Religious symbolism and mythology in sexual violence and rape during the Balkan conflict, 1992–1995
In researching the phenomena of war rapes, studies often show the degree to which war is, in the final analysis, about women. Due to the extreme sexism, misogyny, and male-oriented, nationalistic politics, one would agree that it is very hard to perceive it from that point of view; nevertheless, women somehow play the important symbolic role in wars. In an interview with BBC's Newslight in March 1994, for instance, Ratko Mladić stated how the war in Bosnia is nothing but a war for love and honor for their women and children.1 Josue Goldstein2 has focused his broad research on the cultural construction and gender codes evident during the war, including a complicated gap between biology and culture, male and female hormones, and genetic codes that would explain warrior behavior among men. Associating men with war and women with peace arises from cultural segregation and socialization of gender roles in childhood, asserts Goldstein, and has little to do with the strength of women or men and their cognitive abilities. In contrast, it has much to do with religion as a constitutive part of one's identity.
Močnik, N. (2014)., Religious symbolism and mythology in sexual violence and rape during the Balkan conflict, 1992–1995, in G. Ognjenović & J. Jozelić (eds.), Politicization of religion, the power of symbolism, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 45-66.
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