Gina Marie Weaver, Ideologies of Forgetting. Rape in the Vietnam War, New York, State University of New York Press, 2010, 198 p.
First book to study rape and sexual abuse of Vietnamese women by U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War.
Rape has long been a part of war, and recent conflicts in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur demonstrate that it may be becoming an even more integral strategy of modern warfare. In contrast to the media attention to sexual violence against women in these recent conflicts, however, the incidence and consequences of rape in the Vietnam War have been largely overlooked. Using testimony, oral accounts, literature, and film, Ideologies of Forgetting focuses on the rape and sexual abuse of Vietnamese women by U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War, and argues that the erasure and elision of these practices of sexual violence in the U.S. popular imagination perpetuate the violent masculinity central to contemporary U.S. military culture. Gina Marie Weaver claims that recognition of this violence is important not just for an accurate historical record, but also to truly understand the Vietnam veteran’s trauma, which often stems from his aggression rather than his victimization.
“This is exactly the moment to take a new hard hook at the incidents of rape in the U.S. war in Vietnam—and its extended consequences for both the victims and the perpetrators of those rapes.” — Cynthia Enloe, author of Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link
“At a time when the phrase ‘support our troops’ has become a national mantra, recognition of how that support was enabled and narrativized becomes even more important.” — Susan Jeffords, author of The Remasculinization of America: Gender and the Vietnam War
Gina Marie Weaver is Assistant Professor of English at Southern Nazarene University.
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