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Sexual Violence in the Algerian War

  • Raphaëlle Branche
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)

Abstract

English-language historians have argued that the category of gender is particularly useful and relevant for understanding the violence of war,1 with rape now clearly identified as a ‘gendered war crime’.2 Very few French historians of the modern period, however, have examined past conflicts from a gender-based perspective. Still, times are changing and analyses of rape and sexual violence, and, more generally, a gender-based approach to wars are becoming less and less unusual in French historical studies.3

Keywords

Sexual Violence Muslim Woman Male Nurse Disciplinary Measure Gang Rape 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    A. L. Barstow, ed., War’s Dirty Secret: Rape, Prostitution, and Other Crimes against Women (Cleveland, 2000), p. 257Google Scholar
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  3. 2.
    R. Copelon, ‘Gendered War Crimes: Reconceptualizing Rape in Time of War’, in J. Peters and A. Wolper, eds, Women’s Rights, Human Rights (New York, 1995), p. 372. However, the newer emphasis on ‘gender’ should not cause us to downplay the sexual specificity of this violence.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    S. Audoin-Rouzeau, L’enfant de l’ennemi (1914–1918) (Paris, 1995), p. 222;Google Scholar
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  7. 4.
    The rapes committed by the Red Army while conquering Eastern Europe and Germany have been studied by some historians. See N. M. Naimark, The Russians in Germany. A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949 (Boston, 1995);Google Scholar
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    ‘Fighter’ is the way they are described until now (‘mudjahidate’) but the reality needs to be studied very precisely for, apparently, they were almost everywhere forbidden to carry weapons. See R. Seferdjeli, ‘The French Army and Muslim Women during the Algerian War’, Hawwa: Journal of Women in the Middle East and Islamic World, 3, 1 (2005), 40–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    ‘C’est un fait qu’une susceptibilité collective et individuelle exacerbee accompagne partout, aujourd’hui encore, un certain idéal de brutalité virile, dont le complément est une dramatisation de la vertu féminine. Ils s’intègrent l’un et l’autre dans un orgueil familial qui s’abreuve de sang et se projette hors de soi sur deux mythes: l’ascendance, la descendance’. G. Tillion, Le Harem et les cousins (Paris, 1966), pp. 67, 218.Google Scholar
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    ‘Tout entier dans la relation sexuelle, dans la régulation de cette relation’. M. H. Benkheira, ‘Allah, ses hommes et leurs femmes: notes sur le dispositif de sexualité en islam’, Peuples méditerranéens, 35 (October–December 1983), 35–46.Google Scholar
  23. 28.
    In Algeria, Muslims endured social, economic, and political inequalities as members of the native population. But this was not the case for the other religious groups. Algerian Jews, in particular, enjoyed full citizenship since 1870. They were given full citizenship collectively and without being asked individually. By contrast, a Muslim had to apply for citizenship individually, and this process would also lead him to give up his Muslim judicial status. Therefore, being a Muslim and being a native became more related and also meant being discriminated against specifically. The role of Islam in the resistance against the French had been very important already at the beginning of the colonization. It stayed so until the end and was part of the birth of the concept of the Algerian nation from the end of the nineteenth century and even more from the 1920s and 1930s on. See J. McDougall, History and the Culture of Nationalism in Algeria (Cambridge, 2006), p. 266.Google Scholar
  24. 29.
    S. Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape (New York, 1993), p. 472.Google Scholar
  25. 30.
    See G. Tillion, Le Harem et les cousins, op. cit.; R. Jamous, ‘Interdit, violence et baraka. Le problème de la souveraineté dans le Maroc traditionnel’, in E. Gellner, ed., Islam, société et communauté. Anthropologies du Maghreb (Paris, 1981), p. 163; ‘Le corps dominé des femmes ou la valeur de la virginité’, in M. Gadant, ed., Le nationalisme algérien et les femmes (Paris, 1995), pp. 302, 245–268.Google Scholar
  26. 31.
    G. Lerner, The Creation of Patriarchy (New York, 1986), pp. 80, 318.Google Scholar
  27. 33.
    C. Lacoste-Dujardin, Opération ‘oiseau bleu’: Des Kabyles, des ethnologues et la guerre d’Algérie (Paris, 1997), p. 308.Google Scholar
  28. 37.
    A. Sohn, Du premier baiser à l’alcôve. La sexualité des Français au quotidien (1850–1950) (Paris, 1996), p. 310.Google Scholar
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    O. Roynette, ‘Bons pour le service’. L’expérience de la caserne en France à la fin du XIXe siècle (Paris, 2000), p. 458.Google Scholar
  30. 40.
    See in this contest also A. Parrot, Coping with Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape (New York, 1999), p. 190;Google Scholar
  31. S. K. Ward, et al., Acquaintance and Date Rape: An Annotated Bibliography (Westport, CT, 1994), p. 218.Google Scholar

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© Raphaëlle Branche 2009

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  • Raphaëlle Branche

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