Gendered Genocide: The Socially Destructive Process of Genocidal Rape, Killing, and Displacement in Darfur
Law & Society Review, Vol. 49, No. 1, 69-107
39 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2013 Last revised: 23 Sep 2018
Date Written: 2015
Accounts of mass atrocities habitually focus on one kind of violence and its archetypal victim, inviting uncritical, ungendered misconceptions: e.g., rape only impacts women; genocide is only about dead, battle-aged men. We approach collective violence as multiple, intersecting forms of victimization, targeted and experienced through differential social identities, and translated throughout communities. Through mixed-method analyses of Darfuri refugees’ testimonies, we show (a) gendered causes and collective effects of selective killing, sexual violence, and anti-livelihood crimes, (b) how they cause displacement, (c) that they can be genocidal and empirically distinct from non-genocidal forms, (d) how the process of genocidal social destruction can work, and (e) how it does work in Darfur. Darfuris are victimized through gender roles, yielding a gendered meaning-making process that communicates socially destructive messages through crimes that selectively target other genders. The collective result is displacement and destruction of Darfuris’ ways of life: genocide.
Keywords: Genocidal elimination, gendered crime, sexual violence, forced migration, Sudan, Darfur
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