Zadaniem, jakie stawiamy przed sobą, jest uwolnienie etnologii z jej akademickiej niedostępności; wykazanie, jak daleko i szeroko poza mury uczelni może sięgać ...
Etnologia.pl polecaRobert Young
Young dokonuje przeglądu kulturowych, społecznych i ...
Etnologiczne spojrzenie na rzeczywistość
Rape - the most dangerous war's weapon?
"Rape in civilian life is already unacceptably common.
One in six women is raped or sexually assaulted in her lifetime,
according to the National Institute of Justice, a number so high
it should be considered an epidemic." 
For every woman rape means the same thing - brutality, barbarity, disrespect for femininity, disrespect for body and soul. A raped woman feels hurt and mortified. Because of shame, she doesn't tell anyone about her tragedy, trying to conceal the fact in order to live without the stigma of rape. So consequently, rape can be described both as a humiliation of women, and, what is worse, as a weapon. Weapon directed not only toward femininity but, what is more, toward the whole society. That eventuality can be observed during the time of war. A wartime rape was, and unfortunately still is, treated as a "perfect way" to destroy a sense of security, sense of belonging.
It is worth to remember that rape can be treated ambiguously. C. Enloe even affirms that: "rape by men as soldiers has been experienced by women in a variety of forms (...); recreational rape - as the alleged outcome of not supplying male soldiers with adequately accessible militarized prostitution (...); national security rape - an instrument for bolstering a nervous state (...); systematic mass rape - as an instrument of open warfare."  Following this thinking, my next reflections for sure will be based on a conviction that rape is seen as a national security rape and as a systematic mass rape.
At this point it is worth to cite an on-line article, where we can read, that: "(...) the term wartime rape, as it is employed in the literature, never indicates isolated examples of rape by individual fighters. Rather, the term is used interchangeably with mass wartime rape to indicate distinct patterns of rape by soldiers at rates that are much increased over rates of rape that prevail in peacetime."  The conclusion is that we cannot think about wartime rape as an individual "accident". This weapon concerns the whole community. Yuval - Davis in her book said that wars are seen as gendered constructions.  It can be particularly evident, when we draw attention to the fact that in some societies, attacking customs, beliefs or traditions, especially these which are based on sexuality and honour, could bring more destruction than the use of guns or bombs. An example accurately illustrating my thoughts is a situation which happened almost three years ago in Libya.
The conflict in Libya, which was called "Libyan Civil War", began in the winter of 2011 on a wave of people's protests in other Arab countries. The direct cause of the conflict were protests against corruption, poor financial situation, unemployment and, what was more, lack of civil liberties. Libyan protests began in January. The government's response was a reduction of prices and taxes, but the Libyans decided to continue protests.  Maummar Gadaffi, who exercised power in Libya, decided to use force against demonstrators, which resulted in a bloody pacification. At the same time, insurgents conquered Benghazi and that place became the government seat of the rebels. Gadaffi also threatened death to all those who opposed his will.  In March 2011, several countries which implemented the provisions of the UN in 1973, started a military management operation. The main aim of that operation was the execution of a flight ban on Libya.  After many months of fighting and cease-fire, in October 2011, Maummar Gadaffi, who gave orders to murder people, supported bestial behaviour and allowed for mass rape, was killed. On October 23, 2011 a new government in Libya was formed. That day was said to indicate the end of the Civil War in Libya. 
Libyan women: it's our revolution too. Women played a crucial role in overthrowing Gaddafi.
The first information about the violation of human rights was based on the number of victims, killed fighters and on the scale of devastation. The news from "home front" - many articles, which showed violence and humiliation, which were hidden under the veil of silence began to assert after a few weeks. Gadaffi’s soldiers committed mass rapes. Women were raped in refugee camps. On the other hand, women whose husbands were insurgents, were also raped. What is terrifying, little girls became victims of this violence too. Gadaffi's secret was revealed. He ordered his soldiers to rape women in a fight against the rebels. The main purpose of that behaviour was to demonstrate his power and strength. Moreover, those rapes were intended to intimidate the population. 
German newspaper, "Der Spiegel", described the story of Leila, who lived in Benghazi. Her husband was an insurgent, he fought against Gadaffi's terror. She was at home with her children when Gadaffi's soldiers raped her. They ordered her children to look at this cruelty.  Also in "Sunday Times" we can read about an increasing number of rapes. One article quotes words of a Libyan doctor, Khalif al - Szarkassi, about examples of rape on women during the Civil War in Libya. He speaks about women who washed their bodies in bleach in order to clear out that humiliation. He described stories of men who wanted to avenge their women's suffering.  For me, as for an anthropologist, at this point it is extremely important to try to explain what kind of weapon rape is. Using rape as a weapon has a very long history. It was always connected with dominating an opponent, with an attempt to erode the social and cultural ties. Thus a fact that some women were silent cannot be surprising. They do not talk about what happened. They hide the truth and their suffering in order to protect their family from humiliation or exclusion from the community. The attackers were well aware of the social consequences of their act. They knew that the act of rape did not only mean sexual act, but also involved a complex of social relations.
Raping a woman makes her brothers, sons, husband or father lose public confidence. By raping a woman they weaken the whole family.  Despite of the fact that the Libyan society is gradually changing, especially in cities, traditional thinking about sexuality is still continued. The traditional society of Libya imposes a stigma on raped women. Desecrated (though unwittingly) body becomes a disgrace, not only for the injured, but also for the whole family. It happens that a raped woman is forced to commit suicide. This eventuality is often the only way to wash shame from the whole family.  In one rapport from the Human Rights Watch it is written about the case of a raped woman, whose brother demanded from to wash the shame. The honour of his family and public respect was more important for him than his sister.  At this moment it is worth to remember that rape of Muslim women has a particular, cultural dimension. A Polish sociologist, Walter Żelazny, in his book about ethnicity, writes that in Muslim societies there is no excuse for the loss of virginity. Moreover, war does not explain a marital infidelity. Woman's tragedy is not only rape, but also a loss of respect in her family.  Those radical points of view begin in Islamic law. It is not complicated to find rules which are based on sexuality. More of these rudiments concern women and their bodies. One of the fundamental injunctions concerns veiling the body in the presence of unknown men. That behaviour allows to preserve the purity of women. On the other hand, it is also treated as a protection against sexual desire. 
I wrote about mass rapes in Libya, about the way of thinking about that violence. So now, it is worth to write a few words about how people reacted when the world was informed about violation of human rights. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno - Ocampo, confirmed that in Libya rape was used as a political weapon in a fight against guerrillas.  Notwithstanding that fact, Cherif Bassiouni, an expert on war crimes, claimed that there were just a few cases of rape in Libya. There was no evidence of mass rape. He thought that talking about rapes could only contribute to increasing distress in the community.  I am not sure if Cherif Bassiouni drew his attention to the cultural background. Maybe this was the reason of the lack of witnesses?
A perfect example of a woman, who dared to share her terrible experiences with the World was Eman al - Obeidi, who publicly accused Libyan soldiers of rape. After that show she was captured and dragged out to an unknown destination by government security forces. Libyan government, trying to hide the shame, claimed that she was mentally ill or she was drunk. Despite of that reaction world media described Al - Obeidi as a symbol of defiance against Gadaffi.  This was the beginning of the story of Al - Obeidi, who had to escape from Libya and look for asylum in other countries.  My question is, what should the Human Rights Organization do at this moment? How can they help Libyan people?
The most problematic issue is not only how to prevent rape in a "war zone", but also (and I think this is most important) how to influence the dominant traditions and beliefs.
Of course I may be mistaken, but my point of view is that if we want to change the fate of women, change this humiliation, the first step which we should take is an attempt to penetrate into this culture and understand it. After that it will be possible to try to combine the traditional perception of femininity, sexuality and violence with the views of a true "European" (I am writing "European" because of common thinking of Europe as of the centre of civilization, but this europocentrism is an issue to another consideration).
All in all, rape became a weapon used in combat. Rape does not only mean indignity or domination, but also motivation. It is used to motivate soldiers. Rape becomes a prize for the winner. As I wrote at the beginning of my work - rape can be described as national security or as an instrument of open warfare. In my opinion, these two examples of rape can be found in the Libyan situation. Gadaffi's policy led to intimidation of the population and destruction of cultural ties. Anthropologist Claudie Carl said that rape was not a new "procedure". What is new is the world's attention, focused on that problem. Maybe Al - Obeidi's story will be the beginning of a new discussion about women as victims of war?
The consideration of rape is extremely important and required, especially when we think about rape as an instrument of an open warfare, as a perfect example of violence, war and conflicts which are based on cultural background. This issue can not only be examined as an ideological or political configuration of war, but also as a reason for discussion about the role of gender in cultural and ideological constructions of nationalism, violence and politics.
Przypisy:1. www.inthesetimes.com/article/3484/ [10.01.2012]
2. C. Enloe, "When Soldiers Rape" In Maneuvers: The International Politic of Militarizing Women's Lives. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000, p. 108 - 111
3. www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-119269006.html [10.01.2012]
4. N. Yuval-Davis, "Gendered Militaries, Gendered Wars." Gender & Nation, Los Angeles: Sage 2010 , p.109
5. www.tygodnik.onet.pl/1,61679,druk,html [10.01.2012]
6. www.tygodnik.onet.pl/1,61679,druk,html [10.01.2012]
7. www.wypracowanie24.pl/wos/3511/Libia-2011-konflikt-w [10.01.2012]
8. www.wypracowanie24.pl/wos/3511/Libia-2011-konflikt-w [10.01.2012]
9. www.bliskiwschod.pl/1317118886,0,Libia-gwalt-jako-bron [10.01.2012]
10. www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,795080,00.html [10.01.2012]
11. www.timesplus.co.uk [10.01.2012]
12. www.bliskiwschod.pl/1317118886,0,Libia-gwalt-jako-bron [10.01.2012]
13. www.tygodnik.onet.pl/1,61679,druk,html [10.01.2012]
14. www.bliskiwschod.pl/1317118886,0,Libia-gwalt-jako-bron [10.01.2012]
15. W. Żelazny, Etniczność, ład - konflikt, Poznań 2006
16. www.way-to-allah.com/pol/documents/Islam-a-seks-POLISH.pdf [10.01.2012]
17. www.wiadomosci.radiozet.pl/Swiat/Wiadomosci/Masowe-gwalty-w-Libii-ONZ-w-to-watpi/ [10.01.2012]
18. www.wiadomosci.radiozet.pl/Swiat/Wiadomosci/Masowe-gwalty-w-Libii-ONZ-w-to-watpi/ [10.01.2012]
19. www.amnest.org/en/news-and-updates/qatars-deportation-eman-al-obeidi-violates-international-law-2011-06-03 [10.01.2012]
20. www.amnest.org/en/news-and-updates/qatars-deportation-eman-al-obeidi-violates-international-law-2011-06-03 [10.01.2012]
Bibliografia:Enloe C. 2000: When Soldiers Rape" In Maneuvers: The International Politic of Militarizing Women's Lives. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, p. 108 - 111
Yuval-Davis N. 1997: Gendered Militaries, Gendered Wars." Gender & Nation, p.109
Żelazny W. 2006: Etniczność, ład - konflikt, Poznań.
www.amnest.org/en/news-and-updates/qatars-deportation-eman-al-obeidi-violates-international-law-2011-06-03 z 10.01.2012
www.bliskiwschod.pl/1317118886,0,Libia-gwalt-jako-bron z 10.01.2012
www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-119269006.html z 10.01.2012
www.inthesetimes.com/article/3484/ z 10.01.2012
www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,795080,00.html z 10.01.2012
www.timesplus.co.uk z 10.01.2012
www.tygodnik.onet.pl/1,61679,druk,html z 10.01.2012
www.way-to-allah.com/pol/documents/Islam-a-seks-POLISH.pdf z 10.01.2012
www.wiadomosci.radiozet.pl/Swiat/Wiadomosci/Masowe-gwalty-w-Libii-ONZ-w-to-watpi/ z 10.01.2012
www.wypracowanie24.pl/wos/3511/Libia-2011-konflikt-w z 10.01.2012
Notka o autorze tekstu:
Joanna Rembowska - absolwentka etnologii i antropologii Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego. Obecnie jest doktorantką w Instytucie Etnologii i Antropologii Kulturowej tegoż Uniwersytetu.
Zainteresowania badawcze: antropologia pamięci, antropologia narracji, etnologia pozaeuropejska, etyka w badaniach terenowych, zagadnienia związane z II wojną światową, kwestia tożsamości, historia sztuki.
Obecnie zajmuje się zbieraniem materiałów dotyczących wpływu twórczości W. Strzemińskiego na łódzką szkołę artystyczną. Jest także w trakcie przygotowań do badań dotyczących masowych egzekucji w Lesie Lućmierskim.
Galeria: Syberia - wśród wielkiej wody Bajkału i uśmiechniętych twarzy Buriatów
Jadąc koleją transsyberyjską ponad 5000 kilometrów na wschód od Moskwy docieramy do Autonomicznej Republiki Buriacja. Kraj to piękny, lesisty, jednak srogi. Zima trwa tutaj od października do maja a temperatury sięgają niekiedy poniżej 50 stopni Celsjusza.
Pragniemy poinformować, iż z dniem 31.03.2010 roku decyzją Sądu Okręgowego w Poznaniu Wydział I Cywilny strona internetowa www.etnologia.pl została zarejestrowana jako czasopismo pod tytułem Etnologia i wpisana do rejestru Dzienników i Czasopism Sądu Okręgowego w Poznaniu pod numerem RPR 2613.
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