Rape as a war tactic in Africa

via Pandagon, I came across this transcript of an investigation into the rape of women and girls in Africa.

The level of everyday violence here in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been simply unfathomable over the last several years. Guns and machetes, of course, are common. But the most ruthless weapon that has been used here is rape, tens of thousands of women, children have been attacked, mostly by gangs of soldiers and bands of outlaws.

According to Doctors Without Borders, an estimated 40 percent of the rape victims are under the age of 18. Often, there are multiple assailants. It is something that’s hard to report on, but is something that is fact. And this story may be certainly hard to watch, but we can’t avoid it. It is part of life here. And the world should know what the women here are facing.

It is refreshing to see rape being referred to as a weapon of war. Too often, that angle is left out of the conversation.

COOPER (voice-over): At a busy hospital in Goma, a silent little girl sits on a stoop. She is 5 years old now, but still cannot speak of the terrible thing happened to her. Two years ago, when she was just 3, she was gang-raped by soldiers.

COOPER (on camera): Children as young as 3 years are getting raped?

DR. LUC MALEMO, HEAL AFRICA: Yes, 3 years old, yes.

COOPER: That’s — it’s — it’s crazy.

MALEMO: Very crazy. And we — it’s difficult to understand the — the social causes of these events.

But we think that people are so disappointed, and they have been in a dictatorship for 40 years, that now the war came. So, they lost all the hope. And they start behaving like animals.

COOPER (voice-over): Dr. Luc Malemo has a hospital ward full of girls and women who have been raped and developed fistulas, holes in their vaginas or rectums that make it impossible to control bodily functions.

(on camera): Why do so many rape victims here develop fistulas?

MALEMO: We — we think that — that the — the first reason, that the rape is too violent. Some of them, they will use, after — after raping the lady, they will use maybe — they may use a weapon, a knife, or even a piece of wood. And some of them have been shot on after being raped.

COOPER: So, women aren’t just getting raped, and they’re not just getting gang-raped; they’re — they’re often being shot internally afterward, or — or — or people putting objects inside them, knives, clubs?

MALEMO: Yes. Yes.

All — they’re being raped. But some of them, mainly those who develop fistula, tell that, after being raped, they will be shot on, or just be traumatized by a weapon.

And it gets worse.

COOPER (voice-over): Doctor Malemo is able to repair the physical damage done by rape in some 70 percent of cases. But some wounds, physical and psychological, are impossible to heal.

ANGELA, RAPE VICTIM (through translator): I was raped by three men, soldiers. They also shot me in my right arm. When it was happening, I thought I was dying. I was seeing death in front of me. I didn’t think I would live.

COOPER: Angela was raped in front of her children.

(on camera): This is all the burn?

(voice-over): She says her attackers also burned her daughter, Godaliv (ph). We agreed to protect their identities, because of the stigma still associated with rape in the Congo.

ANGELA (through translator): People in the neighborhood just point fingers and say, you are a raped women, and you are infected with AIDS.

COOPER: Angela lives in a compound with her three children and other rape survivors, who say they can’t go home. They’re supported by a charity called Heal Africa.

(on camera): This is the one meal that Angela’s kids will probably have today. She and her children have been living here in Goma for the last five months. Angela would like to be able to return to her home village, but that’s simply impossible.

The men who raped her are likely still living in the area. They, of course, have never been brought to justice. And she really has no home to go back to. Her husband has now kicked her out of the house, because she was gang-raped.

ANGELA (through translator): He heard I was raped. And he just said: “Go on your own. I don’t need you anymore. If we live together, you now might have HIV, so, you might infect me.”

COOPER (voice-over): Like many rape survivors here, Angela’s future is, at best, uncertain.

ANGELA (through translator): The only thing I need is some land, so I can build a house. I might die, and I want my kids to have that castle. I’m hoping for a miracle.

COOPER: There are few miracles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The men who rape are rarely brought to justice. And the women who survive must simply try to heal.

They’re lucky if they get to “heal.” Most of them are just trying to survive. Read the whole thing.


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43 comments for “Rape as a war tactic in Africa

  1. October 5, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    There was a good article in Ms. Magazine about this last summer. It broke my heart. And the fact that this is still going on… Sweet Jesus.

  2. piny
    October 5, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    It is refreshing to see rape being referred to as a weapon of war. Too often, that angle is left out of the conversation.

    Right: violence, terrorism, and a very effective way to condemn women into a life on scorched earth. Angela might not have been murdered by her attackers, but there’s no assurance even now that she will survive her rape.

  3. October 5, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    It is refreshing to see rape being referred to as a weapon of war. Too often, that angle is left out of the conversation.

    I disagree with the premise of rape as a weapon of war. More accurately, rape is one of the negative outcomes of war.

    The Red Army didn’t rape German women en masse for some tactical advantage, they did that because at that point nothing could stop them from doing it, and were hateful towards germans, or wanted to get off.

    In chaotic situations such as many (if not, in fact, all) civil wars in developing coutries what basically happens is that everyone without a gun and some military training is less safe than soldiers and can not protect herself from depravations of enemy soldiers.

  4. piny
    October 5, 2006 at 4:33 pm

    Rape is used to intimidate and injure women as enemy civilians. It is used as a genocidal tactic, to disrupt marriages and families, to make it impossible for women to marry, to turn women into pariahs, to render them sterile, and even to force them to bear the children of the enemy. It also has a terrorist component: it makes it impossible for women to conduct the daily business of maintaining households and families, and can keep them from working or participating in their society as citizens. Those tactics are all related to war: to subduing and controlling a population. Child soldiers, girls and young women in particular, are also subjected to rape and sexual abuse as a form of control.

  5. October 5, 2006 at 4:41 pm

    The Germans did the same to occupied Ukraine (USSR), where my grandmother and her kin were.

    Now, my grandmother does talk about rape as a tactic of war, and has done so way before it was being discussed in the mainsteam. It was used to scare the populace and break their spirit, that’s the way she put it. Commanding officers in her village encouraged this sort of thing, especially when it started to look as though the tide of the war may turn. And in his book “Babii Yar,” Anatoly Kuznet’sov confirmed this (the book was censored heavily when the Soviets were still in power).

  6. October 5, 2006 at 4:46 pm

    It is used as a genocidal tactic, to disrupt marriages and families, to make it impossible for women to marry, to turn women into pariahs, to render them sterile, and even to force them to bear the children of the enemy.

    Save for the last one, surely killing is easier to achieve genocide.

    It also has a terrorist component: it makes it impossible for women to conduct the daily business of maintaining households and families, and can keep them from working or participating in their society as citizens. Those tactics are all related to war: to subduing and controlling a population.

    Is that the goal here, or the outcome?

    This is terror, torture and completely atrocious, but still more of a result of a power imbalance than a tactic of war.

    This is about gangs (/armies) reveling in their power and following their base urges.

  7. October 5, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    Natalia:

    Of course, my intention wasn’t to say that Red Army is exceptionally bad, especially compared to Nazis.

  8. October 5, 2006 at 4:53 pm

    It was used to scare the populace and break their spirit, that’s the way she put it.

    Worked like a charm, didn’t it?

  9. Elena M
    October 5, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    I will not try to excuse what Red Army did in Germany, but they were not just being generally hateful toward Germans. Before they even got to Germany, they had to march all the way back through Russia and see what German soldiers did Russian women. They saw burned villages, and their raped wives, and their dead children. Let’s keep in mind that Germany was the country that started this. I think, that in this case, they saw rape as a payback.

  10. October 5, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    I’d better stop the WW2 hijack.

  11. roula
    October 5, 2006 at 5:52 pm

    i came over on the trackback to pandagon.

    tuomas, i dont think you’re correct in saying “[this kind of] rape is torture, but it’s not a weapon of war”. torture is also a weapon of war. and it is a war crime.

    during a war, no kind of torture is challenged as being just that, EXCEPT for the rape of females by males. as opposed to every other kind of violence, rape is too often set off in this category of its own, as though its sexual component somehow makes it more like sex and less like violence. and yet when a man is raped in similar circumstances we certainly don’t call it “sorta sex so not really violence”, so that can’t be a logical stance.

    and, yes, it is definitely true that rape has been used in campaigns of genocide to further those ends. sometimes women are injured to the point that they cannot bear children; other times women are literally forced to bear the “foreign” children of the rapist. you can see these as invididual acts of personal depravity/cruelty/psychosis if you like, but the fact that it is actually a systemic form of violence will account much more efficiently for all those individual psychos.

  12. roula
    October 5, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    also, tuomas- if you wonder why armies don’t simply stick to killing, i would suggest two reasons:
    1) rape is only barely beginning to be treated as a war crime. it was a more “subtle” way of killing off a civilian population than simple murder, which WAS prosecutable; and it was considered routine, the spoils of war, etc, and didn’t earn as much condemnation as you’d hope.
    2) there is something even more excruciating about raping for hate than killing for hate. i don’t put it past anyone to try to inflict that kind of pain on someone they hate enough to wipe out. i really think it is used as a kind of torture, no different from the others except that it is targeted to damage a woman’s life in ways that are uniquely relevant to women (threat of divorce, ostracism, etc).

  13. October 5, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    Well, the Red Army was pretty bad as they advanced (I can’t excuse rape, and my grandad, a Red Army general, never did either), but I tend to think of the Nazi army as worse overall. They did start it, as Eddie Izzard (and Elena) says.

    Worked like a charm, didn’t it?

    For a while, it did. Ukraine was devastated by the occupation, and the subsequent repressions of the formerly occupied people under Stalin. My grandmother has a lot of horrible memories from her time during the occupation, but in the year that followed it she had it easier, because she was still technically a child. She does not like to revisit that place in her head. Systematic rape was common in her village, and there was clearly an objective to it, she said. And it leaves her horrified to this day, along with the other things that were done (the Jews sold out by some of the Ukrainian natives, the enslaved children, the corpses in the woods, etc.).

    Sorry for the hijack. My original point was that rape can be used as a weapon.

  14. October 5, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    I really have to say couple more things: The Red Army did bad things before Germany invaded USSR.

    It is also widely considered that the Nazi atrocities against civilians hurt their cause, as Stalin suddenly seemed like not so bad even to Russian dissenters, and atrocities fueled partisan activity.

    I’ll ponder this over. I really have problems with the tactic framing, as I perceive a tactic as something used to win a war, not something that is merely used to pound an already beaten or half-beaten population into submission.
    Anyway, it’s a crappy tactic, even without considering immorality.

    Sorry for the hijack. My original point was that rape can be used as a weapon.

    Mea culpa.

    you can see these as invididual acts of personal depravity/cruelty/psychosis if you like, but the fact that it is actually a systemic form of violence will account much more efficiently for all those individual psychos.

    That’s not really my argument.

  15. October 5, 2006 at 6:45 pm

    1) rape is only barely beginning to be treated as a war crime. it was a more “subtle” way of killing off a civilian population than simple murder, which WAS prosecutable; and it was considered routine, the spoils of war, etc, and didn’t earn as much condemnation as you’d hope.

    That’s a good point.

    One major cause is also a culture which considers raped women spoiled.

  16. October 5, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    Not to say that the last point applies just in developed countries, but it is more extreme there.

    and atrocities fueled partisan activity.

    Of which many were women, btw.

  17. Rhiannon
    October 5, 2006 at 8:34 pm

    It’s late and I’m tired, so maybe that’s why I’m having trouble making sense of this part

    and atrocities fueled partisan activity.

    Of which many were women, btw.

    Are you saying that many of the partisan activities were done by women? Or that many of the atrocities committed were against women?

  18. Rhiannon
    October 5, 2006 at 8:35 pm

    k, I screwed up the blockquote. I did mention I was tired right?

  19. PurpleGirl
    October 5, 2006 at 8:38 pm

    Another example of this happened when Bangladesh (East Pakistan) fought for its independence in 1971 from (West) Pakistan; the (West) Pakistani army did a fair amount of rape as warfare. It was estimated that there were more than 200,000 children born as a result of the rape campaign. Many women killed themselves rather than be ostracized. (To its credit the new Bangladesh government did try to help the victims with various programs.)

    Tuomas, you say “One major cause is also a culture which considers raped women spoiled.” Well, yeah, a lot of countries/men think that way. Why do you think women don’t report rapes or tell close relatives/friends about it… because even here in the US, raped women are often still considered “spoiled”.

  20. October 5, 2006 at 9:41 pm

    Are you saying that many of the partisan activities were done by women? Or that many of the atrocities committed were against women?

    Pardon my unclear language, Rhiannon.

    I was trying to say that many partisans were women, but in fact, atrocities is absolutely correct too.

    In fact, they are quite likely related facts. The horror of nazi occupation left women little choice, thus the tactic of rape clearly backfired (as partisan activity was a huge problem for Germans).

    Tuomas, you say “One major cause is also a culture which considers raped women spoiled.” Well, yeah, a lot of countries/men think that way. Why do you think women don’t report rapes or tell close relatives/friends about it… because even here in the US, raped women are often still considered “spoiled”.

    Yes, often they are. Again I made a typo: I meant to say not just in developing countries.

    I have a fever and with it, insomnia, so I’m more unclear than usually.

  21. Cecily
    October 5, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    Tuomas, you say “One major cause is also a culture which considers raped women spoiled.” Well, yeah, a lot of countries/men think that way. Why do you think women don’t report rapes or tell close relatives/friends about it… because even here in the US, raped women are often still considered “spoiled”.

    I can’t remember where I read it, but I read an article or two about rape during war (I think somewhere in the feminist blogosphere) as also a symbolic attack against the identity/country of the enemy. Some countries, especially strongly nationalistic ones, associate women with the land either through folk traditions and an emphasis on women as the bearers of cultural history* or through female symbolic figures. Therefore, traumatizing the women and, in heavily traditionalist cultures, ‘polluting’ them, is a powerful symbolic blow against the country and culture as a whole.

    *The article specifically mentioned that in female-repressive societies, men wear more modern or practical clothing, and women wear the traditional folk garb, thus literally carrying/displaying the cultural continuity of the country. This ring a bell for anyone? I better go search my bookmarks, it’s driving me insane that I can’t remember.

  22. October 6, 2006 at 1:09 am

    Cecily:

    Google is your friend.

    I spent some time reading what Human Rights Organizations like Amnesty,have to say about it rape as a weapon of war, ditto for feminist ones such as NOW, and am horrified, but still not fully convinced: It still seems that this tactic of war, along with mass murders of noncombatants, happens essentially when the war in traditional sense is over, and the losing side is at the not-so-tender mercy of the winning side. Of course, winner and loser in chaotic ethnic strifes are transitionary concepts.

    It is true that it is perceived as an effective attack against the values of a community, but similarly, the threat of this happening this to one’s society is likely to fuel the fighting spirits of the defenders, so it is dubious tactic.

    /Godwin: I suppose I would similarly have problems in calling Death Camps of the Holocaust a tactic of war, but perhaps my view on what constitutes “war” is a purist, even naive one, altough I certainly don’t idolize it. War is hell.

  23. October 6, 2006 at 1:11 am

    but similarly, the threat of this happening this to one’s society is likely to fuel the fighting spirits of the defenders, so it is dubious tactic.

    Also I might add that the vengeance will be equally horrible if the genocide isn’t complete.

  24. October 6, 2006 at 8:17 am

    The horror of nazi occupation left women little choice, thus the tactic of rape clearly backfired (as partisan activity was a huge problem for Germans).

    You also have to remember that although raped women were (and still are, to a lesser extent) stigmatized in places like Ukraine, they were not thrown out of their houses and villages. They were not cut off from their support network. Indeed, a raped woman gave people more incentive to fight the Nazi occupation.

    It seems that things are different in the Congo, where systematic rape also equals systematic abandonment/ejection of the woman from her community.

  25. October 6, 2006 at 8:18 am

    Indeed, a raped woman gave people more incentive to fight the Nazi occupation.

    Just to clarify something here: when the Nazis first came to Ukraine, many treated them as liberators. However, as the occupation progressed, that sentiment changed. This happened due to a variety of atrocities, not the least of them rape.

  26. October 6, 2006 at 10:49 am

    I don’t think this was mentioned, but in the war in the former Yugoslavia, some Serbian soldiers were ordered by their superiors to rape Muslim Bosnian women, while the war was going on, to impregnate them. They also raped pregnant women, who became so traumatized that they aborted pregnancies that had nothing to do with the rape. It was part of a systematic attempt at ethnic cleansing.

    I can dig up an old college paper with a sick amount of citations . . . I think the book that described this was Seasons in Hell.

  27. October 6, 2006 at 11:44 am

    while the war was going on, to impregnate them.

    And this is ethnical cleansing exactly how?

  28. carla
    October 6, 2006 at 2:04 pm

    I have to say that I find it downright bizarre how quickly and almost thoroughly this discussion turned to European women from African women. Not that the subject is race, but the shift in focus is striking.

  29. Starfoxy
    October 6, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    Tuomas (27) it can be consdiered a type of ethnical cleansing because in some highly patriarchal ways of thinking women simply do not have a geneology nor do they contribute to their children’s geneology. So, having a child by, for example, a Jewish woman would not make the child Jewish. (A case in point is the recent update of the list of descendents of Confuscious- previously women related to Confuscious were not listed nor (as I understand) were the children of those women.)
    Raping a woman and impregnating is plus one for your team, minus one for her team (since it prevents men from her own group from impregnating her), and effectively makes her womb enemy occupied territory. Sounds like ethnical cleansing to me.

  30. October 6, 2006 at 2:29 pm

    I have to say that I find it downright bizarre how quickly and almost thoroughly this discussion turned to European women from African women. Not that the subject is race, but the shift in focus is striking.

    Who is stopping you from discussing African women? I suppose there is little disagreement about the fact that what happens in Africa is atrocious.

    And I suspect that some racially sensitive person could accuse people of “othering” and ignoring the fact that this is not just a problem with African culture, with blacks as perps.

    Of course, by all means, let us stop the drift on Europe and get back to Africa.

  31. Laurie
    October 6, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    — And this is ethnical cleansing exactly how?

    Because in many people’s minds, the ethnicity of the mother is *irrelevent* — what she is bearing as the product of rape is another child of (fill in the blank) descent. Wrap your head around that, Tuomas — you are giving these people far, far too much credit for logic.

    Rape or the threat thereof keeps a besieged people (the women, who are usually left behind to try to survive/hold the home or farm together/take care of the kids while the men are off fighting) locked inside their houses, where they can’t be a threat to the invading army. This has been going on since war began, and yes, it IS a tactic of war — whether it comes during the shooting part or afterwards, in the occupation part is nitpicking, and you need to stop it. It is NOT “deprived” men who can’t control themselves. (Please, do you REALLY believe that shit? Because if you do, you must believe that men really are just dogs with no control over themselves. I don’t believe THAT for an instant, although I do believe that some men don’t feel the NEED to control some of their impulses.)

    Gang raping a 3 year old makes no sense on any grounds, not even the “deprived men who can’t control themselves” tripe. Even in peace times, that is an act of aggression and needs to be recognized as such. That this is happening systematically and not sporadically tells me that, “official” tactic or not, it is being used to break a people by breaking their women and family structures. I’d call that an act of war.

  32. Cecily
    October 6, 2006 at 4:06 pm

    And this is ethnical cleansing exactly how?

    (side note: Thanks for the link, Tuomas, though I did find it in my bookmarks too.)

    One of the goals of the rapes in the Darfur by the Janjaweed seems to be to impregnate the black women with half-Arab babies. The next generation of babies in the area will not be entirely black. As well as traumatizing and harming the women and the society, they have ensured there will be fewer black babies and that half-Arab children will inherit the land. (There’s some specific way land-inheritance works there that helps this occur, though I don’t remember the specifics.)

    This is another case where mass rape with intent to impregnate could be considered part of ethnic cleansing. Culture acquires its continuity through children. Where ethnic conflicts exist, at least some ethnic essentialism is in play, and the culture is considered disrupted by the introduction of half-Other children in the next generation. The continuity is considered lost or reduced.

  33. Cecily
    October 6, 2006 at 4:09 pm

    Unfortunately, it appears the article I remember about land-inheritance in the Darfur and the Janjaweed’s rape tactics is behind the subscription wall at the Economist. Sorry I can’t provide a link.

  34. October 6, 2006 at 11:51 pm

    Because in many people’s minds, the ethnicity of the mother is *irrelevent* — what she is bearing as the product of rape is another child of (fill in the blank) descent. Wrap your head around that, Tuomas — you are giving these people far, far too much credit for logic.

    But they’re wrong.

    It just sounded like cleansing was a bad word, as it invokes thoughts of racial purity and all that crap.

    Or I’m just being incredibly pedantic.

  35. exangelena
    October 6, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    Well, Starfoxy, Laurie and Cecily said it better for me, but I’m guessing that the forced impregnation of women in the oppressed group (whether Bosnian in Yugoslavia or black in Sudan etc) is usually combined with mass incarceration or killing of the men in their group, which makes it near impossible for said ethnic group to perpetuate itself.

  36. Laurie
    October 7, 2006 at 5:27 pm

    Laurie said:
    Because in many people’s minds, the ethnicity of the mother is *irrelevent* — what she is bearing as the product of rape is another child of (fill in the blank) descent. Wrap your head around that, Tuomas — you are giving these people far, far too much credit for logic.

    Tuomas replied:
    But they’re wrong.

    It just sounded like cleansing was a bad word, as it invokes thoughts of racial purity and all that crap.

    Or I’m just being incredibly pedantic.

    Laurie sez:
    Yes!! You’ve finally gotten it!! You ARE being *incredibly* pedantic! And this is coming from someone who is very, VERY picky about an awful lot of crap in this world, including word useage and history. I get nailed for being too fucking precise all the damned time, so I get where you are coming from. However, with all due respect, you derail threads with that pedantism. You trivialize what is actually going on with your narrow definitions/interpretations, and all that does is make it more difficult for us to discuss said actual events.

    Get it through your skull — to many people (men) around the world, women are simply vessels. They are not people. And therefore, they do not count. Period. End of discussion. What is “sown” in them by men counts, and those babies are NOT considered to be whatever ethnicity is under attack this time. (Cecily had an awesome point as to how this works to disrupt the culture above.) Besides which, rape is a handy way to demoralize an enitre population, men and women alike, particularly if the men value their women in any way OTHER than property.

    Answer me this one: if these are just guys “looking to get off” (clue phone, BTW: use one of the two hands god gave you for that), WHY are they assaulting toddlers?!? I can’t even wrap my brain around the physical *mechanics* of that; besides being anatomically difficult, it squidges me waaaaay the fuck out. *shudders*

  37. zuzu
    October 7, 2006 at 11:20 pm

    So, having a child by, for example, a Jewish woman would not make the child Jewish.

    Actually, this is exactly wrong, but for exactly the reason under discussion. Jewish law provides that the child of a Jewish mother is Jewish, regardless of who the father is; it doesn’t work the same way for the father being Jewish. IIRC (and Actual Jewish People, correct me if I’m wrong here), the reason is that the Romans held patriarchal views about parentage, and felt that by raping Jewish women, their Jewish identity would disappear, because the resulting children would be Romans. The Jews said, fine, if you’re going to play that game, we’re going to change OUR rules of lineage to nullify what you’re doing.

  38. Starfoxy
    October 7, 2006 at 11:47 pm

    I stand corrected :) I only used that example because I was thinking about a conversation I had with my dad where he had read that Muhammed, after fighting with a Jewish community and sending away the men, married a Jewish woman and that many of his more prominent descendents had this woman as a mother. This was something that didn’t matter to anyone at the time because of the exact sort of maternal non-inheritance being discussed. Either this happened before the rules changed or my father’s story is off I’m not sure which(my memory for historical chronology is dreadful and I’m too lazy to look it up).

  39. October 8, 2006 at 10:56 am

    Yes!! You’ve finally gotten it!! You ARE being *incredibly* pedantic! And this is coming from someone who is very, VERY picky about an awful lot of crap in this world, including word useage and history. I get nailed for being too fucking precise all the damned time, so I get where you are coming from. However, with all due respect, you derail threads with that pedantism.

    I’ll try to avoid the derailing part.

    Answer me this one: if these are just guys “looking to get off” (clue phone, BTW: use one of the two hands god gave you for that), WHY are they assaulting toddlers?!? I can’t even wrap my brain around the physical *mechanics* of that; besides being anatomically difficult, it squidges me waaaaay the fuck out. *shudders*

    I suspect the getting off part isn’t of physical kind, but more of an emotional kind: Sadism and hate, making “their (enemy) child” suffer, manifestation of power. Not necessarily sexual pleasure.

  40. Cecily
    October 8, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    Tuomas: I suspect the getting off part isn’t of physical kind, but more of an emotional kind: Sadism and hate, making “their (enemy) child” suffer, manifestation of power. Not necessarily sexual pleasure.

    So we agree that rape is a war crime, then. After all, what Mengele did was sate his hatred on non-combatants, and I’m pretty sure we all consider that a war crime.

  41. October 8, 2006 at 4:00 pm

    I never disputed that.

  42. Sylvs
    October 10, 2006 at 11:41 am

    after fighting with a Jewish community and sending away the men, married a Jewish woman and that many of his more prominent descendents had this woman as a mother. This was something that didn’t matter to anyone at the time because of the exact sort of maternal non-inheritance being discussed.

    Islamic law states that both religion and “Origins” (arabic: Asl) is passed on by the father. I’m curious in this scenario what each respective religion thinks the child is born into…

  43. Sylvs
    October 10, 2006 at 11:43 am

    This story is absolutely heartbreaking. I have a three year old niece and the idea that it could happen to anyone her age is just astounding and quite honestly, very VERY depressing.

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