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Sexual Violence in the Algerian War

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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. A. L. Barstow, ed., War’s Dirty Secret: Rape, Prostitution, and Other Crimes against Women (Cleveland, 2000), p. 257

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  2. and C. O. N. Moser and F. C. Clark (dir.), Victims, Perpetrators or Actors? Gender, Armed Conflict and Political Violence (London and New York, 2001), p. 243.

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  3. 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.

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  4. S. Audoin-Rouzeau, L’enfant de l’ennemi (1914–1918) (Paris, 1995), p. 222;

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  7. 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);

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  21. ‘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.

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  23. 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.

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  24. S. Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape (New York, 1993), p. 472.

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  28. A. Sohn, Du premier baiser à l’alcôve. La sexualité des Français au quotidien (1850–1950) (Paris, 1996), p. 310.

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  29. O. Roynette, ‘Bons pour le service’. L’expérience de la caserne en France à la fin du XIXe siècle (Paris, 2000), p. 458.

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  30. See in this contest also A. Parrot, Coping with Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape (New York, 1999), p. 190;

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  31. S. K. Ward, et al., Acquaintance and Date Rape: An Annotated Bibliography (Westport, CT, 1994), p. 218.

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© 2009 Raphaëlle Branche

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Branche, R. (2009). Sexual Violence in the Algerian War. In: Herzog, D. (eds) Brutality and Desire. Genders and Sexualities in History. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230234291_10

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230234291_10

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-349-36006-2

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