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Genocide rape should be treated as weapon of mass destruction

Genocide Watch

Sultan Ahmed

Issue date: 9/25/09 Section: Opinion
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"Lovely female shapes are terrible complicators of the difficulties and dangers of this earthly life, especially for their owners," wrote George du Maurier.

I seem to have made a grave oversight in these biweekly analyses. There is a group of people that have a decidedly unique experience with regards to genocide and war. This group comprises over 50 percent of the world population, and yet goes ignored the most often. They are the bane of every man's existence and his greatest pleasure as well. They are women, and they have a distinct war story to tell.

It is important, however, that before we speak of the unique aspects of the female experience, we talk about the experiences shared by the two sexes in times of genocide. We are all familiar with what I am talking about, but rarely do we acknowledge that women are part of the atrocities of war that occur every day. Women are buried side by side with men in Serbia. Women were put in gas chambers in Auschwitz. Women were dismembered and their limbs discarded in Croatia. Because we label these acts as crimes against humanity, or the like, we often lose the all too important recognition that individual human rights were indeed violated. The individual becomes lost in the woodwork of the larger population which is targeted for extermination.

As for the unique aspect, women are targeted sexually during times of war to a far greater degree than are men. This is not to say that men are not the victims of sexual crimes, as was seen at Abu Ghraib - just that women are subject to them more often. As such, these crimes are often put on the backburner or swept up as a component of a larger conflict. We might know there were concentration camps in Croatia. However, much less is made of the camps designated specifically as rape camps, camps at which the focus was forcibly raping and impregnating Croatian and Muslim women. It is common knowledge that Nazis used Jewish citizens to conduct scientific experiments. Few, however, know that these experiments included forcing prostitutes to have sexual intercourse with frozen men to see if they could successfully revive and warm them.
Continued...
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    Anne

    posted 9/28/09 @ 3:22 PM EST

    Hi,

    Although I felt the semtiments reflected in this article are eye-opening and horrific, I was a bit insulted with one line in the article. I guess it's the author's awkward way of describing women? I'm truly not sure. (Continued…)

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    Fun Page

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    • Editorial: Doc Oc memorial needs identification, context
    • Genocide rape should be treated as weapon of mass destruction
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