Women as Wartime Rapists reveals the stories of female perpetrators of sexual violence and their place in wartime conflict, legal policy, and the punishment of sexual violence.
Very few women are wartime rapists. Very few women issue commands to commit sexual violence. Very few women play a role in making war plans that feature the intentional sexual violation of other women. This book is about those very few women. More broadly, Laura Sjoberg asks, what do the actions and perceptions of female perpetrators of sexual violence reveal about our broader conceptions of war, violence, sexual assault, and gender?
This book explores specific historical case studies, such as Nazi Germany, Serbia, the contemporary case of ISIS, and others, to understand how and why women participate in rape during war and conflict. Sjoberg examines the contrast between the visibility of female victims and the invisibility of female perpetrators, as well as the distinction between rape and genocidal rape, which is used as a weapon against a particular ethnic or national group. Further, she explores women’s engagement with genocidal rape and how some orchestrated the ethnic cleansing of entire regions. A provocative approach to a sensationalized topic, Women as Wartime Rapists offers important insights into not only the topic of female perpetrators of wartime sexual violence, but to larger notions of gender and violence with crucial cultural, legal, and political implications.
"Women as Wartime Rapists is a compelling, provocative read. The book upends established
orthodoxies and forces the reader to engage with new and compelling analysis on the critical
importance, in theory and practice, of seeing women as perpetrators of wartime rape. Sjoberg
takes no prisoners and provides analytical clarity and rare insight into this highly disputed
terrain. Highly accessible, the book makes gender in war a tangible and visible
phenomenon. This book does not take shortcuts; it is layered, logical and compelling. Laura
Sjoberg deserves much credit for intellectual risk-taking unending common wisdom."-Fionnuala Ni Aolain,co-author of On the Frontlines: Gender, War and the Post-Conflict Process
"In this groundbreaking book, Sjoberg provides
the first comprehensive account of women perpetrators of sexual violence in
conflict. Sjoberg’s nuanced account not only breaks new ground theoretically
but also provides a way forward for policy makers to better recognize how femininities
along with masculinities perpetuate wartime sexual violence. This book
transforms our understanding of sexual violence in conflict and is a must read
for students, academics, lawyers, judges and gender justice advocates alike.”-Louise Chappell,author of The Politics of Gender Justice at the International Criminal Court