The aim of this thesis is to examine how contemporary framings of the bodies of male perpetrators of sexual violence in war constrain what we know about them. To achieve this aim it elaborates an analytical strategy of leaky bodies that develops conceptual tools for analysing how the bodies of male perpetrators of sexual violence in war disrupt our representations of them. This analytical strategy of leaky bodies is central to my analysis of the ways in which bodies of male perpetrators surface within the literature on sexual violence in the DRC. Dissatisfied with the almost ubiquitous framing of male perpetrators of sexual violence in this landscape of war as physically and emotionally hard, it uses the term leaky to explore and contest how they materialize within explanations of sexual violence in the DRC.Situated within feminist analyses of sexual violence in war this thesis asks how the generic stories of militarized masculinity that authors work within violently reproduce the bodies of perpetrators as well as how these stories permeate explanations of why soldiers rape in the DRC. In tracing how the literature on sexual violence in this warscape reproduces an image of soldiers who perpetrate rape as part of the 'machinery' or 'weaponry' of war, my analysis looks for residues or traces of leaky bodies that reveal how they consistently exceed our prevailing understandings of them. It does this by paying attention to how the stories soldiers tell about perpetrating sexual violence subvert the dominant imagery of militarized masculinity central to many other militarized narratives. In doing so, my analysis is overwhelmingly indebted to the extensive first hand research of Maria Baaz and Maria Stern whose interviews with soldiers about why rape occurs has generated unique insights into their experiences of warring in the DRC.The central contention of this thesis is subsequently that, while we cannot entirely escape working within contemporary framings of the bodies of male perpetrators of sexual violence in war, new insights can be gained into why soldiers rape by reading the male body through the window of its leakiness instead of its hardness in the DRC.
|Date of Award
|31 Dec 2016
- The University of Manchester
|Cristina Masters (Supervisor) & Veronique Pin-Fat (Supervisor)