Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

ColonisationRape desires out of Pandora’s box. Since

ColonisationRape in war didn’t start with colonisation, but certainly wasn’t absent from it either. In each country, clothes have different social meanings and importance. For example, the people from the Himba tribe in Namibia or from the Zo’e tribe in the Amazonian forest don’t wear clothes, they don’t have the same relation to it as we do in Western Europe (Cameron, 2013). But the European colonisers disregarded this difference of culture and considered nudity as an erotic invitation. Women, from all over the world, are considered objects of contemplation and if they dare expose their body in the public sphere then it is considered as an ‘open door policy’ and they are, therefore, responsible for the potential sexual assault that may occur. Colonisation was a cover for white colonisers to let their worst desires out of Pandora’s box. Since the basic principle of colonisation was built on the idea of Europe’ superiority over colonised territories, they knew nobody would investigate what was happening there.  World War IIGenocides are known to have a high rate of sexual violence and Susan Brownmiller, in her book, Against our will, talked about rape and sexual violence against women during the Holocaust. She stated that the German military and the SS used collective rapes during the ‘Kristallnacht’ in 1938 as a major part of their strategy towards the ‘Final Solution’. Another ignored part of the Holocaust were the ‘brothels’ in concentration camps where german, polish and ukrainian women were forced into prostitution by and for the Nazis. The first study of those brothels was conducted by Robert Sommer at Humboldt University in Berlin. His findings showed that approximately «300 to 400 young women imprisoned at the woman’s concentration camp of Ravensbrück and in Auschwitz (between the ages of 17 and 30) were coerced “to volunteer” as prostitutes in brothels established in over 10 concentration camps» (AHRP). In both concentration and death camps, Jewish and non-Jewish women were raped, subjected to forced nudity and medical experiments such as forced sterilization, forced abortions and other experiments that mutilated their bodies. But the perpetrators of sexual violence were not limited to the Nazis. In the book Stalin’s Army of Rapists, Andrew Roberts wrote that the Red Army raped approximately two million german women and concentration camp survivors. Furthermore, at the end of World War II, the Allies used rape as a reward for their heroïsm: 971 American soldiers were brought in front of the Martial Court to answer accusations of rape in the territories they had just liberated (Olavarria Perez 2007).  RwandaDuring the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, around 350 000 women, mostly Tutsi women (Bijleveld et. al., 2009), were captured, tortured, mutilated and raped by members of Interahamwe (Hutu), civilians, soldiers from the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) as well as members of the presidential guard. A study published in 2010 (Sharlach) even referred to rape in Rwanda, Bengladesh and the Former Yugoslavia as a genocidal means after comparing the definition of genocide as given by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to the uses and consequences of rape during war (Sharlach, 2010). Democratic Republic of CongoIn the DRC, the most recent civil war officially ended in 2003. This civil war lasted seven years and at least 200 000 women and children were victims of rape and sexual volence during that time (Bouvy, 2007). Although the war officially ended, certain areas in the east of the country are still considered conflict zones, including the Kivu region where violence and sexual violence still occur daily (Awa, 2012). At the heart of this conflict, there is the Panzi hospital, founded by Doctor Denis Mukwege, who repares women’s genital organs since 1999. Over the past few years, he noticed an increase in children and babies -always girls- coming for treatments with their genital organs badly mutilated. In an article written in March 2017, he said : «My first patients in 1999 were adult women. But now, I see more and more children and babies raped with their perineum completely torn, where there is no vagina, rectum, bladder, everything is destroyed in one hole»1. Because he treated so many women, Doctor Muwkege says that he can now recognize the signature of different rebel groups. Some press their firearm in the vagina of their victims, others shoot in them or insert sticks covered with melted plastic. Because of those forms of torture, many women don’t have a perineum anymore, they can’t hold their urines and faeces and can’t have children either.  Libya When talking about rape as a weapon of war, we can’t ignore Libya and its organized and systematic use of rape and sexual violence with men as the primary target. It is very difficult to obtain information and testimonies of victims ; only a few investigators have tried to shed light on the situation but they work in hiding from Tunis (Allegra, 2017). The majority of the cases concern the Tawarga tribe, because they helped Kadhafi take Misrata in 2011. After Kadhafi was removed as head of the country, the Tawarga tribe became the target of constant violence, and especially sexual violence. Among the main sexual tortures used in Libyan prisons, there are the «stick» and the «wheel» (Allegra, 2017). The stick is used as blackmail: prisoners have to take off their pants and insert the broom in their behind until the prison guards can see blood. This is mandatory if one wants to eat. The wheel, the second most commonly torture tool, is a suspended tyre where naked men are put to facilitate the penetration of weapons by torturers.  Other countriesThis goes to show that no country, no culture, no religion and no ethnic group is exempt of sexual violence. As will be shown in the next parts of this essay, it is not a religious or cultural problem, it is a masculinity problem.


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