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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 01:58 PM
Original message
Rape is an act of terrorism...
Someone recently posted something along these lines, and I have had a hard time grasping the statement. Unfortunately the response I made with my perceptions received a rather caustic reply, and the sting has stayed with me. I was emphatically informed that rape being used as a form of terrorism was a cited fact by many 'experts. One may think this is an odd thing to get all huffy about, but I do not believe the word 'terrorism' is the proper expression to define the act of rape, nor it's abundance of use in a war zone. To me, it simplifies the act. It reduces the crime of rape, to that of using a gun, or a bomb. It suggests that rape is used merely as a means to an end, and does nothing to further the understanding of why men rape. In my mind, understanding a behavior is the best way to prevent it, and hopefully eradicate the prevalence in all realities of life. I understand the word 'terrorized' to define the effects of the mass rape of a society...but please...forgive me... for having another opinion as to the cause.
Terrorism
1.the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2.the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3.a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government



Explaining wartime rape
Journal of Sex Research, May, 2004 by Jonathan Gottschall
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2372/is_2_41/ai_...
Strategic Rape Theoryl
While mass wartime rape can surely result in the damage discussed above, it remains possible that the supporters of strategic rape theory may be confusing the consequences of wartime rape with the motives for it. Just because these consequences may include demoralized populaces or fractured families does not mean that these were the goals for which the rapes were perpetrated in the first place. All of these results may be unintended (which is not to say unwelcome) consequences of wartime rape.
In just nine months spanning 1971 to 1972, Pakistani soldiers raped as many as 200,000 Bengali women (Habiba, 1998; Kamal, 1998). An Indian novelist commented, "The rapes were so systematic and pervasive that they had to be conscious army policy" (as cited in Siefert, 1996, p. 35). However, there is virtually no evidence cited in the literature to support the notion of conscious planning aside from this appearance. While some documentary evidence does exist suggesting that some modern militaries have considered rape strategically valuable, this evidence is sparse and of dubious authenticity (see Salzman, 2000). On the other hand, we do possess concrete evidence that many military planners have recognized that rape committed by soldiers can represent a serious threat to their larger strategic interests and have therefore sought to proscribe it. As different commentators on the subject have indicated, one of the most effective ways of galvanizing resistance in an embattled population is by exposing it to propaganda forecasting orgies of rape when and if the enemy triumphs (e.g., Brownmiller, 1975, p. 128; Thomas & Regan, 1994, p. 93). In short, there is at least as much reason to suspect wartime rape can be strategically counterproductive, resulting not in cowed and crushed populations but in galvanized and vengeful populations of civilians and soldiers.

Stiglmayer's (1994) formulation is more emphatic, but still representative:

A rape is an aggressive and humiliating act, as even a soldier
knows, or at least suspects. He rapes because he wants to engage
in violence. He rapes because he wants to demonstrate his power.
He rapes because he is the victor. He rapes because the woman is
the enemy's woman, and he wants to humiliate and annihilate the
enemy. He rapes because the woman is herself the enemy whom
he wishes to humiliate and annihilate. He rapes because he despises
women. He rapes to prove his virility. He rapes because the
acquisition of the female body means a piece of territory conquered.
He rapes to take out on someone else the humiliation he
has suffered in the war. He rapes to work off his fears. He rapes
because it's really only some "fun" with the guys. He rapes
because war, a man's business, has awakened his aggressiveness,
and he directs it at those who play a subordinate role in the world
of war. (p. 84)



Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
http://www.wilpf.int.ch/publications/1992ruthseifert.ht...
War and Rape. Analytical Approaches1
By Ruth Seifert
--------------------------------------------
Thesis 3: Rape is also a result of the construction of masculinity that armies offer their soldiers, and of the idolization of masculinity that is a concomitant of war in Western cultures.
Conceptions of masculinity are important both for armies and for the relations between the army and society at large. The military profession is associated with conceptions of masculinity in a way that varies from nation to nation. This includes connotations of power, dominance, eroticism and sexuality. The attractiveness, status and social prestige of the profession also depend on these constructions. How important the construction of masculinity is in the military, is indicated by the fact that with the consolidation of the position of women in the US armed forces the image of the soldier, or rather his professional identity, is beginning to falter and is now in a process of redefinition (cf. Enloe 1992; Time Magazine Nov. 30, 1992).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The significance of the amalgamation of violence and masculinity in cultural conceptions is also revealed by the reports on gang rapes committed by American soldiers in Vietnam. It became known that inflicting additional cruelty on the victim had been seen as a kind of virility contest. A few of these crimes were reported by soldiers who had been present, but had not participated in the rapes or sexual tortures. Before the court martial the rapists typically questioned the masculinity of the man who had reported the incident or called him a sissy or a weakling (cf. Brownmiller 1978:105f).

Thesis 4: Rapes committed in war are aimed at destroying the adversary's culture.

The oft-repeated thesis that the purpose of this is first and foremost to take revenge on the enemy accepts, for one thing, that women are "war material", and is, for another, refuted by reality. The victims of rape in May and June of 1945 were not only Germans, but also Jewish women who had survived the Nazi terror, and women from Eastern Europe whom the Nazis had used for slave labor. In Kuwait, too, the women raped were not exclusively Kuwaitis, but also immigrant workers from the Philippines, Egypt and other countries. Susan Brownmiller draws the conclusion that women are raped in war not only because they belong to the enemy camp, but because they are women and as such are enemies (Brownmiller 1978:69).

The "enemy" concept, however, is problematic in this context. Enemies usually know that they are enemies to each other, and they also have a theory why this is to. Someone who is attacked by an enemy usually fights back. None of this is true for the relationship between the genders. Neither do women normally expect to be attacked on a massive scale, nor do they know why this is done. As women from former Yugoslavia reported, they had felt safe until insanity was unleashed upon them (cf. Benard Schlaffer 1992:190). Starting from the above definition, the conclusion to be drawn is that women are raped not because they are enemies, but because they are the objects of a fundamental hatred borne in the cultural unconscious that comes to the surface in times of crisis.
------------------------------------------------------
Thus, in war zones women are always in a more precarious situation than men. As civilians they are - along with children and old men - the material that war is waged with. This is confirmed by the reports of Bosnian refugees: "Women, children and old people hoisted white flags and stayed in their villages, hoping that as unarmed civilians they had a special status. In some cases that naive hope materialized. In general, however, those who do not carry arms are particularly vulnerable" (Benard/Schlaffer 1992:186).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Apart from all the other motives, rape remains an extreme act of male violence against women which would not be possible without feelings of hostility towards women.
Ines Sabalic, in her "Report from Zagreb", also pointed to the amount of anger and hatred directed against women without which the specific sexual violence could not be explained. In particular she drew attention to the quasi-ritualized atrocities which were aimed at the femininity of the body - like cutting women's breasts off or slashing their stomachs open after the rape (Sabalic 1992).
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. Change the title to "Wartime rape is an act of terrorism"
Regular rape is not "terrorism" as it has no political motivation. It's just a crime. C very sick crime.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. It appears to me that the OP is saying
that rape,even sytamatic rape during war time, is not terrorism.
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I'm having a tough time following it.
(Bit of a headache) if I misconstrued then I am sorry.
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
4. NO. IT. ISN'T.....and quite frankly...
...I am getting a little pissed off with these threads...

Give it a rest why don't you?
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. thank you...for your lone voice..
in the wilderness. In my mind associating rape with a terrorist act reduces the criminal aspect of the crime of rape. It simplifies the cause, to a mere act of war, or aggression against an enemy..or just another tool to be used as a means to an end...and it enrages me.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Amazing
you manage to scrounge up a few bits that back up your thesis while ignoring the fact that The U.N., Amnesty International and virtually every human rights organization, most experts, and many governments, define rape in certain circumstances, as terror.
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. What's the key part of that statement...i'll give you a hint "IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES"...
...no-one is srguing that rape is used as a tactic of terror "IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES", but the act itself is not an act of terrorism...
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Sorry, that's exactly what the OP is saying
And duh, I used the phrase because that's what I meant to say.
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. So Duh, you agree that rape is not, in fact, terrorism, is that Duh right?
Or Duh wrong?
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Rape can be used as an instrument of terrorism whether
wielded by state or non state actors. The OP disagrees with that statement. Do you?
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Duh,
...what do you think I mean?
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. Could you be so kind as to specify those circumstances?
All I see in these threads is derision of those who so much as question the statement: "Rape is terrorism."

To me, it's terror if it's organized, such as in Darfur, the Balkan troubles, and U.S. prisons. Otherwise, it's violent crime.

Agree? Disagree?
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. I've been quite clear in these threads
that I'm speaking of rape as terrorism in the context that the organiztions I listed above, refer to it.
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #19
29. I'll take that as a "no."
Clear as mud. :eyes:
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. OK, I'll make it very, very simple- just for you.
Rape is only terrorism, imo, when used with the intent to terrorize and alter behavior. In the Balkans, rape was an instrument of terror, in post-war Berin, in the Sudan, and in many other conflicts.
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. Thank you.
Makes sense to me. Cheers. :toast:
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. It's clear you didn't read the OP, but yes
rape can be a tool of terrorism, despite the contortions of the OP,
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Really? Your use of ad hominems
speaks volumes. And yes, as your thread is a direct response to mine, I intend to comment.
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. This thread is no response to you...
but is a response to 'your thread'. Your opinion may very well be validated through your perceptions. I happen to see things from an obviously much different reality. You are well entitled to your opinion...I would hope you would respect mine.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. How did I know this thread would bring out all of the usual suspects
:crazy:
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
36. I couldn't give it a rest...
it's personal. Excuse me for missing the previous threads...I only witnessed one...and it stuck with me for days. I try to stay away from hyper-emotional subjects, but this one took me by surprise. I probably used DU as a cathartic expression which is both tired and unwelcome. Lesson learned.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
11. Rape as "social outreach?" Probably not. n/t
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
16. Rape terrorizes
It keeps us in our houses at night, or if we do go out we go out only with male escort. I don't go grocery shopping at night alone. I don't walk anywhere at night alone. Most women don't.

So it does terrorize us as a group.

My question would be whether it is done with the intention of terrorizing us. I think it's done as an act of violence without much thought as to those kinds of long-term consequences.

Does it have to be intentional to be an act of terrorism? That is the real question I think. I don't see how anyone could argue that women as a group aren't terrorized by the existence and prevalence of rape. It is certainly true that women as a group alter our behavior out of fear of rape.

I think in some wartime circumstances it is definitely used as an act of terrorism. But I take the OP to be about rape in the US at this time? The OP was a bit confusing.
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. I live in a big city and frequently shop at night. I see many other women doing the same.
I would not say "most women don't" but I agree that most women are aware that they can be victimized in this way and it can lead to the change of certain behaviors (sometimes extreme but sometimes for the better) as a result.
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Maybe it's different in big cities?
Where I live we had a rash of women getting raped and locked in their trunks in grocery store shopping lots so I don't know anyone here who does, but if your area hasn't had that specific issue come up then things might very well be different there.

Also, big cities have more people walking around at night who would see if something happened, and are better lit. When I'm in Chicago I feel safer at night than I do here.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. I think that the word "terrorism" has now been so overused
that to apply it to the crime of rape minimizes the severity of its effect on its victims. I may joke about being a "terrorist" because I'm anti-war, but I wouldn't even think about joking that I was a rapist.

*I* don't go out walking alone at night either, but I'm not concerned about getting raped; I fear being mugged. Obviously there is no real comparison of the level of harm since chances are if I give the mugger money, he will leave me alone. But my fear is the result of being a previous victim of mugging, not a concerted effort on the part of some group to make me afraid. I think the same holds true with any crime, including rape.

just my .02

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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. I don't see how it minimizes the severity of the effects of rape
Edited on Wed Sep-05-07 03:05 PM by gollygee
that's doublespeak as far as I can see. It might very well be simply incorrect though. I don't think it's done with the intent of terrorizing here in the US and my feeling is it would have to be done with that intent to fit the definition of terrorism.

But in wartime women and children are often raped, sexually brutalized in additional ways, and then killed as a way of terrorizing the local population so in those cases I feel it is definitely terrorism.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Rape, in certain circumstances, has been recognized
as a tool of terrorism for decades.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Well, yeah..."in certain circumstances"...like war.
Thank you Captain Obvious.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #27
33. Any number of violent crimes...
have been used as a tool of terrorism in recent decades.

The KKK used arson to terrorize millions of blacks in recent decades, but the act of arson is not in and of itself terrorism.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
23. If anything, the THREAT of rape is more often employed to motivate one's own populace ...
... than it is to intimidate the 'enemy' populace. "They'll rape your women, kidnap your children, kill your livestock, and poison your wells!" This is the ages-old approach to raising the rabble to a war-fever. As a weapon to intimate an enemy, as any military or political leader knows, it's poor and counter-productive. It elevates enmity and opposition - a "fight to the death" resistance. Absolutely NO military leader worth his salt wants the enemy more motivated to fight back.

There's something debauched about this fascination with such a parade of horribles and the drive to develop some hierarchy or taxonomy. "War is Hell" is NOT an understatement.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
30. fight back
"by day I live in terror
at night I live in fright.
for as long as I can remember,
a lady can't go out alone at night.

Chrous:

fight back,
fight back, in large numbers
fight back, I can't make it alone.
fight back, in large numbers
together we can make a safe home

I don't accept the verdict,
it's the wrong one anyway
nowadays a woman can't even
go out in the middle of the day, safe,
can't even go out in the middle of the day

chorus

women all around the world
every colour, religion and age,
all have one thing in common,
we can all be battered and raped
we can all be battered and raped

chorus

some folks have the answer
they buy a lock and live in a cage
but my fear is turning to anger
and my anger is turning to rage
I won't live my life in a cage

chorus

Holly Near

what part of this don't some of you understand?
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
32. No, it's not.
I think the word "terrorism" gets thrown around way too much recently.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. Rape, in a conflict context, has been recognized as a tool
Edited on Wed Sep-05-07 03:59 PM by cali
of terrorism for decades. It ain't a recent thought.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. I think you mean "tool of terrorism."
See post #44.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. I did. Thanks. Fixed. n/t
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-05-07 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
39. Locking
Continuation of a locked thread, and this is rapidly heading into the same flame fest as the earlier one.
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