafante, “Reanimating Misogyny,”New York Times, October 16, 2016, MB1. Also relevant is the 2013 case of Gilberto Valle, the “cannibal cop,” which revealed a subset of internet anti-woman websites that indulged in male fantasies of tying up women, raping them, slashing their throats, and in some cases, eating them. 8.As many have noted, the Bush administration illegally erased millions of emails; Mitt Romney wiped servers, sold government hard drives to his closest aides, and destroyed his administration’s emails; and Colin Powell used his Blackberry to deliberately bypass federal law. 9.For example, the editorial board of theNew York Timesdescribes in “An Even Stranger Donald Trump,” August 12, 2016, how Donald Trump at his rallies told his supporters (falsely) that President Obama was the founder of ISIS and “crooked Hillary” was the co-founder. As soon as he mentioned the words “crooked Hillary,” “the crowd erupted into cheers and chants of ‘Lock her up,’” https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/12/opinion/an-even-stranger-donald-trump.html. 10.During the 2016 campaign, the independent fact-checking organization, PolitiFact, rated the two candidates on its “truth-o-meter.” Based on their public statements, Hillary Clinton rated a 72 for true statements, while Donald Trump rated a 4. His false statements were 164, while hers amounted to 31. Politifact.com, “Comparing Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump on the Truth-O-Meter,” accessed February 5, 2017,http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/nov/01/truth-check-clinton-and-trump-truth-o-meter-1-week/. 11.The pizza parlor in Washington, DC, that the fake story named as the headquarters for the ring, as well as other businesses on the block, received constant hate calls and death threats. One man was so convinced of the truth of the story that he armed himself and drove from Salisbury, North Carolina to Washington to, as he said, “rescue the children.” When he found no children, he fired his weapon anyway and was arrested. For information about the fake news story, see, e.g., Sarah Lee, “Armed Man Enters D.C. Pizza Parlor, Inspired by Fake News,”Washington Post, December 4, 2016; and Marc Fisher, John Woodrow Cox, and Peter Hermann, “Pizzagate: From Rumor, to Hashtag, to Gunfire in D.C.,”Washington Post, December 6, 2016. 12.See, for example, her work with the Children’s Defense Fund, which in November 2016 honored her for her lifelong advocacy for children; her bipartisan work to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); her work in the Senate on legislation to improve children’s education and to protect children’s safety from wrongful medication; and her work as Secretary of State against sex trafficking and the exploitation of children around the world. 13.For a transcript of the tape, see, “Transcript: Donald Trump’s Taped Comments about Women,”New York Times(October 8, 2016),https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/08/us/donald-trump-tape-transcript.html. 14.See, e.g., Irin Carmon, “Low Expectations for Husbands and Presidents,”New York Times, December 11, 2016, SR1.
A C K N OW L E D G M E N T S
WE ARE grateful to Queens College of the City University of New York for help and encouragement with this important project, particularly the Women and Gender Studies program, and the late Virginia Frese Palmer for funding and support. (e catalyst for this book was a conference on Women and Genocide at Queens College on March 17, 2014, without which there would have been no book. We also thank Peter Ryan for providing an accurate and conscientious transcription of the complex proceedings. Finally, we are indebted to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its support.