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QUESTION: How is GBV a part of the continuum of violence from pre-conflict to conflict to post-conflict? (The same question could be applied to pre-disaster, disaster and post-disaster). In answering this question, you should address the following: what we mean by a continuum of violence; the relationship between gender inequality and GBV; unique and common features of each phase whether-pre-conflict, conflict or post-conflict?
Use ALL of the required materials-reading, slides and videos provided. When citing the readings, use APA style. Your response should be at least 250 words.
New York Times
U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies
Dan Quinn was relieved of his Special Forces command after a fight with a U.S.-backed militia leader who had a boy as a sex slave chained to his bed.Credit…Kirsten Luce for The New York Times
· Sept. 20, 2015
KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan , he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.
“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi , literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.
The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.
“The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights,” said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. “But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village elders voiced to me.”
The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.
After the beating, the Army relieved Captain Quinn of his command and pulled him from Afghanistan. He has since left the military.
Four years later, the Army is also trying to forcibly retire Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Captain Quinn in beating up the commander.
“The Army contends that Martland and others should have looked the other way (a contention that I believe is nonsense),” Representative Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who hopes to save Sergeant Martland’s career, wrote last week to the Pentagon’s inspector general.
In Sergeant Martland’s case, the Army said it could not comment because of the Privacy Act.
When asked about American military policy, the spokesman for the American command in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, wrote in an email: “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law.” He added that “there would be no express requirement that U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan report it.” An exception, he said, is when rape is being used as a weapon of war.
The American policy of nonintervention is intended to maintain good relations with the Afghan police and militia units the United States has trained to fight the Taliban. It also reflects a reluctance to impose cultural values in a country where pederasty is rife, particularly among powerful men, for whom being surrounded by young teenagers can be a mark of social status.
Some soldiers believed that the policy made sense, even if they were personally distressed at the sexual predation they witnessed or heard about.
“The bigger picture was fighting the Taliban,” a former Marine lance corporal reflected. “It wasn’t to stop molestation.”
Still, the former lance corporal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid offending fellow Marines, recalled feeling sickened the day he entered a room on a base and saw three or four men lying on the floor with children between them. “I’m not a hundred percent sure what was happening under the sheet, but I have a pretty good idea of what was going on,” he said.
But the American policy of treating child sexual abuse as a cultural issue has often alienated the villages whose children are being preyed upon. The pitfalls of the policy emerged clearly as American Special Forces soldiers began to form Afghan Local Police militias to hold villages that American forces had retaken from the Taliban in 2010 and 2011.
By the summer of 2011, Captain Quinn and Sergeant Martland, both Green Berets on their second tour in northern Kunduz Province, began to receive dire complaints about the Afghan Local Police units they were training and supporting.
First, they were told, one of the militia commanders raped a 14- or 15-year-old girl whom he had spotted working in the fields. Captain Quinn informed the provincial police chief, who soon levied punishment. “He got one day in jail, and then she was forced to marry him,” Mr. Quinn said.
When he asked a superior officer what more he could do, he was told that he had done well to bring it up with local officials but that there was nothing else to be done. “We’re being praised for doing the right thing, and a guy just got away with raping a 14-year-old girl,” Mr. Quinn said.
Village elders grew more upset at the predatory behavior of American-backed commanders. After each case, Captain Quinn would gather the Afghan commanders and lecture them on human rights.
Soon another commander absconded with his men’s wages. Mr. Quinn said he later heard that the commander had spent the money on dancing boys. Another commander murdered his 12-year-old daughter in a so-called honor killing for having kissed a boy. “There were no repercussions,” Mr. Quinn recalled.
In September 2011, an Afghan woman, visibly bruised, showed up at an American base with her son, who was limping. One of the Afghan police commanders in the area, Abdul Rahman, had abducted the boy and forced him to become a sex slave, chained to his bed, the woman explained. When she sought her son’s return, she herself was beaten. Her son had eventually been released, but she was afraid it would happen again, she told the Americans on the base.
She explained that because “her son was such a good-looking kid, he was a status symbol” coveted by local commanders, recalled Mr. Quinn, who did not speak to the woman directly but was told about her visit when he returned to the base from a mission later that day.
So Captain Quinn summoned Abdul Rahman and confronted him about what he had done. The police commander acknowledged that it was true, but brushed it off. When the American officer began to lecture about “how you are held to a higher standard if you are working with U.S. forces, and people expect more of you,” the commander began to laugh.
“I picked him up and threw him onto the ground,” Mr. Quinn said. Sergeant Martland joined in, he said. “I did this to make sure the message was understood that if he went back to the boy, that it was not going to be tolerated,” Mr. Quinn recalled.
There is disagreement over the extent of the commander’s injuries. Mr. Quinn said they were not serious, which was corroborated by an Afghan official who saw the commander afterward.
(The commander, Abdul Rahman, was killed two years ago in a Taliban ambush. His brother said in an interview that his brother had never raped the boy, but was the victim of a false accusation engineered by his enemies.)
Sergeant Martland, who received a Bronze Star for valor for his actions during a Taliban ambush, wrote in a letter to the Army this year that he and Mr. Quinn “felt that morally we could no longer stand by and allow our A.L.P. to commit atrocities,” referring to the Afghan Local Police.
The father of Lance Corporal Buckley believes the policy of looking away from sexual abuse was a factor in his son’s death, and he has filed a lawsuit to press the Marine Corps for more information about it.
Lance Corporal Buckley and two other Marines were killed in 2012 by one of a large entourage of boys living at their base with an Afghan police commander named Sarwar Jan.
Mr. Jan had long had a bad reputation; in 2010, two Marine officers managed to persuade the Afghan authorities to arrest him following a litany of abuses, including corruption, support for the Taliban and child abduction. But just two years later, the police commander was back with a different unit, working at Lance Corporal Buckley’s post, Forward Operating Base Delhi, in Helmand Province.
Lance Corporal Buckley had noticed that a large entourage of “tea boys” — domestic servants who are sometimes pressed into sexual slavery — had arrived with Mr. Jan and moved into the same barracks, one floor below the Marines. He told his father about it during his final call home.
Word of Mr. Jan’s new position also reached the Marine officers who had gotten him arrested in 2010. One of them, Maj. Jason Brezler, dashed out an email to Marine officers at F.O.B. Delhi, warning them about Mr. Jan and attaching a dossier about him.
The warning was never heeded. About two weeks later, one of the older boys with Mr. Jan — around 17 years old — grabbed a rifle and killed Lance Corporal Buckley and the other Marines.
Lance Corporal Buckley’s father still agonizes about whether the killing occurred because of the sexual abuse by an American ally. “As far as the young boys are concerned, the Marines are allowing it to happen and so they’re guilty by association,” Mr. Buckley said. “They don’t know our Marines are sick to their stomachs.”
The one American service member who was punished in the investigation that followed was Major Brezler, who had sent the email warning about Mr. Jan, his lawyers said. In one of Major Brezler’s hearings, Marine Corps lawyers warned that information about the police commander’s penchant for abusing boys might be classified. The Marine Corps has initiated proceedings to discharge Major Brezler.
Mr. Jan appears to have moved on, to a higher-ranking police command in the same province. In an interview, he denied keeping boys as sex slaves or having any relationship with the boy who killed the three Marines. “No, it’s all untrue,” Mr. Jan said. But people who know him say he still suffers from “a toothache problem,” a euphemism here for child sexual abuse.
The case of the “killer lesbians”
Fifteen-year-old Sakia Gunn.
By Laura S. Logan
Several African-American lesbians who fought back against an alleged attack spent time in jail and prison after being convicted of crimes related to the incident. Laura S. Logan looks at how press coverage of the group, dubbed the New Jersey 7, shaped a narrative about the women that portrayed them as predators rather than victims – a story at odds with how we usually think about LGBT people who’ve been harassed. In light of a recent popular campaign to end the bullying of LGBT people, Logan says, this case begs the question: It gets better for whom? Laura is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Kansas State University and managing editor of the journal Gender & Society.
A few young friends, all lesbians, all African American, waited at a bus stop near Newark’s Penn Station on May 13, 2003. It was 3:30 a.m., and they were returning from a night of fun in the West Village. Two African American men approached the small group of women, which included 15-year-old Sakia Gunn. The men made sexual advances. Gunn and her friends identified themselves as lesbians and rejected them. Shortly thereafter, one of the men, Richard MuCullough, stabbed Sakia Gunn in the chest, killing her on the street.
Three years later, in August 2006, another group of African American lesbians from Newark were harassed on the street, this time while they were still in the West Village. Dwayne Buckle, an African American man selling DVDs on the sidewalk, allegedly propositioned them as they walked past him. Buckle’s first remark was directed to Patreese Johnson: “Let me get some of that.” Thinking he was homeless and hungry, Johnson said, she asked if he wanted some of her friend’s soda. “No, some of that,” she recalled Buckle replying, pointing to below her waist.
Several of the young women yelled at him, and told him that they were lesbians and not interested. Buckle allegedly continued his harassment, adding homophobic threats and taunts. He said would “fuck them straight,” according to reports and court testimony. He threw a cigarette at one woman and spit at another, according to the women, leading to a brief physical altercation. Afterwards, the women turned to leave; a video camera from a nearby business shows them walking away. The same film shows Buckle following them. He continued to taunt them with anti-lesbian slurs, the women said, grabbed his genitals through his clothing, made explicitly obscene remarks, and threatened them –leading quickly to a second fight.
Buckle grabbed the women by the neck or hair, according to reports. They tried to defend themselves, but as they would free one woman from his grasp, Buckle grabbed another by the hair or throat, according to the women’s reports of the incident. Throughout the attack, Buckle yelled homophobic slurs and threatened them with sexual assault, they said. Much of the incident was caught on film by the nearby video surveillance camera, though a portion of the view was blocked by a pillar. At one point at least two or three male bystanders can be seen joining the fight in defense of the young women.
When the incident ended, the women were hurt: three had hair pulled out of their scalps, one had a bloody lip and two suffered neck injuries. Buckle was stabbed and required surgery for a lacerated liver. He spent five days in the hospital. At trial, Buckle was unable to identify who stabbed him. The prosecutor alleged that the woman who wielded the knife was Patreese Johnson, who did indeed have a knife that night (although her knife had no blood on it). The defense suggested that one of the bystanders stabbed Buckle. None of the bystanders, all men, were ever apprehended and none stepped forward to identify themselves.
All but one of these women, dubbed the New Jersey 7, were convicted for the incident. One of them remains in prison today. The women, their advocates, family and friends, and their attorneys say that the New Jersey 7 were unfairly prosecuted and too harshly sentenced and that the women’s self-defense was criminalized. All of the New Jersey 7 either knew Sakia Gunn personally or knew that she had been murdered in a street harassment incident three years earlier. The media, they say, helped foster an environment that made it easy to mischaracterize the women’s acts of self-defense.
There are obvious similarities between the Sakia Gunn murder and the New Jersey 7 incident. The big difference in the case of the New Jersey 7, however, is that the women who were allegedly harassed and attacked on the street fought back and all survived. This is how one of the 7′s prosecutors described it at trial: “They didn’t run away. They were not fearful. They were emboldened.” (NY Post 6/15/07).
This case resulted in a flurry of sensational headlines, such as this one from the New York Post: “ATTACK OF THE KILLER LESBIANS: MAN ‘FELT LIKE I WAS GOING TO DIE’” (4/12/2007), and this one, also from the Post: “GIRL GANG STABS WOULD-BE ROMEO” (8/19/2006). Television media also sensationalized the case. Bill O’Reilly titled a segment about the case on his Fox News show “Violent Lesbian Gangs a Growing Problem.” The Southern Poverty Law Center noted in response that “there is no evidence the women are members of a criminal gang, and O’Reilly failed to report that the attack was prompted, according to the New York Daily News, by Buckle spitting, cursing, and flicking a cigarette at the women after one of them rebuffed his sidewalk sexual advances” (Intelligence Report, Fall 2007, Issue 127). In spite of this, the women were charged and most of them convicted of felony gang assault.
Despite these mostly local lurid headlines, however, the New Jersey 7 case attracted little sustained attention from the media. Even so, the framing of the incident is disturbing. Media reports illuminate the intersecting social inequalities in this case – that is, how it matters to be Black and lesbian and from a poor/working class New Jersey neighborhood and to be harassed and attacked on the street in New York City by a Black heterosexual man.
Moreover, the assault against these lesbians, the consequences they faced, and the relative public silence about the case stand in stark juxtaposition with the thriving – and largely white and middle-class – movement against the bullying of LGBT youth and the “It Gets Better” campaign – a campaign inspired in part by the suicides of several young gay men.
The Angry Black Woman, Transformed
I analyzed all of the thirty newspaper stories about the case from U.S. newspapers, and found that advocates for the New Jersey 7 were correct. The media did help to foster a context where reading the women’s actions as self-defense was very difficult. These stories presented the 7 as wild and animalistic, playing to our worst stereotypes about “angry black women.” The stories also had an odd and disturbing narrative arc – after their convictions and sentencing, some of them stunning in their length and severity, the media re-imagined the 7. They were transformed from rampaging beasts to weepy young girls, suggesting that in their punishment for self-defense, they were redeemed and no longer dangerous.
The angry black woman, prone to impulsive acts of random violence, is a longstanding racialized stereotype. In accounts of this case, that image was hammered home again and again. In addition to characterizing the women as furious and out of control, news reports repeatedly emphasized that the New Jersey 7 were lesbians, and used animal imagery and language to describe them and their actions. The women were referred to as “a gang of angry lesbians” (NY Daily News 4/13/07); “tough lesbians from New Jersey” (NY Daily News 4/19/07); “bloodthirsty young lesbians” (NY Post 4/12/07); “a gang of four tough-as-nails lesbians” (NY Post 4/019/07); a “gang of seven rampaging lesbians” (NY Post 6/15/07); and, “a pack of marauding lesbians” (NYT 4/14/07). One headline exclaimed, “A FURIOUS LESBIAN raged, ‘I’m a man!’” and went on to describe the incident as a “wild seven-on-one beatdown,” (NY Daily News 4/13/07).
Overall, almost two-thirds of the articles characterized the women as angry lesbians in one way or another, and nearly half also used animal imagery or language. They were “wild,” a “wolf pack,” and a “she-wolf pack.” The women “pounced,” “growled,” and “roared,” they “preyed upon” the victim – and several of the articles used such terms more than once. The message is that these women were dangerously wild, masculinized monsters.
Articles that focused on the women’s reactions to the verdict, however, represented the 7 as the polar opposite of the angry black woman. The killer lesbians were transformed into tearful docile girls after their convictions. The women become wounded little girls or delicate submissive waifs. They are called “crying convicts,” “sobbing friends,” and “weepy women.” Several news stories describe the women as “led sobbing or hysterical from the courtroom” (Star Newark 4/19/07). One reporter described part of the trial: “The young women sobbed and wailed ‘No-oo!’ ‘Mommy!’ and ‘I didn’t do it!’” (NYT 4/19/07). The New York Post wrote:
The pint-sized ringleader of a gang of seven rampaging lesbians collapsed shrieking in a Manhattan courtroom yesterday as a judge sentenced her to 11 years in prison for the brutal beat-down and stabbing of a man who promised to turn them “straight” in Greenwich Village last summer. “Noooo!” 4-foot-11, 95-pound Patreese Johnson wailed after learning her startling sentence – the highest several defense lawyers had ever heard of for a nonfatal stabbing. “No!” she sobbed. “Please! Nooooo!” Johnson, 20, fell to the courtroom floor and was carried out kicking and screaming.(6/15/07)
This is how the New York Times put it: “As they were sentenced, the young women wept and wailed, one of them crying, ‘I’m a good girl!’” (6/15/07). These media accounts are a sort of Greek tragedy with dueling choruses, one joyously chanting, “You are girls after all!” the other taunting, “You are not so tough now, are you ladies?”
Another way to look at it: after passing through the criminal justice system, the wild animals are reformed, changed from bad lesbians who acted like masculine monsters to docile little girls, crying for their mothers.
It gets better for whom?
One of the most striking facts about this case is how little attention it received beyond a few lurid accounts. The New Jersey 7 incident and the circumstances of Sakia Gunn’s death suggest that a Black lesbian who has the misfortune of encountering sexualized street harassment be virtually ignored if she dies and will be punished if she lives.
There’s a sharp contrast between reaction to these cases and attention to bullying in schools. The “It Gets Better” Project has drawn substantial public attention to this issue; there are now more than 400,000 members of the movement. While it is unquestionably important to address bullying, we must also acknowledge that it takes on different forms in different contexts. Street harassment – certainly a type of bullying – is an incredibly common experience for women across almost all social categories, but particularly affects urban women, including woman of color and those who are poor.
It won’t get better for the New Jersey 7. The group included at least two couples, now felons who can no longer associate with any other felon, including each other. The women with felony convictions cannot vote, adding them to the growing rosters of disenfranchised African American voters in the U.S. Others lost physical custody of their children while in prison, and several must now navigate a depressed job market with a felony gang conviction on their records. All of which begs the question: It gets better for whom?
We need to make sure that it gets better for people who aren’t middle class, white or male. It will get better when we address inequalities, starting with those who are the most oppressed. It could get better if we put the brakes on a voracious criminal justice system and if we stop criminalizing survival. And it will get better when a group of young African American lesbian friends can walk down the street knowing they are safe from sexual harassment and threats of violence.
Chesney-Lind, Meda and Nikki Jones, eds. 2010. “Fighting for Girls: New Perspectives on Gender and Violence.” SUNY Press.
INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, ed. 2006. “The Color of Violence: The Incite! Anthology.” South End Press.
Miller, Jody. 2008. “Getting Played: African American Girls, Urban Inequality, and Gendered Violence.” NYU Press.
Variation in Sexual Violence during War
ELISABETH JEAN WOOD
Sexual violence during war varies in extent and takes distinct forms. In some con- flicts, sexual violence is widespread, yet in other conflicts—including some cases of ethnic conflict—it is quite limited. In some conflicts, sexual violence takes the form of sexual slavery; in others, torture in detention. I document this variation, particularly its absence in some conflicts and on the part of some groups. In the conclusion, I explore the relationship between strategic choices on the part of armed group leadership, the norms of combatants, dynamics within small units, and the effectiveness of military discipline.
Keywords: sexual violence; rape; political violence; human rights; war
While sexual violence occurs in all wars, it occurs to varying extent and takes distinct forms. During the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the sexual abuse of Bosnian Muslim women by Bosnian Serb forces was so systematic and wide- spread that it comprised a crime against humanity under international law. In Rwanda, the widespread rape of Tutsi women comprised a form of genocide, according to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Yet sexual violence in some conflicts is remarkably limited, despite wide- spread violence against civilians. Sexual violence is relatively limited even in some cases of ethnic conflict that include the forced movement of ethnic popu- lations; the conflicts in Israel/Palestine and Sri Lanka are examples. Some
I am grateful for research support from the Yale Center for International and Area Studies and the Santa Fe Institute, and for research assistance from Margaret Alexander, Laia Balcells, Karisa Cloward, Kade Finnoff, Amelia Hoover, Michele Leiby, Amara Levy-Moore, Meghan Lynch, Abbey Steele, and Tim Taylor. I also thank the many people who commented on earlier versions, particularly Jeffrey Burds, Christian Davenport, Magali Sarfatti Larson, David Plotke, and Jeremy Weinstein.
POLITICS & SOCIETY, Vol. 34 No. 3, September 2006 307-341 DOI: 10.1177/0032329206290426 © 2006 Sage Publications
armed groups engage in relatively little sexual violence; Sendero Luminoso was deemed responsible for more than half the deaths and disappearances reported to the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission but for only a tenth of the (few) reported cases of rape.
In some conflicts, sexual violence takes the form of sexual slavery, whereby women are abducted to serve as servants and sexual partners of combatants for extended periods; in others, it takes the form of torture in detention. In some wars, women belonging to particular groups are targeted; in others, the violence is indis- criminate. In some wars, only women and girls are targeted; in others, men are as well. Some acts of wartime sexual violence are committed by individuals; many are committed by groups. Some acts occur in private settings; others are public, in front of family or community members. In some conflicts, the pattern of sexual violence is symmetric, with all parties to the war engaging in sexual violence to roughly the same extent; in other conflicts, it is very asymmetric.
Some simple hypotheses do not explain the puzzling variation in the extent and form of sexual violence in war: sexual violence varies in prevalence and form across civil wars as well as inter-state wars, across ethnic wars as well as non-ethn
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