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R OAC H E S


ROACHES MAGAZINE

Issue No. 02

To the

Survival of

2

Roaches


Call me your deepest urge toward survival call me and my brothers and sisters in the sharp smell of your refusal call me roach and presumptuous nightmare on your white pillow you itch to destroy the indestructible part of yourself. Call me your own determination in the most detestable shape you can become friend of your image within me I am you

in your most deeply cherished nightmare scuttling through the painted cracks you create to admit me into your kitchens into your fearful midnights into your values at noon in your most secret places with hate you learn to honor me by imitation as I alter-although your greedy preoccupations through your kitchen wars and your poisonous refusal-to survive. To surive. Survive.

--Audre Lorde

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Issue No. 02

Editorial Team Editors-in-Chief Dhouha Djerbi, Sanae Ehauleyan Alouzaen Deputy Editors Kestrel Coffee, Alia Hadjar Creative Directors Anna von Kampen Public Relations Maura Partrick Faculty Editor Professor Lissa Lincoln

Printed by Tanghe Printing, Belgium Published by The American University of Paris Edition of 200 Copyright Š AUP Student Media and Individual Contributors, 2019. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission, in whole or in part, may be made without written permission. Please send all inquiries to roaches@aup.edu 4


R o a c h e s & Presumptuous

Spring 2019 The American University of Paris 6 Rue de Colonel Combes 75007 Paris, France Gender, Sexuality, and Society Program 5


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Issue No. 02

WRITING

TO THE SURVIVAL OF ROACHES 2 Audrey Lorde LETTER FROM THE EDITORS 8 Djerbi, Alouazen NAVIGATING DEBBIE'S WHITENESS 11 Dhouha Djerbi ARTIST PROFILE 17 Bea Taylor THE IMPACT OF SEX THEORY ON INDIGENOUS MASCULINITIES 19 Maura Partrick ARTIST STATEMENT 26 Grace Rush CHAOS AND 32 Gabrielle Guichard THE KAVANAUGH HEARING AND QUESTIONS OF HEGEMONIC MASCULINITY 42 Iona Ellsworth ARTIST STATEMENT 49 Sabrina Lee SEXUAL DISSIDENTS IN UNITED STATES ASYLUM LAW 54 Sarah Thomas "B, DEAR, ON S'AIME" 65 Gabrielle Guichard SISTERHOOD IS PERVASIVE AND PROBLEMATIC: A HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE TERM 'SISTERHOOD' IN FEMINISM 67 Katherine Buckley INCORPORATING INTERSECTIONAL DISABILITY STUDIES INTO QUEER THEORY 75 Alia Hadjar RAPE AS A GENDERED WAR CRIME DURING THE ALGERIAN LIBERATION WAR 80 Sanae Ehauleyan Alouazen

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Table

C o n t


ART

of

t e n t s

SHOCKER II (Cover) Bea Taylor A TART FRUIT BY A TART FRUIT Bea Taylor TENDER BEAST Bea Taylor LATEX FREE Sabrina Lee UNTITLED 1 Grace Rush UNTITLED 2 Grace Rush UNTITLED 3 Grace Rush PANSY Bea Taylor SHOCKER I Bea Taylor CRYSTAL CON LECHE Sabrina Lee BABY PHAT Sabrina Lee SHE'S DARIA Bea Taylor MY NIGHT WITH KARL Sabrina Lee DISSECTION DE LA BEAUTÉ Gabriela Motta HANDS TIED Kaoutar El Karkaoui EYEBROWS Kaoutar El Karkaoui TERZ FASSI SEXUAL 1 Kaoutar El Karkaoui INTERGENERATIONAL Kaoutar El Karkaoui MB Gabriela Motta

0 6 9 10 27 28 29 30 40 48 50 64 66 74 79 80 88 89 90 7


EDITORS’ LETTER

ROACHES MAGAZINE

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Issue No. 02

Oh hey … Welcome back! Roaches is born out of an intrinsic need to replace pain with revolt, and loss with creation. Through writing and art, our contributors sought to reclaim back narratives that paint queer and racialized bodies as distorted, alienated, disfigured. We produce our own narratives, construct representations that embody our dynamic experiences, always in motions. This zine is a vessel for the non-aligned, for the feeding-hand biters, for the inhabitants of the institutional cracks. The following pages are infested with genuine ache, discomfort, and beauty. They are celebrations of our screeching voices and documentation of our attempts at infiltration and a reminder of the urgent need to resist. In a world that attempts to entrap us in pre-fixed categories, we strike back with the act of creation to replace delinquent with dissident and exotic with empowered. We hope it inspires you to freely exercise your intellect, to move beyond hegemony and challenge existing power structures. In Solidarity, Sanae & Dhouha


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N A V I G A T I N G D E B B I E ’ S W H I T E N E S S By: Dhouha Djerbi Dear Career’s office, Unfortunately and regrettably, I am unable to continue my internship as Production Assistant. This decision was not made on a whim. Please rest assured that I have exhausted alternative routes. In the past weeks, I found myself unable to relate the knowledge I have acquired throughout my academic career with the project I have been assigned. In the beginning, I was enthused by the idea of a Feminist podcast, thrilled to finally have a platform to further explore my Gender and Sexuality Studies minor and translate theories I studied in a concrete manner. However, there seems to be a serious ideological divide between myself and my manager, Deborah, one that is unlikely to be bridged. This is not a recent revelation. It is something I noticed my first week at the internship. I optimistically and perhaps naively, assumed that the ideological divergences would be an excellent learning opportunity for me. I no longer believe this is the case. I stopped typing. As I rested my fingers on the keyboard, I tried to gather the scattered thoughts in my head. I had never

written a resignation letter before. I wanted to sound courteous. Closing my eyes, I wondered: Will they sympathize? Will they think I’m crazy? I first met Deborah when she was interviewing me for the position of Production Assistant for her multimedia company. An AUP alumna, she remained in Paris after graduating with a degree in English literature and a minor in French language. She established her own business after years of working in journalism. Freckle- faced, tall, strawberry blonde hair seamlessly resting on her shoulders, she couldn’t have been older than 34. She spoke perfect French, not a hint of an American accent and a mastery of the French vernacular. “Here’s someone who assimilated excellently,” I half-jokingly thought to myself. My interview went well, I thought. I was ticking all the right boxes and she seemed pleased with my resume. When we finally began to feel somewhat relaxed in each other’s presence, she said “just call me 11


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Debbie,” and then planted an idea for a Feminist podcast in the midst of our conversation: “What kind of Feminist podcast are you envisioning here, Debbie?” “Well, besides me hosting it, I haven’t given it much thought yet,” she said. “But I am thinking that given your experience in this area, we can put our heads together and create something worthwhile.” “That sounds good,” I responded. “Although I believe we should approach this project from an intersectional lens and I am sure you’d agree.” “And what is that?” Perhaps I shouldn’t have dismissed her Feminist illiteracy entirely without cynicism. It did slightly bother me, though, for the days following our initial encounter and even after being offered the position – like an itch I so miserably wanted to scratch but couldn’t. I eventually managed to mute the concerned voices in my head and convince myself that Deborah and I will embark on an educational journey. After all, she seemed open to intersectionality when I broadly explained it to her. She gave it the ultimate American stamp of approval; and just like that, intersectionality became “cool”. On my first week at the job, Debbie casually equated the adversity of being a white American expat to that of a brown immigrant woman. “It’s really not the same thing,” I muttered softly. But Debbie contested: “You know the French, they don’t treat you better just because you’re an American. I fought hard to 12

be included, and I still don’t feel included at times.” “That must have been hard,” I said and continued to marvel at how Americans’ ability to deliver painful punches all the while grinning. In the days that followed, I was tasked with drafting a mission statement for the podcast, for which Debbie – completely unbeknownst to me – had decided I would co-host. Perhaps she thought she was doing me a kind favor or perhaps she thought I needed more work to do. Either way, it was assumed that I would co-host the show despite my 3-euro hourly wage. I sat, silently and smilingly, as she made the announcement one Monday morning. I was relieved, in a way, because I assumed that co-hosting would inevitably equip me with more authority in deciding on the content of the podcast. I spent the afternoon crafting a mission statement fit for our intersectional Feminist project, one that echoed the urgent need to use platforms, such as ours, to amplify peripheral voices and bring marginalized women’s issues to light. I encouraged efforts to de-colonize black and brown women’s narratives, to reflect on our respective privileges, and think critically about our respective positionalities. I feared that Debbie would find my mission statement too academic. To my dismay, she presented a drastically different critique. “I don’t want it to be just about that, you know? The podcast should be for all women,” Debbie said. The following day, I came to work to find


t

that Debbie had deleted most of my mission statement. Disheartened and confused, I kept looking for traces of my original work in the new mission statement she had produced. I poured my heart out in those words. Yet overnight, she turned my decolonial intersectional project into an episode of The View. Only one thing remained, though: exploring women’s post-colonial identities. It stood out for all the wrong reasons: awkward, forced, and without a context. Riddled with fear of having become tokenized, I decided to take a step back from the project in a discrete act of self-preservation. While I wasn’t quite ready to abandon the podcast, I simply didn’t want to have my name on it. I was ashamed. The next day, I told Debbie that I didn’t feel comfortable being in the spotlight and preferred to work ‘backstage’ instead. In an attempt for reconciliation, I decided to take a step back from the project by declining to co-host the podcast. Instead, I eagerly offered to focus on the research aspect of it. I still saw potential in this endeavor. Previously, Debbie and I decided that in each episode of the podcast, we would invite guests who could meaningfully contribute to our discussion. I proposed a “post-colonial identity” episode when I was pondering the possibility of making a humble contribution to the overarching and ever-growing movement to reclaim Maghrebian women’s narratives. Sex, Race, et Colonies (Sex, Race, and Colonies) – an art book claiming to denounce the sexual use of the colonized bodies over the

last six centuries – had been published that week by a group of French historians, stirring waves of criticism, on different ends of the political spectrum, for showing violent photographs of African women naked, restrained, and some even enduring sexual abuse. A discussion on the oeuvre was scheduled at La Colonie – a hipster bobo-gauchiste bar near Republique. A friend and I were planning to attend but were disappointed to hear that the venue, which is notorious for hosting fiery debates, had canceled the event due to protests. Annoyed, I felt robbed of the opportunity to directly boo co-author Christelle Taraud, who, challenged by accusations of appropriation, went on an interview with France Culture affirming that “it may also be necessary to have another logic, a logic of sharing, which considers the need to repair what has been damaged. This story – it is not only the history of the colonized, it is also the history of the colonizers. It's a shared story.” Unconvinced, I turned to MondAfrique, where one writer stated: “as the crimes of colonization remain imprescriptible, the possession and publication of the images of these crimes must remain legally problematic.” I assumed by withdrawing from my co-hosting responsibilities, Debbie would automatically abandon the post-colonial identities episode. I presumed she would be sensitive to its racially-charged nature 13


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and stay true to her previous “I don’t know much about this” statements. After all, there’s nothing inherently erroneous in recognizing that we do not all share equivalent epistemic knowledge. It all seemed so simple to me, and I was astonished to hear that she was determined to produce the episode with her as the discussion leader. I gathered enough courage and confronted Debbie, albeit tactfully, that she should not continue with this endeavor. “I really don’t think you should host this episode. It’s not appropriate for you to do so. I suggested this topic, out of a need to create space for people like me, that struggle with understanding their place in French society to share our conflicts. So, in a way, it is extremely personal, and we do not share the same level of commitment. I think it would be uncomfortable to see someone so far removed from the community lead a discussion on this.” As Debbie went on about the need to immerse ourselves in each other’s experiences, I rolled my eyes and zoned out. I heard this once already from Turaud. All I wanted was to question her intentions behind going through with the episode. Colonization was rendered erotic in Sex, Race, et Colonies, I was dreading its trivialization – intentionally or unintentionally – through this podcast. I deeply regretted suggesting the idea in the first place; I wanted to take it back. This was not a story I wanted to share, and; certainly, not a story I wanted Debbie to capitalize on. To its credit, Sex, Race, et Colonies is not

just a book of colonial porn. It is comprised of photographs from modern-day advertisements featuring scantily-clad black playboy bunnies and middle-eastern belly-dancers all trying to sell you something. The inclusion of these illustrations which are often adjacent to photographic depictions of naked colonial ‘subjects’ invite the reader to draw a connection between colonial sex crimes and the continuous fetishization of women of color, a “systemic violence” as described by Taraud (France Culture, 2018). La Marche pour l'Egalité et Contre le Racisme (The March for Equality and Against Racism) which linked Marseille and Paris between October and December of 1983, brought the term “Beur” into the French mainstream, marking the first time that descendants of Maghrebian immigrants enter the public sphere and claim recognition. Those who marched were mostly young people who had, above all, a concern for equality: to be recognized as full-fledged French citizens and as actors in and contributors to French society. Beur and its feminine Beurette were symbolic of not only of the politicization of immigration in France but most significantly of the growing solidarity between first-generation French people with Maghrebian origins and incoming immigrants from North Africa. Today, these words have become obsolete. Type

“I am not naïve to how cultural and political forces shift and reconstruct narrative. Perhaps, this is why I am overprotective of mine.”

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Beurette in your web search engine and you will be bombarded with thousands of porn results. In 2016, Beurette was the most searched term on Pornhub.fr and today, some consider it a racial slur. What was once a badge of pride of origin and heritage, has been reduced to a video tag on xHamster. As a matter of fact, that is now the only context in which it thrives. I am not naïve to how cultural and political forces shift and reconstruct narrative. Perhaps, this is why I am overprotective of mine. My experience is capital that I refused to squander; not for Debbie, not for her Feminist plaything, not for 3 euros an hour. “Well, you’ll write the interview guide for me, won’t you?” Debbie asked. “It just counterintuitive and even if I did write the interview guide, I think it will be hard, to mimic the natural conversational flow of a podcast, you know?” I asserted, avoiding eye-contact. Debbie’s lips began to twitch, she was itching to interrupt me. “I will not apologize for being a white woman, okay? Like, I know I am white, and I am privileged and whatever but that doesn’t mean this is something I shouldn’t be talking about.” It was a surreal moment – I felt as if I had left my body, and was looking at myself, across the room, judging and pointing: token brown woman, silent brown woman, passive and complicit, tip-towing around her boss’s whiteness. I could feel my throat swelling

up. I pushed my glasses up on the bridge of my nose as to not let Debbie get a glimpse of my watery eyes. I don’t remember much of what was said after. I do remember feeling emotionally drained at the end of my shift, disillusioned, and cynical of the world. As I sat down on my desk to write my resignation letter that night, I kept thinking of Debbie, who seems to move through the world blissfully unaware of her whiteness until its dominance is called into question. Reni Eddo-Lodge, who can no longer talk to white people about race, said she “can no longer engage with the gulf of emotional disconnect that white people display when a person of color articulates their experience” for “their intent is often not to listen or learn, but to exert their power, to prove me wrong, to emotionally drain me, and to rebalance the status quo” (Eddo-Lodge, xii). Full of dread, I glared at my computer screen, repeatedly asking myself how I can synthesize a clear case of appropriation to AUP’s Career’s office. Typing and deleting, moving between raw emotion and rigid diplomacy. How do I eloquently phrase, “Debbie doesn’t give a shit about Maghrebian women?” How do I say, “Debbie showed no genuine interest in educating herself about the issues she wanted to discuss on her podcast, only in consuming, capitalizing, using my experience

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as a headlining buzzword, and repackaging it as palatable for mainstream (read: white) consumption?” Or rather, how should I go about explaining that “to be complicit in the further exploitation of brown and black women’s narratives is the ultimate betrayal,” without sounding like I am simply too much? The same questions lingered: will they sympathize? Will they think I’m crazy? Will they say “Angry Brown Woman using radical divisive rhetoric.” I collected my fragmented thoughts and typed: I am fully aware and sensitive to the inherent hierarchy that defines the relationship with my manager. However, part of my job lies in

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providing insight where deemed fitting. I was asked to provide my opinion in an area where it was mutually understood that I was the expert. I believe I conducted myself with utmost respect and remained true to the values of the American University of Paris. I do not believe I am benefiting in this situation. The work environment is becoming increasingly uncomfortable. This has caused me considerable pain in addition to serious ethical complications that I found myself incapable of escaping. Academically, I no longer see value in this internship. In my effort to remain true to my integrity, I think it is best that I remove myself from this situation. While I am extremely worried about the academic consequences of this withdrawal, I am simply unable to carry on.


ARTIST PROFILE

Bea Taylor

"My experience as a queer individual has evolved dramatically over the course of my life. When I was afraid to speak my feelings, my art would scream them for me. My work is where my fearlessness, my love, and my compassion grew and shaped me into the ferocious femme I am today." --Bea Taylor

Instagram:

Works in this Issue:

Student Artist Activist

haute_and_bothered

Shocker II A Tart Fruit by a Tart Fruit Tender Beast Pansy Shocker I She's Daria 17


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The Impact of Sex Role Theory on Indigenous Masculinities By: Maura Partrick

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he history of continental North America is one filled with transformation, a shifting of ideas and practices, and conquest, all of which noticeably took place during the era of colonization in the 16th and 17th centuries in which most indigenous people were rejected from their homes and their land and systematically disadvantaged so much so that the effects can still be seen today. With the introduction of Sex Role Theory, an actual theory applied to social relations, there was a change in how relations and differences between men and women were justified. The introduction of this sex role theory offered a chance to consider gender as something beyond the biological and more as something created and reproduced by the social through relations and institutions. This did not happen, and sex role theory was instead used to further justify arguments relating the differences between men and women as biological and natural, and therefore any discrimination based off of gender difference was also considered as natural. Within this gender discrimination, there is also discrimination based on class and race which can also have prejudiced effects on men as well as women. Using Connell’s critiques of sex role theory along with Kimmel’s conception of masculinities, I will look at how indigenous men within North America have suffered socially and historically, how this is understood and legitimized by sex role theory, and how Connell’s critiques of sex role theory prove that indigenous masculinity has been altered and negatively impacted by these ideas within this western sex role theory. Sex role theory, as explained and critiqued

by Connell and Messerschmidt in “Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept” was introduced as an attempt to think of gender as being produced by the social, not just a product of the biological. Because of the traditional context in which it was introduced, it was instead used to reinforce the ideas of biological determinism in that the social is proof of the biological. The criticisms of sex role theory are that it: is teleological, ahistorical, ignores diversity, and ignores inequality. These four main critiques can be be applied directly to the idea of indigenous masculinity, how perceptions of indigenous masculinities supports sex role theory, and consequently how these assessments prove that sex role theory cannot be applied to indigenous masculinities or perceptions of gender. The teleology critique assumes deterministic outcomes and implies a faith in universalism, this can directly be connected to the ahistorical view which is a belief in a fixed history and repetition of events. These critiques of teleology and an ahistorical view are connected in that a fixed history will produce deterministic outcomes, but when the present is not a reflection of the past it shows that these theories are not only limited in their ability to account for change but also in their ability to explain this change. The negligence towards diversity and equality is a presumption of this universalism in understanding and enacting sex roles. This implies that this difference is natural, and therefore any inequality or discrimination based on difference is natural as well. Connell interprets these critiques as being: “the blurring of behavior and norm, the homogenizing effect of the role concept, and it’s difficulties in accounting for power” (Connell & Messerschmidt, 831). In understanding this negligence towards diversity and 19


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equality, difficulties arise in accounting for power and determining what diversity and equality is, and also involves acknowledging a hierarchical framework in society. This then relies on power relations in determining the extent of diversity and thus equality. In the context of indigenous men and communities, these critiques can be applied to conceptions of indigenous masculinities where traits of indigenous men are relational to those of western, white men where western men exhibit the dominant forms of masculinity and indigenous men represent what is rejected by these dominant forms of masculinity. This can be compared to the relations of masculinity and femininity, where masculinities are the absence of feminine traits, perceptions of indigenous masculinities embody what is rejected from western masculinities. Kimmel in “Masculinity as Homophobia” introduces the idea of different types of masculinities, and like Connell connects their origins and transformations to the social, providing an alternate theory to sex role theory. In Kimmel’s paper, he outlines three main “types” of masculinities: the Genteel Patriarch, the Heroic Artisan, and the Marketplace Man (Kimmel, 75). These can all be contrasted to types of indigenous masculinities that have developed over time through stereotypes from colonization and the changing of existing indigenous social structures. The most prominent stereotypes of indigenous men are the savage and the warrior, which can be seen in contrast to Kimmel’s three different catego20

ries of masculinity as inherently negative views of indigenous masculinities. Kimmel’s three models of manhood all exhibit changes in ideas of masculinity throughout time, especially within the context of a developing society. What can be seen in contrast to assumptions of indigenous masculinities, is that these western representations of manhood are not only inherently positive, and are idealized versions of what men are expected to be, not what they actually are. In these western models, there is also an inherent connection to capitalism in that a man’s worth is largely based off of his ability to produce and accumulate capital. This model of society was forced upon the indigenous communities, where these societies before were structured around the survival of the group and community as a whole, and after colonization were restructured to focus on accumulation of resources and thus capital gain (Anderson, Innes, Swift, 268). Directly connected to economic accumulation is the idea of power, and how it is exercised by these different groups of western men onto not only indigenous men, but women as well. For Kimmel, the distinction of different types of masculinities is not only important in the overall


critique of sex role theory as it validates the idea of “masculinity as a constantly changing collection of meanings that we construct” but also because it addresses the notion of different levels of power each different type of masculinity is afforded (Kimmel, 73). Different conceptions of power given to variations in masculinities can explain how both western and indigenous men that represent a similar type of hegemonic masculinity can still be socially and economically unequal. Kimmel’s conceptions of these masculinities in reference to stereotypical representations of indigenous masculinities show the relationships between the different conceptions-- western conceptions of masculinities can be seen as presenting positive traits of manhood but conceptions of indigenous masculinities are inherently negative and act in defining the undesirable aspects of masculinity. As previously mentioned, the conceptions of indigenous masculinities are usually limited to the savage and the warrior, as explained by Ganje in chapter 14 “Native American Stereotypes” of the book Images that Injure: Pictorial Stereotypes in the Media. Ganje makes a further distinction within the category of the savage between the “bloodthirsty savage” and the “noble savage”, and how this can again represent inconsistencies in having one sex role, and even within the category of hegemonic masculinity, there are still variations that can be labeled as positive or negative. The “bloodthirsty savage” is a stereotype that describes “ murderous savages with painted faces, yelling war whoops, and descending on the unsuspecting women and children of innocent white settlers” which as Ganje explains, led to the justification of seizing indigenous lands and discrimination against indigenous

people (Ganje, 114). This contrasts the character of the “noble savage” who is instead seen as being complicit in colonization, even welcoming of this “civilization” brought by the English, in a way helping to push the narrative that the indigenous culture was “once great

“no consideration of liberty and equality within sex role theory.” but is now dying” (Ganje, 114). Considering again sex role theory, these two conceptions of an indigenous “savage” are able to exist at the same time, mean different things, but still have the same implications on indigenous men, exemplifying the critique of an ignorance of diversity where there is no universal indigenous identity or masculinity, even when these identities are imposed. The “warrior” as Ganje explains can be both noble and savage, which again begs the question how these two seemingly opposite characters can exist simultaneously not only within society, but in an individual himself. Kimmel’s models of manhood, specifically the Marketplace Man (who exemplifies capitalism and pushes the other models of manhood aside), are criticized for either being too “feminized” as the Genteel Patriarch was, or, a “wage slave” as the Heroic Artisan was, despite the emphasis of the market and capitalism. Kimmel makes an interesting point in regards to Tocqueville's view on these models of manhood, stating that he 21


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would have considered that “the coexistence of the Genteel Patriarch and the Heroic Artisan embodied the fusion of liberty and equality”, the Marketplace Man pushes these other models out and thus their influence on the ideas of liberty and equality, leading to a lack of this equality and liberty which not only can explain how sex role theory originated and became a popular theory, but how critiques of sex role theory are grounded and show there is again no consideration of liberty and equality within sex role theory. Hegemony is defined as a leadership or dominance, therefore hegemonic masculinity can be defined as traits or behaviors that exemplify dominance or leadership within a certain social context. Considering the idea of hegemonic masculinity as something plural and not singular shows the criticism of universalism and ignorance towards inequality, where Kimmel and Connell both describe different characteristics of hegemonic masculinity that bring into question the legitimacy of strict categories introduced by sex role theory. It can be understood that Kimmel’s model of the Marketplace Man is an illustration of a type of hegemonic masculinity, where dominance is gained through capital. In Kimmel’s description of the Marketplace Man, success is defined as the most “accumulated wealth, power, and status” where his emphasis is so much so on the market that no attention is paid to any family he may have, any time spent is done in a “homosocial environment... in which he pits himself against other men” (Kimmel, 75). In contrast to this one description of hegemonic masculinities, Connell makes the point that still “most accounts of hegemonic masculinity do involve such “positive” actions such as bringing home a wage, 22

sustaining a sexual relationship, and being a father” (Connell & Messerschmidt, 840). This again brings into question how these opposing characteristics can be considered to work together despite seemingly going against the nature of each other. The history of colonization is essential to how indigenous people came to have their modern forms of gendered power, and how these hierarchies were greatly impacted by colonization, especially if one looks at how the societies were gendered before colonizers settled. In chapter 14 of the book Canadian Men and Masculinities: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, entitled “Indigenous Masculinities: Carrying the Bones of the Ancestors” by Anderson, Innes, and Swift, the impact of western colonization on groups of indigenous peoples and their identities within Canada is expanded upon. Compared to indigenous cultures, western cultures had developed a structural gender inequality that dictated the meanings of gender and gendered relationships where women were considered as subordinate to men. This power dynamic was nonexistent in indigenous cultures until the colonizers came in and forcibly restructured their society and thus the preexisting gender relations. While I am focusing on indigenous masculinities, indigenous femininities are still essential to discuss as masculinities and femininities, while completely arbitrary, are reactions to one another where to embody masculine traits is to have an absence of feminine traits (Connell, 136). In the chapter by Anderson, Innes, and Swift, elders from various Canadian indigenous communities were interviewed on the gender relations of their communities and how the history of colonization completely changed the gender


dynamics of these communities. It was a commonly held practice and norm in these communities to not discriminate on gender, and instead promote equality and respect in order to ensure survival of the community as a whole (Anderson, Innes, Swift, 268). In this sense, if one applies the principles of sex role theory to these communities it can prove that difference based on gender is completely arbitrary in the way that these indigenous communities were able to successfully create communities without the rigid structures of gendered jobs and traits. This is even more obvious when one considers these gendered structures as introduced by the colonizers in an attempt to exert power over these people, who in reality had more advanced systems of gender relations within their communities which lead to their long survival despite not having these western institutions of gendered power. One of the most essential parts of these explanations of masculinities is the reliance of capitalism and the economy in helping define ideal masculinities and situating different people in different places in society. This situates the pursuit of power as something directly related to the economy, and also explains how colonizers used this power to introduce violence which then allowed them the ability to take over indigenous lands and resources in order to accumulate more capital. Within sex role theory, there is no specific emphasis on capital within this gender hierarchy, but it can be understood that in this theory, men are implicitly better with money than women. The reason behind this, also a key critique of sex role theory is the concept of the functionalist freeze in which the concept of sex role theory as explanation for a “natural” subordination

or gender discrimination is seen again, where women’s subordination within the household is not only justified but naturalized. This can be connected to the concept of domestic labor in that many times, women's work within the home is not considered as being an important contribution to the economy and therefore any work she does is not considered “real” work. Anderson, Innes, and Swift in their conversations with these indigenous elder men consider the notion presented by these men that in indigenous communities, identity is not based on things such as masculinity or femininity, but instead on responsibility (Anderson, Innes, & Swift, 271). Even though common and stereotypical themes of men being responsible for providing for the family and protection of the community are still prevalent, the emphasis is on the fact that these actions not only benefit the men, but the entire community as a whole, this idea was briefly talked about before with the idea that if the community is unable to survive then individuals won’t be able to, so the common goal is to ensure the survival of the community and thus the survival of these relations and identities. Furthermore, these elders emphasize that these roles of men represented the commonly held belief that “everyone was honored for their responsibilities, and thus the role to “protect” and “provide” ensured a sense of purpose, belonging, and identity that did not involve having power over others”, this power over others would later be forced upon these communities by colonizers (Anderson, Innes, & Swift, 271). The effects of this are discussed by the elders, where there can be seen a clear shift in how resources were accumulated before and after colonization, and how this completely changed the perceptions 23


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of work within these communities, where before the significance was not only in the product but in the act itself and after emphasis was only placed on the product being accumulated, not the actual act of accumulation itself. The emphasis on responsibility suggests a society based on relations, where men have particular responsibilities, but so do women as well, suggesting that these responsibilities are not defined in a gender hierarchy but are relational. Mousseau, an indigenous man concerned with violence against women, explains that this relational society soon ended after colonization where european practices of violence against women were forced onto these indigenous communities, and this caused the entire structure of these indigenous communities to fall apart because they were never initially structured through a patriarchal system. In this sense, conceptions of masculinity are forced onto indigenous men, where the most negative depictions of indigenous men were promoted in order to justify colonization and the destruction of these communities. In conclusion, there are many different factors that have lead to a misconception of indigenous masculinities which in turn create stereotypes that disadvantage and discriminate against these indigenous men. One of the most influential factors in this shift is due to colonization, where identities and behaviors were imposed and subsequently punished for being incorrect and not western enough. Indigenous men have suffered for not only not exemplifying western ideas of masculinity but also for not exemplifying their own indigenous ideas of masculinity and gender relations, despite many never having access to knowledge surrounding their history of gender relations within their communities. 24

Analyzing Kimmel’s models of manhood in relation to stereotypical models of indigenous manhood gives insight on the extent to which colonization completely restructured societies and communities, eventually making them either cooperate or be forcibly reconstructed. A reliance on sex role theory allowed for this reconstruction to take place, and using Connell and Messerschmidt’s critiques of sex role theory demonstrates how this theory is limited and how indigenous men have suffered from these strict limitations and reconstitution of indigenous identities and masculinities. Often the idea of what society would have been like without the impacts of colonization is questioned, and many groups who have suffered from colonization do not have an answer to this. Indigenous communities however, are very much aware of how much their communities have changed with colonization and how difficult or rather impossible it would be to return to that given the complete restructuring by settlers. The only ways in which this can be done are by understanding gender outside of biology as something reliant on the social, and recognizing that there is a diversity sex role theory can never account for.


Bibliography Connell, Raewyn. Masculinities. University of California Press, 1995. Connell, Raewyn, and James Messerschmidt. “Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept.� Kimmel, Michael. Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear, Shame and Silence in the Construction of Gender Identity. Centre for Gender & Development Studies, University of the West Indies, 1996. Martino, Wayne, et al. Canadian Men and Masculinities: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Canadian Scholars' Press, 2012. Ross, Susan Dente., and Paul Martin. Lester. Images That Injure: Pictorial Stereotypes in the Media. Praeger, 2011.

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ARTIST STATEMENT

Grace Rush

Instagram: @gheningr

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Throughout my life I’ve created characters and gone to extravagant lengths in order to feel freedom from restraints. This correlates with how I view my non-binary identity. I love make-up and clothing because they allow me to transform again and again into the persona that best helps me express my mental state at the time. I don’t feel limited by constructed ideas of femininity or masculinity I can just express myself however I please.


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CHAOS AND

BY: GABRIELLE GUICHARD

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He had been home an entire three days before someone finally asked. Some unspoken limit had been reached as his sister cornered him in the kitchen where he had willingly given himself the task of doing the dishes. “You know we have a machine that does that, right?” She asked, leaning against the counter with her arms crossed, some semblance of nonchalance. “Handy little thing, ruins all of our glasses but it sure does make the cutlery real shiny.” He glanced at her, letting the familiar sarcasm loosen his shoulders a little, tug his mouth into an easy smile. It probably said a lot about their relationship that the air between them only felt comfortable when the pretenses dropped, the ones siblings in their twenties who only saw each other twice a year were supposed to adhere to. Polite, forced, mushy. Three days was also apparently their limit before they returned to their roots. “Dishwashers can’t do that, though,” he replied, nodding his chin towards the mess of water and bubbles on the counter that had been steadily staining the edge of her jacket while she did her judgemental sister lean. Her face pinched in a grimace, but their family was nothing if not stubborn. “It’s fine, I can just put it in this other magical machine we have that washes clothes.” Seven seconds of silence. “So why are you back?” Sometimes he did find himself missing some of the pretense. With a sigh, he turned off the tap and matched her stance, propped against the counter, copying her arms, pretending not to feel the water soaking through his own shirt. For him the curl of his arms around himself was about comfort whereas for her it was more about gentle intimidation. “I needed a break,” He answered, knowing better than to lie, but not quite ready to hand her the whole truth, either. 32


The rest remained unspoken: she could surely see it all in the way he shrugged, in how his fingers curled into his shirt like he was trying to make himself appear smaller. All the exaggerated signs of vulnerability he had trained out of himself years ago that he could only ever pull out in front of her, only half honest in their necessity – he just needed her to know without having to say anything. They didn’t hug, she didn’t awkwardly pat his shoulder or offer a curt nod of quiet support and understanding, but he heard and understood her response when she swiped at some of the water on the counter until it splattered the front of his shirt. His tense posture immediately dropped as he tried to get her back, laughter bubbling out of him once his arms fell back down to his sides, now soaked and soapy. Later that night, he quietly handed her the letter he had kept tucked away at the bottom of his suitcase, the one that was clearly packed for longer than a normal weekend visit home, the first sign that something was wrong when he had turned up three days earlier. The letter confirming that his request for an extension had been accepted. The motive was stated simply as “personal reasons”, quotation marks and all, callous and cold on the page. He had been granted another twelve months. From his position at her side where she was curled up on the couch, he watched her lips purse as she read it, he met her eyes when they sought his out, and he nodded his acquiescence before heading to his childhood room, knowing that she would tell the rest of the family that his visit would last longer than just a weekend. The next morning, he found the letter on the fridge, a small pumpkin magnet left over from Halloween holding it in place amongst the clutter of family pictures and various lists. “Personal reasons” mocking him, yet wrapped up in the gentle reminder that his stay was welcome but that his bullshit would not be, at least not past the expiration date at the bottom of the page, script33


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ed generic hopes to see him next fall. He smiled as he got started on making breakfast for everyone. Two days after that, his mother handed him a hair net and some gloves, gave him a little slap on the cheek, and informed him that if he was staying with them for that long he would have to work. His family didn’t even own the restaurant he had grown up working in anymore, but according to her it was a matter of principle. Earning your keep, no free rides, all that. She had already made arrangements with the current owner for him to work in the kitchen a few days a week. She left the room mumbling things about the ridiculousness of “needing a break” and how it was white nonsense and how she had raised him better than that. His uncle never asked about any of it, just patted his hair a few times whenever he walked by, making a gruff noise like he approved of the length, the cut, the change. His brother remained stone cold quiet whenever he was there, but that wasn’t anything new, eight years of silence weighing at their feet, making them incapable of taking any of the steps forward needed to fix the broken thing that lay between them. So he helped around the house, he appreciated the space they granted him and they appreciated his presence, carved somewhere between where his younger self fit and the new patterns he’d shaped himself into, somewhere between the dimpled carefree grin on the pictures lining the walls and the tired face he met in the mirror every morning that felt more like him. It wasn’t as comfortable as it once would have been, back when his brother still looked him in the eye, but the awkward questions had faded out over the years with each of his visits into this constructed new normal that he could now settle back into, as himself this time around. They tried, he did too. Work was a different story. Despite his family having sold the restaurant a decade before, the ties remained, with him, the city, his family, they were still 34


imprinted in his skin, in the burns on his collarbone from when he’d been tall enough to properly reach the oven, the calluses on his fingers that had never quite smoothed over despite the cushy lifestyle he’d built around himself, far away from the chaos and fire that had forged him. He may have only allowed himself to become who he was when he had left home, but he knew what he owed the turmoil of that place. It didn’t all come back naturally, not right away. He’d gone soft from years of academia, his movements choppy and slow, his reflexes even worse. Somehow, he used to handle a knife better when he was a child than he did as an adult with two degrees to his name, much to the amusement of the rest of the staff. Now they were a whole other situation. Most of them had either watched him grow up or done so alongside him, family, friends, and old classmates. There, the uncomfortable questions hadn’t quite made the switch to well-intended yet, but he answered diligently, the same way he did with the customers. He knew when to let things slide, when to correct, when to soothe their misplaced guilt. He knew most of it wasn’t malicious, just different hues of ignorance and confusion that had already started to fade by the end of his first week at work. When he got home at the end of his first shift without incidents, his bed was still as unmade as he had purposefully left it that morning, his towel was where he had haphazardly hung it to dry, creased and somehow still a little damp. He grinned as he folded it himself, clearly his mother was done with treating him like a guest rather than the brat she’d raised – he had been allowed nearly two weeks of pampering. He felt some relief that he could go back to making his own bed, back to not wondering if she was snooping through his belongings while he was out. He could finally do his own laundry again. “What are you smiling about?” His sister asked, nail scratching absentmind35


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edly at the faded sticker on his door that still had both their names on it in pink. “Mom’s finally given up on me,” He answered with a snort. His sister looked up too quickly, understanding only settling after she noticed the state of his bed, the folded towel in his lap. He frowned, something uncomfortable prickling at his skin. “Ah, I’ve tapped into something there,” he concluded, pulling his legs up to curl beneath him and patting the empty space next to him. “Is this a recent crisis or just an ongoing one?” She rolled her eyes and joined him, pushing the towel off his knees just to make him fold it again. “Neither, really. I think we’re all just worried. You still haven’t even told us what happened, which means it’s not something you want to explain because you think we won’t get it.” He winced. “I just... couldn’t be there anymore. At least not right now.” She huffed. “‘Personal reasons’, right? So was yours a crisis of faith or identity?” “What if it's neither?” He asked, voice quiet and careful, letting the sting roll off him. A pause. “It's never neither. Not with you.” In the silence that settled around them, he wondered if she was also remembering the first time he’d run away from college, had come home for a week during his freshman year of undergrad, chaos and doubt so deeply embedded into his bones he’d barely listened to reason. He had made the choice to leave his family, his city, had worked hard his entire life to be able to choose a school that would grant him both a future and a place to be himself far away from his childhood home, yet, when it all felt like too much, that’s where he always ended up. That’s where he could let his mother coddle him for her benefit rather than his own, where he could shoulder his brother’s resentment like the branded 36


reminder of the choices he’d made and the ones he hadn’t, where his sister would play as the interpreter between them and all the unspoken pain they kept on their sleeves, tugged down over their fists. But the first time he’d come home, new name a comforting secret beneath his tongue every time the one he’d always known in that house was used, clothes loose around his body, what he found wasn’t the easy comfort he was seeking. The conversation about his short hair had lasted an hour, the one about his selfishness and ungrateful silence another two. And then his brother had come home from work, barely 19, vindictive, and so very angry. His brother’s words from that night were still as vivid and real a wound as the burns at the base of his throat, betrayal over having been left behind leaking out of him like venom as he told him to return to his ivory tower and called him a coward, a bitch. Kept saying the wrong name over and over until he yelled back at him to stop calling him that. Until he screamed out his real name, the one his new friends at school had all used without hesitation, the one he’d been able to use on the paperwork to start his PhD, and the paperwork for the extension. His sister had driven him back to the train station before the dust could settle, wanting to keep him shielded from the effects of surprise and misguided worry, reminded him that they were still family, that he could just be her brother now. As he sat there on his childhood bed years later, he wondered if she knew how grateful he was for that night, for getting him out of there, for fielding all the communication between them for the two years it took before the dust did finally settle. That same dust and ash he carried in his lungs, consequences of the fire in his chest they’d all inherited, the passion and fervor burning them all on the 37


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inside from generation to generation, its smoke choking and unforgiving when it grew too hot, but what happened when that fire consumed one of them? When it died out? None of the people in his family had ever let that happen. None of them needed to run away to put themselves back together, to squeeze their eyes shut and cover their mouths until the world made sense again, to force themselves to breathe in clear and clean air until the weight of the universe stopped pressing along their spine. Only he seemed to crumble under the pressure of his own design. Maybe that’s why he kept coming back, needed to remind himself of their strength when he couldn’t find his own. But also, just maybe, to remind himself of who he was in a place where he hadn’t had the courage to be himself, that person he had turned into away from the chaos. The slow realization made his mind spin, both pacifying and rattling him, his heartbeat, his breathing, the embers beneath his ribs. Nothing to make him fathom his own existence, but just enough to make his fingers stop twitching under the guilt he’d branded into himself. So he talked. He told her everything, both of them knowing that she wouldn’t be able to understand everything, but she listened and held his hand, like they used to do as kids. She cried with him, sobbed into his sleeve as the final pretenses dropped, giving way for raw and terrifying honesty, one they hadn’t felt since they were children and didn’t know better, since before he had stopped being her sister. She apologized for things she had and hadn’t done, he did as well, starting to forgive each other and themselves in the process. It was terrifying to know that there was so much beneath the surface of the strongest relationship he had with a family member, which made him wonder about the foundations of all of their relationships. He had just finished telling her about something mundane and light when 38


something caught her attention in the doorway, pulling his along as well. Their brother was there, eyes bright and jaw clenched, but it wasn’t the usual anger pulling at the slope of his shoulders. They were slack and loose, almost like in grief, sadness, regret, shame, all of the things that had been passed back and forth between his sister and him for hours. A mixture of panic and relief gripped him as it clicked that he had heard some of it, if not all, their words having leaked through the open door, reaching his brother’s ears that had been deaf to his existence for so long. So very long. His brother looked away first, but before heartbreak and sorrow could stir the ash any further, he placed a hand on the door, eyebrows knitted in determination, and started scratching at the sticker there, the one with a name that no longer belonged to anyone in that household. It took an awkward amount of time given that the sticker had been there decades, but the gesture was there, heavy and important between them. “It needs to be updated,” he mumbled afterwards. “It should say Andre.” It was the first time his brother had spoken to him directly in years. It was a start.

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The Kavanaugh Hearing and Questions of Hegemonic Masculinity By: Iona Ellsworth

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Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States was wrought with a level of political tension and division that the country had not seen in decades. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, coming at an already politically charged moment in American history, became a catalyst for discussion and analyses about the meaning, or lack thereof, of manhood across all facets of society. Kavanaugh supporters viewed him as an honorable and highly qualified justice turned victim of an elaborate, left-wing smear campaign with the goal of damaging Republican prospects in the upcoming midterm elections (Williams 2). His detractors, however, saw him not just as a sexual predator, but also as a representative and long-term supporter of innately sexist ideologies threatening women’s rights (Filipovic 25). To the latter group, Kavanaugh was a product of hegemonic masculinity: a system that aims to convince individual men that “true” manhood must be continuously proven to, and validated by, the patriarchy through the accumulation of power, success and control (Kimmel 76). The theories developed in Michael Kimmel’s article “Masculinity as Homophobia” explore the concept of hegemonic masculinity and help us understand to what extent the Brett Kavanaugh hearing might be considered an example of hegemonic masculinity. To Kavanaugh supporters, the hearing had nothing to do with hegemonic masculinity, but was rather an elaborate smear campaign on the part of the Democrats. This interpretation is not hard to reach given the political background at the time. The Democratic party, of which Blasey Ford is a part of, was opposed to Kavanaugh’s nomination from 42

the outset. Months before Blasey Ford went public, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee were already working to postpone Kavanaugh’s confirmation (Berenson 8). Democratic opposition to Kavanaugh was based on his conservative ideologies and may also have been driven by resentment of the Republicans successful thwarting of an Obama-appointed replacement for Justice Scalia in 2016 (Ball 31). Kavanaugh, however, being highly qualified by and popular with Republican congressmen, did not prove to be easily discredited by the Democrats, who Republicans allege repeatedly delayed voting in an effort to find something controversial to expose about him (Talbott & Wodele 7). Hence, it is possible that a frustrated Democratic party saw an opportunity for a last-ditch effort at eliminating Kavanaugh through “sexual McCarthyism” (Kirby 27). The success of the #MeToo movement created the perfect atmosphere for Democrats to employ sexual McCarthyism — the process of breaching a political figure’s sexual privacy as a means of ousting that figure from a position of power or influence (Goldstein & Zilberman 36). Skeptics of the #MeToo movement charge that it used sexual McCarthyist tactics, with intimate details of prominent men’s sex lives often published for the public to scrutinize. Most importantly, the #MeToo movement was incredibly successful at slandering the reputation of otherwise well-regarded men, in many cases seriously damaging, if not altogether ending their careers. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider that the Democratic party may have seen an opportunity for a similar takedown of Kavanaugh to the ones that had been so highly publicized in Hollywood over the previous year. When considering the


political victory that a dodged Kavanaugh appointment would mean for the Democrats, it is clear that any deliberate manipulation on their part of the Blasey Ford allegation would fall under the category of sexual McCarthyism. Kavanaugh’s supporters thereby see the hearing not as a product of sexual assault or hegemonic masculinity, but as a purely political strategy of defamation tailored to take advantage of the current public tensions around sexual harassment in the United States; a cunningly opportunistic use of sexual McCarthyism. If, on the other hand, one analyzes the Kavanaugh hearing through the theories outlined in Kimmel’s article, crucial elements of the situation become notably linked to questions of gender. Kimmel’s theoretical framework encourages consideration of the Kavanaugh hearing as an example of the effects of societally constructed ideas of masculinity that Kavanaugh, being a member of the most privileged sector of men, would likely be affected by (76). Therefore, if analyzed in terms of Kimmel’s article, the Kavanaugh hearing is crucially and undeniably linked to and affected by questions of hegemonic masculinity. Take the similarities between Kimmel’s description of the “Marketplace Man” and aspects of Kavanaugh’s character. Kimmel uses the term Marketplace Man to describe one of the most prominent expressions of masculinity that the modern-day American man is expected to adopt, one that relies completely on individual acquisition of power and status in a homosocial (i.e., male dominated), capitalist environment (76). This model of masculinity idealizes a certain type of man — the white, heterosexual, college educated man — above all others (76). Marketplace Manhood is in-

strumental to the perpetuation of an overarching hegemonic masculinity wherein the meaning of manhood is governed by an impossibly narrow standard set and maintained by other men. Kavanaugh’s life and career choices placed him at the center of various realms and institutions that uphold hegemonic masculinity and create Marketplace Men. For one, Kavanaugh enrolled at Yale University in 1983, only twelve years after the university saw its first co-ed class graduate (Heinzelman 2002). Twelve years is certainly not long enough to eliminate structures of hegemonic masculinity that were no doubt deeply ingrained in such a prestigious, male-dominated institution of that era. As Heinzelman details, the first few generations of women attending Yale were routinely subject to sexual harassment at the hands of students and professors alike (2002). This is a classic example of, as Kimmel puts it, men feeling “so threatened by women... that women become the targets of sexual harassment” (82). Considering the decades of exclusively male attendance at Yale, it is likely that these deeply rooted practices of hegemonic masculinity were still prevalent during Kavanaugh’s attendance, and that he would be affected by this environment. Additionally, Kavanaugh’s three years as a sportswriter for the Yale Daily News is evidence of his familiarity with all male college sports teams, organizations that exist to foster homosocial competition by design (Helfand 2018). Amongst all else, Kavanaugh’s association with fraternities stands alone as a topic of concern when it comes to the effect that marketplace masculinity may have had on his upbringing. During his time at Yale, Kavanaugh joined the Delta Kappa Epilson 43


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fraternity (Jackson 1). As Kimmel explains, “Marketplace Manhood was a manhood that required proof... It reconstituted itself by the exclusion of ‘others’... and by terrified flight into a pristine mythic homosocial Eden where men could, at last, be real men among other men” (75). Fraternities, as organizations that require inductees to undergo painful and humiliating hazing rituals in order to be accepted into an exclusive brotherhood, certainly fit Kimmel’s bill. Considering that Delta Kappa Epilson is known for particularly brutal and misogynistic practices, it is a virtually incontrovertible fact that Kavanaugh comes from a world that actively ascribes to masculine ideals upheld through Marketplace Manhood and the stronghold of hegemonic masculinity (Jackson 1). This part of Kavanaugh’s history may also explain why he felt comfortable pursuing a career in law, one of the most male dominated fields with virtually unlimited opportunity to prove individual power within a group of men. In this sense, Kavanaugh’s career choice could be interpreted as a mere continuation of the flight to the homosocial Eden that he had already begun by early adulthood. Considering Kavanaugh’s history of inhabiting spaces saturated by hegemonic masculinity, it is no surprise that he has adopted characteristics of the quintessential Marketplace Man as his own. One of the defining traits of the Marketplace Man is, as 44

Kimmel puts it, that he “derive[s] his identity entirely from his success in the capitalist marketplace, as he accumulate[s] wealth, power, status” (75). During his testimony, Kavanaugh repeatedly referred to the long list of credentials that make up his “good name.” By continuously mentioning his achievements,

"Kavanaugh's inability to retain his composure is telling of the fragility and fear that exists within hegemonic masculinity" everything from his Ivy League education to traveling the world under the Bush Administration, Kavanaugh was attempting to prove his worth through evidence of his success. Having already spent a wealth of time in spaces dominated by hegemonic masculinity, he probably viewed the hearing as an extension of what he had already come to know and expect from his male superiors: a demand for renewed proof, a test granting entrance to an elite club. Therefore, by equating his identity with his achievements, Kavanaugh was merely acting in the way that had worked for him in the past when facing demands from powers of dominant male hegemony. Another one of Kimmel’s characterization of the Marketplace Man that Kavanaugh demonstrated during his testimony was aggression and anxiety (76). One has only to listen to a recording to get a clear sense of the anger with which Kavanaugh began his opening statement. Registering in a near-yell,


Kavanaugh unleashed open-ended threats within the first minute of testimony, stating that “what goes around comes around” while grimacing angrily around the courtroom (Kavanaugh 01:00). This aggression was quickly overtaken by anxiety, with Kavanaugh lowering his tone of voice, and dissolving into tears not long after finally addressing the allegations of sexual assault (03:40). Kavanaugh’s inability to retain his composure is telling of the fragility and fear that exists within hegemonic masculinity. As Kimmel states, the individual man “believes he will overcome his fear by identifying with its source. [He] become[s] masculine by identifying with [his] oppressor” (78). Hence, Kavanaugh’s aggression was a means of proving his masculine capacity for oppression and intimidation. However, that same aggression is built upon and driven by the intense fear and anxiety caused by other men, and Kavanaugh was ultimately unable to isolate these two emotions, as they are integral to one another. Kavanaugh’s testimony was, therefore, the perfect demonstration of the plight of the Marketplace Man. If one chooses to believe that Kavanaugh used his testimony as an opportunity to prove the strength of his Marketplace Manhood, then the Senate’s reaction assumed an enormous responsibility. Rejecting Kavanaugh’s parade of accomplishments as proof that he is worthy, in the face of evidence of sexual assault, would have helped to dismantle the notion that a man’s power and success is the ultimate measure of his character. Therefore, by voting against confirmation, Senators would have taken a step towards weakening the grip of hegemonic masculinity on the United States. In reality, the Senate’s decision to confirm

Kavanaugh supports Kimmel’s theory that displays of Marketplace Manhood are rewarded with both acceptance and the granting of elevated power and status. It is evident that certain Senators were impressed by Kavanaugh’s testimony, with many commending him for it, and some going as far as apologizing for the stress inflicted on him by the hearing. This sort of reaction shows that Congress is still easily swayed by the Marketplace Man and suggests that some Senators may even have experienced Kimmel’s theory of the paradox of power, in which those within the most powerful groups retain a feeling of individual powerlessness (80). This powerlessness may have caused a sense of inferiority within certain Senators when faced with Kavanaugh’s angry projection of masculinity, compelling them to apologize for the discrepancy of asking him to prove his masculinity in the first place. Hence by appearing masculine and threatening, Kavanaugh was able to use Kimmel’s paradox of power to his advantage, gleaning fear and votes from intimidated Senators, while experiencing intimidation himself (80). As Kimmel states, “... our definitions of masculinity are not equally valued in our society” (76): The Marketplace Man is valued above all in the United States. Having proved himself a Marketplace Man, Kavanaugh was ultimately rewarded with acceptance into the Supreme Court, one of the most valued spaces of hegemonic masculinity in existence, with ninety-five percent of all Supreme Court Justices being white men since its establishment over two centuries ago (Connley & Hess 2018). This historically hegemonic space has the power to enforce its standards, through the system of law, over the entire country for decades to come. In this sense, Kavana45


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ugh fought for, and achieved, as close to complete power as any individual man can hope to acquire within the structures of hegemonic masculinity. His opinion on gender — influenced as it is by his experiences with hegemonic masculinity — now has the power to profoundly influence the wellbeing of all Americans. By comparing the sexual McCarthyism argument with Kimmel’s theories, the error in neglecting to acknowledge the influence of hegemonic masculinity on the hearing becomes apparent. While there may be a valid basis for asking whether sexual McCarthyism was at play, that does not change the fact that Kavanaugh comes from a deeply gendered world; one that has groomed him to view his status among other men as integral to his being. This is the very notion that allowed him to focus on his personal success story throughout the hearing, a success which is irrefutably irrelevant to his capacity for committing sexual assault. Additionally, when emphasized by the aggression and anxiety that Kavanaugh displayed throughout, the influence of hegemonic masculinity on his character becomes ever clearer. The Senate’s decision to confirm him illuminated the continued existence of these same constructions within the institution of the United States Congress. The hearing was, therefore, absolutely an example of the issue of hegemonic masculinity in today’s world.

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Works Cited Ball, Molly, et al. “The Cost to the Court.” Time, vol. 192, no. 14, Oct. 2018, pp. 28–32. EBSCOhost. Berenson, Tessa. “Democrats Struggle to Stop Brett Kavanaugh.” Time, vol. 192, no. 11, Sept. 2018, pp. 7–8. Connley, Courtney, and Abigail Hess. “95 Percent of Supreme Court Justices Have Been White Men.” CNBC, CNBC, 9 Oct. 2018. Filipovic, Jill. “A Conservative Court Will Undoubtedly Target Roe.” Time, vol. 192, no. 3, July 2018, p. 25. oldstein, Richard, and Michael Zilberman. “Sexual McCarthyism.” Village Voice, vol. 43, no. 39, 29 Sept. 1998, p. 36. Ellsworth 9 Heinzelman, Kate. “Yale's First Classes of Women Look Back.” Yale Daily News Milgram Experiment 50 Years on Comments, 2002, Helfand, Zach. “Big, Strong, Psyched.” New Yorker, vol. 94, no. 25, Aug. 2018, pp. 26–27. Jackson, Megan. "Kavanaugh Hearing Highlights a Dark Part of College Life." UWIRE Text, 2 Oct. 2018, p. 1. Kavanaugh, Brett. “Brett Kavanaugh’s Opening Statement: Full Transcript.” The New York Times, 27 Sept. 2018, Kimmel, Michael S. 2. Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear, Shame, and Silence in the Construction of Gender Identity. State University of New York Press, 2005. Kirby, David. “Sexual McCarthyism.” Advocate, no. 778, Feb. 1999, p. 27.

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ARTIST STATEMENT

Sabrina Lee Moldy Smith is an artist, designer, and entrepreneur. She realizes her visions through color, glitter, and garbage.

Instagram: @moldysmith

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Sexual Dissidents in United States Asylum Law 52


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To be ‘gay’, I think, is not to identify with the psychological traits and the visible masks of the homosexual, but to try to define and develop a way of life.” --Michel Foucault, (Friendship as a Way of Life) A diversity of refugees from different national, cultural, and sexual backgrounds come to the United States in order to seek asylum based on sexuality-related persecution. Upon arrival, they discover that in order to be recognized by immigration courts they must fit neatly into the LGBT acronym. To understand what this means in asylum law’s restrictions and contradictions, I will explore particular legal narratives of sexual dissident refugees. This chapter analyzes two cases, Razkane v. Holder (2009) and Amanfi v. Ashcroft (2003) to interrogate the logic of the reasoning behind the immigration judges’ (IJ) and the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) decisions, and where their definitions of identity fail to capture the complexity of their social contexts and identity. In both cases, asylum applicants face barriers in achieving recognition of their membership in the LGBT social group. These barriers demonstrate the limits in the courts’ understanding of sexuality. Examining these cases inspires the question of the performative nature of sexuality: is sexuality something one does or something one is? An immutable characteristic or a matter of context? To explore these questions of identity further, I will employ Wendy Brown and Michel Foucault’s political theory on identity and how their ideas offer a framework to understand narra54

tive formation of queer refugees in the asylum application process. Razkane: Gay Enough? The Jury is Out Razkane v. Holder (10th Circuit, 2009) involves the asylum application of a gay Moroccan man, Tarik Razkane. Razkane entered the United States in August 2003. After overstaying his visa in December 2004 he received a Notice to Appear, which began deportation proceedings. In Morocco, Razkane hid his sexuality from almost everyone in his life. Neither family nor friends knew about his homosexuality, and he did not pursue any romantic affairs. He had only a few gay friends. Despite his discretion, one evening, a neighbor targeted Razkane, pulled a knife on his neck, and declared, “[his] death is better than [his] life since [he is] gay” (Tarik RAZKANE, Petitioner, v. Eric H. HOLDER, Jr.). After the attack, Razkane feared future assaults. He worried that his friends and family would discover his sexuality; he worried they would reject him for it, and most important he feared the authorities and the threat of imprisonment for homosexual acts under Morocco’s Penal Code 489 (Tarik RAZKANE, Petitioner, v. Eric H. HOLDER, Jr.). The Fulbright Program offered Razkane the chance leave Morocco and pursue his studies in the United States. During his testimony before the IJ, Razkane submitted expert testimonies and affidavits to prove the dangers that homosexuals experience in Morocco. Social ostracism, police brutality, instances of beatings, rape, and harassment all worked in tandem, he argued, to create a hostile environment for sexual dissidents. Flirting with a member of the same sex and socializing with other gay people in public spaces meant jeopardizing


one’s safety. (Tarik RAZKANE, Petitioner, v. Eric H. HOLDER, Jr.) Homophobic beliefs, Razkane continued, were rampant in Morocco, inspiring violence against even suspected homosexuals. As a result, those with same sex desires monitored themselves to evade suspicion—they must depend on themselves for protection. L'Association Marocaine des Droits Humains (Moroccan Association of Human Rights, AMDH) reports, “It is not possible for LGBT persons to ask for and obtain efficient protection from the police, neither when an LGBT person fears for his or her security nor when a person has already been a victim of unfair treatment either at home or in the public space” (Morocco Situation of LGBT Persons). An asylum applicant must demonstrate that they are a member of a particular social group that has been persecuted. For asylum seekers applying based on sexuality related persecution, this requirement carries even more weight: they must prove their sexual identity. A typically private and culturally nuanced phenomena must become public and comprehensible in the court’s terms. Razkane v. Holder focuses on whether or not the persecution the applicant suffered inspired legitimate fear of future persecution. However, to further understand what is meant by “particular social group,” I will explore the way in which the IJ dismisses Razkane’s sexuality, and hence his membership to the LGBT social group. The IJ emphasizes the visibility (or lack thereof ) of Razkane’s gay persona. The judge understands a man to be visibly gay if that man performs the archetype of male effeminacy. The government asked multiple questions involving the assumption that certain individuals appear “gay.” [...] The government’s lawyer asked

Razkane if Moroccan people would identify him as gay by the way he talked, dressed, and moved. Razkane answered in the affirmative. The government lawyer went on to ask Razkane’s country conditions expert his opinion as to what would happen to someone who “looked . . . gay” while walking the streets in Morocco, to which the expert responded “Ma’am, I’m sorry, I can’t help you with that. I just don’t know what it means to look like a gay.” In his oral ruling, the IJ found Razkane’s “appearance does not have anything about it that would designate [him] as being gay. [He] does not dress in an effeminate manner or affect any effeminate mannerisms (Tarik RAZKANE, Petitioner, v. Eric H. HOLDER, Jr.). The judge interprets the danger Razkane faces based on what other people might discern of his sexuality via visual cues, including the way he talks, dresses, and moves. Because Razkane did not appear gay to the IJ, the IJ concluded that the threat of future danger to him was limited. For this reason, the IJ determined Razkane had not proven his persecution based on membership to a social group and denied his request. The BIA adopted and affirmed the IJ’s decision. In response to this erroneous stereotyping, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals references the case Ali v. Mukasey (2nd Circuit 2008), where a Guyanese man, following multiple deportations and illegal reentries from and to the United States, applied for asylum based on police violence, torture, and rape. During one of the multiple appeals, the petitioner Ali testifies that his homosexuality motivated the police violence: Ali stated that before he was raped, the police officers “curse [d] [him] and called [him] anti-man, [which] means faggot.” He further testified that the punishment in Guyana for sodomy 55


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is life in prison, and that he would be tortured if imprisoned for that crime. Ali explained that he did not raise his sexual orientation earlier in the proceedings because he did not consider himself gay at that time (Peter Conrad ALI, Petitioner, v. Michael B. MUKASEY). The IJ in Ali does not recognize the petitioner’s sexuality either, and assesses homosexuality in a similar way to Razkane. Ali confronts suspicion and hostility when he tells the court he is gay, because he did not raise his sexual orientation at the outset. The assumption here appears to be that when someone is truly gay then they have known their whole life—and therefore the petitioner must have fabricated a gay identity to gain asylum. Is it not possible, plausible even, that Ali began to associate with this term and identity, gay, after spending time in a culture where that identity is readily available and not condemnable by law? Ironically, the term “anti-man,” or faggot, used by the police denotes similar sentiment as the judge in Razkane: gay men are lesser, more feminine men. In Ali the IJ states that “violent dangerous criminals and feminine contemptible homosexuals are not usually considered to be the same people” (Peter Conrad ALI, Petitioner, v. Michael B. MUKASEY). From this assumption, the IJ concludes that Ali would not be identified as a member of this social group upon reentry to his home country. What’s more, the IJ determined that Ali’s homosexuality would not become an issue because he would first “need a partner or cooperating person,” which the judge finds impossible based on the list of negative characteristics condemning the petitioner. The judge concludes that “the picture of [Ali] as a proud, professed homosexual in Guyana seems 56

to be more an expression of wishful thinking than something that's particularly likely to come true” (Peter Conrad ALI, Petitioner, v. Michael B. MUKASEY). The judge hits on a small truth here; conditions in Guyana would certainly would not allow Ali to be a proud, professed homosexual. Yet the IJ seems all too eager to send him back to this fate. Even more striking, the IJ uses the repressive, homophobic conditions in Guyana against the petitioner: because he cannot profess his homosexuality, he is not at risk. This case mirrors that of Razkane because both judges maintain similar authoritative beliefs on what constitutes a homosexual existence: it is intrinsically effeminate. A review of the asylum application by a Romani woman persecuted for her Millenist faith Cosa v. Mukasey (9th Circuit 2008) reveals another flawed case in which the IJ’s unchecked stereotypes determine whether or not a petitioner qualifies as a member of a social group. The IJ in this case found that the petitioner was not credible “on everything from how Cosa should dress and wear her hair to comport with her beliefs to what books of the Bible are most important — and the IJ’s disdain for Cosa’s religious beliefs” (Peter Conrad ALI, Petitioner, v. Michael B. MUKASEY). In both cases, the IJs employ biased misconceptions to judge the petitioner’s appearance and its connection to their social class. From these stereotypes, they drew conclusions determining whether the applicants’ claims were valid, and if the danger they feared in their home country merited refuge. To the IJs these beliefs seem like common sense, rather they reflect how vulnerable the respective populations are to misconceptions. With Razkane, Ali, and Cosa, their respective identities from gay to


Millenist were given meaning by the courts. Those identities motivated persecution in their home countries and failed to help protect them from it in the United States. Power rests among those who have the power to define and produce the subject. Razkane v. Holder represents only one case in a larger trend in asylum laws whereby state actors invalidate gay men’s sexuality via stereotypical notions of gay effeminacy. Two other cases follow this pattern re Soto Vega v. Ashcroft (2004) and Shahinaj v. Gonzales (2007). In both, the judges discredited gay men by pointing their masculine “heterosexual” presentation. The judges punished these performances of masculinity, reasoning that if these people did not appear visibly gay to them, then they were in no danger of being discovered in their respective home countries. But as I will show, the visible presentation of one’s sexual identity is not the sole way in which LGBTQ people are vulnerable to danger. These rulings disregard cultural differences between the US and non-Western countries: to go unnoticed in a largely homophobic culture Razkane needed to perform masculine standards: “The tactics employed by members of the LGBT community to avoid threats of homophobic violence include self-censorship and caution about how to walk, talk and behave in public areas” (Morocco Situation of LGBT Persons). In a different culture his gender performance would not necessarily change to be more feminine, as expressions of gay sexuality are plural and ever-expanding. The consequences of this set of cases are far-reaching: gay Mexican men in the US have cited Soto Vega v. Ashcroft as the case that deterred them from applying for asylum (Epstein 249). The IJ in Razkane v. Holder emphasized the

specific phrasing of Moroccan laws which prohibits homosexual acts, not homosexual identities. Put more simply, the IJ bought into the insipid logic of the law: one has the freedom to be a gay person but should be punished for acting like one. The IJ draws importance to this specific phrasing of the law, as if it grants the petitioner more choice and liberty, and less to fear. Finally, the IJ fails to consider how gay desire may be visible beyond and outside of effeminacy. What the judge sees of Razkane in court hardly encapsulates his experience of attraction or romance in Morocco. Consider sly yet lingering looks of attraction between two men: though momentary, they seem almost inevitable for those whose sexuality has limited outlets of expression. In the context of a culture entrenched with homophobia and anti-homosexual laws, if the wrong person were to notice Razkane expressing gay desire, his safety may be endangered. Such a minute act has profound risk. Living with this knowledge, and the fear that it invokes, requires vigilant self-monitoring. One must avoid suspicion let alone detection (Morocco Situation of LGBT Persons). The IJ points to Razkane’s lack of boyfriends or gay encounters in Morocco as proof that he would not be spotted by the authorities for his sexuality. But he mixes up the cause and effect. In truth it is rather the opposite: Razkane’s isolation from other gay men is a consequence of the fear he feels. Amanfi: Too Gay for Ghana, Too Straight for the States The matter of Amanfi v. Ashcroft (Third Circuit 2003) provides another example of the problematics in determining whether an appli57


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cant is a member of a particular social group, and illuminates the larger problems of identity. Kwasi Amanfi is a man from Ghana who, due to his father’s religious affiliations, was kidnapped and tortured by a cult by the name of “macho men.” Drawing from his knowledge of cult ritual practices, which he was lucky enough to learn from his grandfather, he feared the “macho men” were going to use him as human sacrifice for their religious ritual. Amanfi knew of one thing which would make him ineligible for human sacrifice: engaging in homosexual sex. During the macho men’s purification process, Amanfi was trapped in the same room as a man named Kojo. To save their lives, the men initiated homosexual behavior and were caught by their captors. The macho men beat them before bringing them to the police station, where they informed the officers that these men were homosexuals. Afterwards, the police drew a large crowd to share amongst the public audience that these men were homosexuals. Amanfi and Kojo were stripped naked and feared attacks. The men endured daily beatings by the police, and when Kojo eventually died a policeman “stepped on his testicles” (Kwasi Amanfi v. John Ashcroft) as the final act of castration. On an election day in Ghana, after more than two months in police custody, Amanfi found his opportunity to escape. With help from his cousin, he was able to procure the finances and documents, including an illegal Canadian passport, that he needed to flee the country. He flew into JFK Airport in New York City where he was subsequently stopped by border control. He had hoped to travel through New York as a layover to Canada, his intended destination to apply for asylum. Due to the interruption, he opened a case in the 58

United States asking for asylum based on his imputed membership to the social group of LGBT people. The IJ found discrepancies between Amanfi’s testimonies, so he denied the asylum application and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) based on credibility. The IJ also took issue with the lack of evidence the petitioner submitted that would prove the practice of human sacrifice in Ghana. The BIA dismissed Amanfi’s appeal on the basis that he did not qualify as one of the five recognized groups that could claim refugee status. In other words, Amanfi cannot be a member of a particular social group, homosexual, because he does not identify as a homosexual. The definition of the particular social group that sets immutability as the determining factor: “[W] hatever the common characteristic that defines the group, it must be one that the members of the group either cannot change, or should not be required to change because it is fundamental to their individual identities or consciences” (Blake). In contrast with Razkane v. Holder, whose case was denied on the basis that he lacked contact with other gay men and his stereotypically ‘straight’ demeanor, the BIA denied Amanfi asylum because he did not consider himself gay and therefore, the BIA reasoned, cannot be considered a part of the social group. Even though the petitioner was incredibly well known (ie visible) by government officials for his homosexual acts. Razkane can have identity without the act, whereas Amanfi has the act without the identity. According to the BIA, membership to a social group of sexual minorities is based on how one iden-


tifies not how one acts, but that identity must look a certain way for the courts to recognize it as valid. When discussing credibility in asylum law, we must consider the difficulty of recounting a story, even one’s own story, precisely the same way multiple times, especially when a story involves traumatic events. This absurd pressure rests on the shoulders of asylum applicants who need a solid testimony to gain state protection. Considering how desperate the situation was for Amanfi, and how retelling traumatic events becomes even more difficult when the among the first thing to happen after a traumatic event is for our psyches to repress those memories. Inability to recall key features of the trauma is one of the diagnostic criteria of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the DSM-V. In this light, it does not seem surprising that there were inconsistencies in his testimonies. It should also be noted that Amanfi’s original trajectory was to seek asylum in Canada, and such interruptions of his plans for refuge may have interfered with his first tellings of his persecution narrative. Cases such as Lukawago v. Ashcroft, Al Najjar v. Ashcroft, Morales v. INS, were cited by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to show how persecution based on imputed political opinion set the precedent for asylum eligibility. In the matter of Lukawago, a young man fled from Uganda after forced child military service in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). He built his case around his membership of the social group “[children] from Northern Uganda who have escaped from involuntary servitude after being abducted and enslaved by the LRA,” (Lukwago v. Ashcroft) but the court would not recognize that as a legitimate social group to which he could be a member to

because childhood is not immutable. Yet children were targeted and abducted specifically because of their vulnerable impressionable age. Later, once modified and remanded, the case highlighted Lukawago’s imputed anti-LRA political opinion as the grounds for his persecution, which of course was specifically tied to his membership to the social group of child soldiers. Similar to Amanfi, the specificity of an immutable characteristic being the determining factor to qualify as a refugee is far too narrow to capture the complexity, fluidity, and contextual factors that go into identity formation. Lukawago will always have that child soldier experience fixed within him, just as Amanfi will always have participated in homosexual acts to save himself from human sacrifice. These unchangeable circumstances both contributed to persecution, yet neither was dubbed fitting the grounds for “membership to a social group;” These cases suggest that the ways in which immigration law in the United States qualifies identity are underpinned by prejudices and assumptions, making the vulnerable populations at the mercy of a complex disciplinary system. Identity, Disciplinary Power, and the ‘Universal’ LGBT In States of Injury, Wendy Brown grapples with issues of identity politics and the formation of political identity in the contemporary moment of liberal democracy in the United States. In her chapter “Wounded Attachments,” Brown employs Foucault and Nietzsche, to analyze what forms of emancipatory projects are available to us liberal subjects with our attachments to identity and injury that produce our understandings of 59


ROACHES MAGAZINE Issue No. 02 marginal positions in society. Although she because knowledge and language are the tools specifies that her project is not a global one, through which we understand our existence. but rather situated historically, geo-politically, Yet what we understand of sexuality from and culturally in the United States context, I the state actors in the cases explored here wish to use her arguments to imagine how it contradicts itself. Both cases iterate similar applies to US asylum law for a global diversity sentiments—that the petitioners aren’t gay of sexual dissident refugees. How might the enough to qualify for refugee status—though asylum law process use a complex historical they do so in nearly inverse ways. The state genealogy of identity to produce a particular sets a standard, albeit an amorphous one, for type of legally comprehensible subject? Can what qualifies as membership to the abstract we trace patterns to show how asylum law yet universal idea of LGBT group. Discreditrewards migrants whose applications follow ing the membership or imputed membership a narrative that affirms the mentalities of the to this group reflects how the particularistic bureaucratic disciplinary social order? “I’s” of the asylum seekers situates them as In an effort towards recognition, sexual individuals asking for recognition to LGBT dissident refugees must adopt the depomembership from the gatekeeping asylum liticized particularistic “I”, purporting “I officers. Amanfi cannot utter the particular am” statements, such as “I am gay/lesbian” “I am” statement that would allow the US to to show membership of a particular social acknowledge him a member of the persecuted group (LGBT). The bounds of that “group” social group that he was assumed to be a part are not easily discernible, as it represents an of by Ghanaian authorities. Razkane does not abstract idea of a group: “[I]n a smooth and conform to the imagined stereotypical “gay” legitimate liberal order, if the particularistic man that the IJ would recognize as in danger ‘I’s’ must remain unpoliticized, so also must of persecution. the universalistic ‘we’ remain without specific The United States legal system assumes content or aim, without a common good that identity-based claims for sexual minoriother than abstract universal representation ties’ rights is a universal model. In “Exporting or pluralism”(Brown). While claiming to be Identity,” Sonia Kaytal troubles this assumpa member of said group, what transpires in tion and its colonizing effects in Global LGBT the legal cases is intense individuation and Rights movements that export this discourse “an anatomy to detail” (Foucault, The History across cultures. The identity-based conception of Sexuality) common to disciplinary power. of sexuality does not transcend culture, “some The indeterminacy of the LGBT “group” cultures view homosexuality as an activity, not leaves room for various misinterpretations an identity; others view it as a necessary phase by state actors, as we see in both the matters in a quest for full-fledged adulthood; and still of Razkane v. Holder and Amanfi v. Ashcroft, others equate it with transgenderism.” Joseph where the state actors assert power to know, A. Massad also engages with the question of define, and exclude the petitioners from the the Gay International and how the Western group. For Foucault, knowledge and power are discourses produce lesbians and gays in the always intrinsically linked. People in positions Arab world, which despite liberatory intento produce knowledge wield immense power, tions actually fuels persecutory violence. Asy-

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lum narratives reflect how an asylee, no matter their cultural background, must adopt a clear cut sexual identity for any chance of achieving asylum on a sexuality related persecution

state — what the refugee wants isn’t sexual freedom, romantic love, or community, it is citizenship and state protection. Brown discusses how state protection sits at the center of identity politics’ so-called “emancipatory” projects instead of redistribution of power to serve disenfranchised groups. The relationship marginal groups have to power merits inves“If sexuality is an tigation, and Brown does so through both a Foucauldian and Nietzschean lens. immutable identity, As much as disciplinary power produces a matter of chance a subject, it also produces a drive for resistance, according to Foucault. Resistance and where people have liberation must always be understood as an no choice, then ongoing and active practice. Brown may call this potential for resistance a “curious optitheir desires have mism” (63), but it remains a theoretical detour no importance” worth travelling. Re-orienting a subject’s political engagement around action and desire is perhaps one necessary step towards achieving emancipation. Another step, which both claim. Brown and Foucault hit upon is the necessity Drawing on Foucault, how do discourses for “oppositional groupings” to facilitate on sexuality demand that when we discuss a liberatory project. A collective must act, sexuality we talk exclusively about identity and desire, and communicate together to achieve not about sex? When we talk about identity, an emancipatory political project. However, the conversation around desire disappears be- the individuation and redirection of desire cause dominant discourses have essentialized through the legal system’s disciplinary power conceptions of sexual identities. If sexuality work in tandem to create an impotent, deis an immutable identity, a matter of chance politicized, subject whose only goal becomes where people have no choice, then their state protection. desires have no importance. It is assumed that Razkane and Amanfi reveal two contrathey did not want their homosexual desires, dicting stories about the formation of a “gay” but that they are a victim to them. It becomes subject in asylum law. Sexuality becomes about who they are, not what they want. Not qualified not as an experience of one’s own only does taking away desire from the refugee complex existence, but must be a characteristic narratives depoliticize them but it redirects that follows the patterns of a particular group. what their desire could be towards state-inThe courts do not recognize that this “group,” terested projects. In other words, the realm LGBT, may not be available to people in of queer refugee desire is oriented around the countries where homosexuality is ostracised 61


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and that fitting within the characteristics of said group is not an innate experience across all sexual dissident life stories. Razkane’s masculine appearance allows the judge to exclude him from the LGBT group who would be vulnerable to state persecution, because the judge comes from a culture that allows him to recognize queerness based on visual performances. In many countries, especially countries where these refugees are coming from, being visibly queer could mean putting one’s life in danger. Amanfi, a subject who does not wish to be seen as homosexual and in no way associates with that experience, nonetheless is assumed to be so in Ghana because of his homosexual acts. The acts of sodomy inspired the persecution even if those actions were an isolated experience due to a horrible set of circum-

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stances. The particular social group standard for the protection of sexual dissidents is situated firmly within the United States cultural mindset of sexuality. This gives advantages to those who are familiar enough with the narrative expectations of sexuality, or those who have lawyers who can guide them to fulfill the expectations of a gay subject. However, the social group is only one in two necessary steps in the formation of a sexual dissident refugee narrative. The second step is to prove that one has a well-founded fear of future persecution. I turn to this topic in my next chapter.


Bibliography Blake, Jillian. “Getting to Group Under U.S. Asylum Law.” Notre Dame L. Rev. Online, 2015. Brown, Wendy. States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity. “Wounded Attachments” Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995. Cosa v. Mukasey, Attorney General, No. 04-75643, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 15 September 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/cases,USA_ CA_9,4a5c91092.html Epstein, Steven, and Héctor Carrillo. “Immigrant Sexual Citizenship: Intersectional Templates among Mexican Gay Immigrants to the USA.” Citizenship Studies, vol. 18, no. 3-4, Mar. 2014, pp. 259–276., doi:10.1080/13621025.2014.905266. Foucault, Michel. "Friendship as a Way of Life." Interview by R. De Ceccaty, J. Danet, and J. Le Bitoux. Foucault, Michel, and Robert Hurley. The History of Sexuality. London: Penguin Books, 1990. “DSM-5 Criteria for PTSD.” BrainLine, 14 Mar. 2018, www.brainline.org/article/dsm-5-criteria-ptsd. Katyal, Sonia. "Exporting Identity." SSRN Electronic Journal, 2002. doi:10.2139/ssrn.330061. Kwasi Amanfi v. John Ashcroft, Attorney General (United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit 2003). Lukwago v. Ashcroft, Attorney General (United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit 2003). Massad, Joseph Andoni. Desiring Arabs. “Re-Orienting Desire: The Gay International and the Arab World”. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2008. Morocco Situation of LGBT Persons. Report. The Danish Immigration Services, Ministry of Immigration and Integration. Copenhagen: Danish Immigration Service, 2017. Tarik RAZKANE, Petitioner, v. Eric H. HOLDER, Jr.,* United States Attorney General, Respondent. (United States Court of Appeals,Tenth Circuit 2009). United Nations. “Morocco: Situation of Sexual Minorities, Including Treatment by the Authorities and Society; the Application of Article 489 of the Penal Code and Cases with Convictions for Homosexuality; State Protection and Support Services (2010-October 2013).” Refworld, www.refworld.org/docid/53732cbf4.html. Peter Conrad ALI, Petitioner, v. Michael B. MUKASEY,1 Attorney General of the United States, Respondent. (United States Court of Appeals,Second Circuit. 2008).

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"B, dear, on s’aime" Gabrielle Guichard

Breath

marked

under

her

with

love,

placing

herself

she

finds

repose,

power

trusting with her control to know subtle freedom, caring

as

she

pulls

her

under

the

calm

heaven below the subliminal, held safe and close, deep

down

where

peace

burns

over blushed skin that bows pink for you, made

and

loved

to

succumb.

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Sisterhood Is Pervasive and Problematic:

By: Katherine of Buckley A Historiography the Term

“Sisterhood” in Feminism By: Katherine Buckley 66


A

t present, to use the term “Sisterhood” as a means forging a bond in any feminist circle would seem at best, naive, and at worst, offensive. This former-feminist rallying call has been theoretically torn to shreds by time and the intellectual contributions made by various feminist perspectives which have gained favor in the time since this term was in heavy-circulation. To conjure Sisterhood as an unproblematic uniting ideal seems to mitigate difference, boldly asserting that a shared female status trumps any form of distinction which might inhibit a bond. This notion of a feminist Sisterhood has perhaps become a relic of a bygone feminist era; however, this paper suggests that it is nonetheless a verbal artifact that warrants further investigation. This examination will take the form of an abbreviated historiography of Sisterhood as it existed in United States based feminisms during the “First and Second Waves” of feminism. Although Sisterhood manifested in various forms globally (particularly during this time period) around the world, it is beyond the scope of this work to analyze the history of Sisterhood in a global context. Although this examination of Sisterhood is centered on the First and Second Waves of U.S. feminism, this essay is, in fact, critical of the feminism in waves model put forth by traditional historiographies of this period in feminist history. Following the reasoning of Linda Nicolson articulated in her 2010 piece “Feminism in Waves: Useful Metaphor or Not?” to express the various women-centered movements which occurred in these periods using the waves model implies that “gender activism in

the history of the United States has been for the most part unified around one set of ideas, and that set of ideas can be called feminism” (p.50). This vision of history risks erasing divisions and contradictions that existed between various women’s movements during this period of time. The choice to develop this historiography of Sisterhood around a perhaps inadequate rendering of the history of women’s organizing is meant to further emphasize the complexity of feminist histories in the United States; rather than to bolster the notion that the idea of a First and Second wave sufficiently encapsulate the nuances of U.S. based feminist histories. Prior to examining the prominence of the term Sisterhood in the context of feminist organizing during the so-called U.S. First and Second Wave, it is important to note how the family has been used as metaphor in other critical political moments in history. Although appeals to kinship are a historically common

(Figure 1. Am I Not a Man and a Brother? 1837, Library of Congress. www.loc.gov/pictures/ item/2008661312/.)

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(Figure 2. Am I not a Woman and a Sister? 1837. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6726/)

rhetorical device in political speech, as it relates to feminism, the abolitionist movement in England at the end of the eighteenth century provides an interesting point of analysis for how women used familial metaphor to unite around a cause. I refer specifically to an emblem which came to represent the Society for the Abolition of Slavery in England in the 1780s. This seal (see fig. 1) depicted an enslaved man in chains, appealing to an unseen entity, placed above the banner “Am I not a man and a brother?” This image implored the pre-emancipation spectator to acknowledge not only a human connection but a familial bond as a means of inspiring empathy with those suffering the institution of slavery in Britain. 68

Relevant to this analysis, this emblem was re-invented for the purposes of the English women’s rights movement. The image (see fig.2) was transformed in the 1830s to depict a woman enslaved and in chains, appealing on bended knee to someone above, with the re-imagined banner “am I not a woman and a sister.” Although this image calls attention to the double strife of the female slave (dehumanized as both a slave and a woman) the image also (controversially) sought to compare the position of the slave in society to that of the English white woman. Despite this controversy, as a testament to the power of this reappropriated emblem, women’s rights activists in the United States borrowed the seal several years later, with some visual additions


(see fig.3). Recorded uses of “sister” as a uniting term can almost certainly be found elsewhere in documented history (specifically within the Catholic church); however, as it serves the purposes of this paper, women’s rights activists’ appeal to a common sisterly bond through the use of this emblem will serve as the starting point for how the word “sister” became attached to women’s liberation movements in the U.S. first and second wave. The connections made between the plight of the enslaved and the struggle of the free woman in society were not raised without some criticism from factions of the women’s rights movement; however. In her famed speech, delivered in Akron, Ohio in 1851, Sojourner Truth problematized this notion of a universal female struggle. Highlighting the discrepancies between the demands of white women fighting for equal rights and that of African American women, Truth said this: That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman?[...]I have borne thirteen children and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman? Truth does not explicitly denounce the women’s rights movement, in fact, her speech seems to embrace it with lines such as, “If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again!” She does; however, emphasize the need for a broader understanding of the complexity

of any female fight for equality. Truth points out that, although white women are certainly belittled by men, as a former slave, she had been put through systematic dehumanization which positioned her body (and her children) as a commodity to be bought and sold by “free” white men at will. For her, any call for women’s equality in the United States needed

(Figure 3. Am I not a Woman and a Sister? The Slave's Friend, Vol. 1 American Anti-Slavery Society.)

to consider that, at the time, African American women were not even included in the category of “woman.” Jumping ahead in time, a speech given at the women’s center at Medgar Evers college in 1988, Audre Lorde spoke to an issue which echoes the grievances of Truth over a century before. Lorde was struck by the way in which Black feminists at the time organized in exclusion of Black Lesbian feminists: “Black women are not one great vat of homogenized chocolate milk [...] until you can hear me as a Black Lesbian feminist, our strengths will not be truly available to each other as Black women” (p.492). Although this criticism is not a precise reflection of Sojourner Truth’s call for 69


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inclusion, Lorde’s public outcry for complexity in the movement does frame how the appeal to a universal Sisterhood has been troubled in a pre and post first and second wave context. Similar to the sentiments of Truth, Audre Lorde still saw value in identifying as a sister in the movement, evidenced by the powerful final line of her speech, “I am a Black Lesbian, and I am your sister”(p.292). At the beginning of her address, Lorde again invokes the metaphor of the family, noting that speaking at Medgar Evers college was for her like speaking to family, or like coming home. This positive outlook was not offered without a caveat, moments later Lorde said that “as with all families, we sometimes find it difficult to deal constructively with the genuine differences between us” (p.292). With an established framework of some of the lesser-cited criticisms that surround the notion of Sisterhood in U.S. based feminist histories, it seems appropriate to embellish this historiography with perhaps the most well-known use of this term, as it existed in the second-wave slogan “Sisterhood is Powerful”. According to historians, this phrase was famously uttered in 1968 by Kathy Sarachild for the first time at the New York Radical Women’s first demonstration (Zaytoun, Ezekiel, p.198). This slogan was largely circulated by feminist consciousness-raising groups from the late 1960s into the 1980s. Seeking solidarity amongst women through their efforts, feminist consciousness-raising groups fought for a feminism which would meet on the basis of a Sisterhood that recognized diversity and contention within the movement. This slogan and the theory behind it was famously put into print with the publication of the anthology Sisterhood is Powerful (1970). 70

In the words of the editor, Robin Morgan, in the introduction of the anthology, this incarnation of feminist activism had: The potential of cutting across all class, race, age, economic, and geographical barriers- since women in every group play essentially the same role, albeit with different sets and costumes: the multiple role of wife, mother, sexual object, baby-producer, ‘supplementary-income statistic,’ help-mate, nurturer, hostess, etc. To reflect this potential, contributors from those different groups speak in this book and frequently disagree with each other. (xviii) To illustrate this promise, the text is comprised of poems, essays, and manifestos from a range of authors who identify (in their own way) with the vision of women’s liberation put forth by the editor. On the surface, it seems as though this anthology served as a radical work, with the potential to challenge traditional renderings of history as it presented the movement on its own terms, by women, almost exclusively. It would be reductive of the work to claim that Sisterhood is Powerful, and the feminist sentiments behind it, were not influential to the shaping of feminist history. According to Kelly Zaytoun and Judith Ezekiel in their work “Sisterhood in Movement”, the scholars assert that “without the sense of Sisterhood forged in cr [consciousness-raising] groups, the movement would have looked very different and been far less powerful” (p.199). Despite its power, there was a critical force building in opposition to the movement due to an expressed skepticism as to how effective this feminist vision of Sisterhood really was. For instance, in a piece written in 1976 for the publication Ms. magazine, a woman by the name of Joreen articulated her


thoughts on what she deemed the “dark side of sisterhood”. In her strongly worded article, Joreen describes a “disease” in the feminist

her 1976 article, Robin Morgan’s claim regarding a new form of feminism that has “the potential of cutting across all class, race, age, economic, and geographical barriers“(xiii) can further problematized based on the lack of "Despite its power there was a be race representation in Sisterhood is Powerful. crucial force building in oppo- In an anthology comprised of seventy-two sition to the movement due to pieces, only three are the contributions of Black women. Furthermore, all works by an expressed skepticism as to Black women are grouped together. Such a how effective this feminist vi- presentation arguably tokenized the marginalized groups represented in the anthology. sion of Sisterhood really was" In a reflection on this feminist text written in 2006, Brian Norman comments on the permovement, shrouded by the “rhetoric of sister- haps troubling aspects of compiling this work hood”. After explaining the values which this as an anthology: feminist movement purported to uphold, this The anthology as a form is sometimes celebrated author points out an ideological paradox: for its ability to break apart cemented tradiThe new values of the Movement said that every tions and lines of identity, yet also studied and woman was a sister, every woman was acceptscrutinized for its potential imperialist effects able. I clearly was not. Yet no one could admit of bringing together disparate texts into overly that I was not acceptable without admitting that relativist museumlike displays of difference and they were not being sisters [...] A vague standard diversity. (48) of sisterly behavior is set up [...] as long as the Although the introduction of Sisterhood is standard is vague and utopian, it can never be Powerful frames the work as having the ability met. But it can be shifted with circumstances to to challenge “cemented ideas and lines of exclude those not desired as sisters. identity”, the criticisms cited above reflect the Joreen noticed, as a former participant way in which a text such as this might erase in the movement, that Sisterhood could be nuance and controversy within a feminist weaponized for exclusionary purposes. Based moment. Although this anthology presents on the largely positive reception of this piece, Sisterhood as a multifaceted force, with room it is clear that the writer was not alone in her for differing opinions and transformation, the judgment of the function of Sisterhood in the very nature of the anthology (and its potenwomen’s liberation movement. As a final note, tial to be a “relativist museumlike display”) Joreen cites an adage which was circulating at delegitimizes the mission of the feminists who the time, summing up the sentiments of those constructed the document. The anthology is a left marginalized by their supposed sisters: stagnant medium, revisions and criticisms are “sisterhood is powerful: it kills sisters” (Tinot present in the text. Grace Atkinson). The complaints regarding the limitations In addition to the criticism of Jordeen in of Sisterhood as a uniting term were addressed 71


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by feminist activists organizing separately of consciousness-raising feminist groups during the second wave. To cite a broad instance of this, socialist feminists of the day were not in favor of a feminism that embraced the notion of an essentialized woman (Zaytoun, Ezekiel). A more specific example of this is found in the feminist vision put forth by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa in the early 1980s in their anthology This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. This text, among other things, challenged (white) feminist claims to a universal Sisterhood. It did so by compiling the works of Black, Asian American, Latina, and Native American women who contributed poetry, personal narratives, fiction and visual art as a means of highlighting a “complex confluence of identities-race, class, gender, and sexuality -systemic to women of color oppression and liberation” (Moraga, Cherrie). To bring this analysis into a more present context, it seems relevant to consider how feminists scholars writing in the present moment view taking up the metaphor of the family as a means of fortifying a feminist movement. Additionally, as feminist tactics have certainly evolved over time, it is crucial to note how those working within a feminist framework have theoretically responded to the flaws of evoking Sisterhood to unite women. While activists such as Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa introduced the term “coalition” in connection to feminist movements in the 1980s, as it implies joining forces despite difference and tension, scholar Obioma Nneameka rejects the practice of naming feminisms altogether. In a piece she wrote in 2002, Nneameka discusses how the Igbo encounter the performance of a masquerade. For her, the 72

Igbo must witness shifting- patterns in location, aesthetics, and perspective which require an acceptance of paradox, which Nneameka sees as relevant to “the history of feminist engagement as theory and practice”(p.317). Similar to the concerns of many feminists active during the second wave, Nneameka criticizes how "feminist practice" in the U.S. fails to articulate diversity and multiculturalism. She specifically notes that the use of Sisterhood (or as she calls it "the evocation of bloodline and lineage") protected the movement from the "dissonance and possible turmoil that difference can engender"(p.317). Based on this, Nneameka introduces her criticism of the practice of naming feminisms. She instead considers feminism as a chameleon, "cautious and adaptable” and “open to diverse views” (p.317). The ambitious appeal to common womanhood presented by consciousness-raising groups in the 1960s and 1970s reflects the definition of the term “hegemonic feminism”, described by scholar Becky Thompson as feminism that is, “white led, marginalizes the activism and worldviews of women of color, focuses mainly on the United States, and treats sexism as the ultimate oppression [it] deemphasizes or ignores a class and race analysis, generally sees equality with men as the goal of feminism, and has an individual rights-based, rather than justice-based vision for social change” (p.56). This definition of hegemonic feminism is almost precisely embodied in the words of Sisterhood is Powerful editor Robin Morgan, in that she seems to reduce all significant differences between women to a sort of costume. For Morgan, if women merely shed their given costume, or were freed from other forms of oppression, women would see


that sexism is the “ultimate” oppression that unites females as “sisters”. Many feminisms in the U.S. context have evolved, with “caution” and “an openness to diverse views”, beyond considering oppression (excluding sexism) as a shedable costume. Through an examination of the critiques of Sisterhood raised by various (and many) sources, it is clear that even at its peak, Sisterhood existed as a utopian ideal which only resonated with a specific feminist audience.

Bibliography Brown, Ira V. “Am I Not a Woman and a Sister? The Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women 1937-1939.” 1983. Joreen. “Trashing: The Dark Side of Sisterhood.” Ms., Apr. 1976. pp. 49-51, 92-98. Morgan, Robin. Sisterhood Is Powerful. Random House Inc., 1970. Naemeka, Obioma. “‘Foreword: Locating Feminisms/Feminists.’” Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives, by Carole R. McCann and Seung-Kyung Kim, Routledge, 2016, pp. 317–320. Nicholson, Linda. “Feminism in ‘Waves’: Useful Metaphor or Not?.” 2010. Norman, Brian. “The Consciousness-Raising Document, Feminist Anthologies, and Black Women in ‘Sisterhood Is Powerful.’” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, vol. 27, no. 3, 2006, pp. 38–64. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4137384. Thompson, Becky. “Multiracial Feminism: Recasting the Chronology of Second Wave Feminism”. 2002. Truth, Sojourner. “Ain't I a Woman?” 1851, Akron. Zaytoun, Kelli and Judith Ezekiel. “Sisterhood in Movement.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, vol. 37, no. 1, Mar. 2016, pp. 195–214.

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Incorporating Intersectional Disability Studies into Queer Theory By: Alia Hadjar

D

isability studies, much like queer theory, is a discipline that has only recently emerged in academia and, because of this, these areas share many similarities, such as lack of representation, and few key theorists in contrast to other disciplines. A predominant issues in both of these fields is that, though they aspire to be intersectional, they can overlook certain social, cultural, and political frameworks. For example, both queer and disability studies have been accused on various occasions as being ‘white-washed’, with representation in both fields being predominantly white western people, rather than people of colour. It is crucial that disability studies is further incorporated into queer theory because it is impossible to fully understand the binaries that queer theory wishes to trouble without acknowledging the impact of disabled culture and politics. The sentiment that comes to mind is encompassed within the various works

of Audre Lorde, who is a feminist woman of colour who speaks to both queer and disabled issues, and who strongly advocates for intersectional equality: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” In this case, the shackles to be explored in this paper are various social binaries that exist, particularly abled/disabled and heteronormative/heterosexual, which create dangerous power difference. This paper seeks to analyse power struggles in an intersectional way by applying disability theory to queer topics of interest, as well as queering disability studies themselves. Due to the similarities between the fields of queer theory and disability studies, there is an ever-growing body of work examining the intersections of queer disability studies: As academic corollaries of minority civil rights movements, queer theory and disability studies both have origins in and ongoing commitments to activism. Their primary constituencies, sexual minorities and people 75


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with disabilities, share a history of injustice: both have been pathologized by medicine; demonized by religion; discriminated against in housing, employment, and education; stereotyped in representation; victimized by hate groups; and isolated socially, often in their families of origin. Both constituencies are diverse in terms of race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, political affiliation, and other respects and therefore share many members (e.g., those who are disabled and gay), as well as allies. Both have self-consciously created their own enclaves and vibrant subcultural practices. (Sandahl, 26) The similarities between the constituencies of each field are astounding, predominantly in terms of the institutionalised discrimination and injustice they face. Historically, these minorities have been systematically ‘othered’ from mainstream society, thus queer and disabled peoples can arguably fall into the same minority category, hence ‘queer disability studies’. An interesting point to note is that people who identify as disabled are, to a certain extent, always aware of queer politics because of the gender and sex related stigmas put on people with disabilities; a large issue in particular for people with ‘disabled’ bodies is that of sexual and gender identity, because of how difficult it is to fulfil stereotypical societal standards of both gender and sexuality. That being said, people who are concerned with queer theory aren’t always as aware of disability theory and politics, because it isn’t something that appears to directly affect them. The issue with this, however, is that disability politics do affect queer politics, because both political spheres influence the structures of ‘normal’ society. 76

Queer theory troubles the construct of heteronormativity; in doing so, queer theory seeks to dismantle the construct of normal. Similarly, disability studies rejects normalcy on the grounds that the concept of ‘normal’ is a socio-political construct historically used to oppress groups of people. The discourse of disability is heavily focused on language, as explored by Jan Grue in her Disability and Discourse Analysis : Words like “disability” derive their meaning-in-use from their hegemonic opposite numbers, like “normal”, but also from their traditional and conventional usage contexts. This suggests the need to bring non-traditional thematic areas within the analytical scope of Disability Studies, and to introduce disability as an analytically relevant concept into new areas. (Grue, 9) As stated by Grue, it is imperative that disability be used in other areas. In Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, she explains how gender is historically contingent on the societal construction of normality; the same can be said about sex and sexuality. Butler’s commentary on the construction of gender fits into disability politics because of how the gender and sexuality of disabled bodies is constructed. This is eloquently explained in an article from IncludeGender: The categories of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ exist within a heterosexualised framework of understanding — the heterosexual matrix — in which two separate genders are presented as the only possible identities. Within this framework, the only offered positions are woman and man. They are juxtaposed in both physical and behavioural terms, and the two sexes are also expected to attract and desire each other. Appearing as a woman therefore requires, first,


having a body that is categorised as a female body. Second, it requires behaving (walking, standing, dressing, etc) in a commonly accepted feminine manner. Thirdly, manifesting the right kind of desire, i.e. heterosexual (and the heterosexuality, in turn, must be practised in a manner defined in advance). (Queer and Heteronormativity | Include Gender) These various ‘requirements’ for the heteronormative framework show how disability is intertwined with gender because of how both play off of body politics, and the way one's body presents itself to the rest of society. Disability helps to explain the performative aspects of gender and sex. Many queer theorists suggest that gender is something we perform, either in a feminine or masculine way. The ways in which disabled bodies are meant to perform in the same ways as abled bodies further demonstrates how the entirety of how we present ourselves is a performance to adhere to social binaries. We present ourselves as feminine if we wish to be labeled as a female, we present masculine if we wish to be labeled as male, we use prosthesis to make our bodies look conventionally functional; we are conditioned that to be accepted we must be healthy, easy to understand, and present ourselves in a way that is socially acceptable. Due to societal pressures, we feel compelled to perform our sexuality, which is something that heavily influences disability studies. Oftentimes people who identify as disabled also struggle with sexuality and sex; this is predominantly because the way gatekeepers portray sexuality leaves no room for disabled bodies. This appeal of sex returns to the core concept of ‘the norm’, and much like deviant sexualities within queer theory,

“in a society where the concept of the norm is operative, then people with disabilities will be thought of as deviants”. The topic of deviant sexuality is so multifaceted that it needs both disability studies and queer theory in order to fully comprehend the amount of power social politics has over the body, and freedom to express. Historically and systematically, sociopolitical structures have been created and implemented in order to oppress and ‘other’ entire groups of people. The concept of ‘normal’ has been used to disempower people who defy the gender binary, who stray from heteronormativity, and whose bodies/minds work in a way that isn’t deemed customary. While queer theory seeks to dismantle the norm, this cannot be done without taking into account disabled people, just as the ‘normalising’ of disability cannot be done without consideration of other identities and binaries. In order for power imbalances to be dismantled, there has to be an intersectional approach from both a queer and disabled perspective.

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Bibliography Dean, Tim. Queer | Keywords for Disability Studies. https://keywords.nyupress.org/disability-studies/essay/queer/. Accessed 9 Mar. 2019. Grue, Jan. Disability and Discourse Analysis. Routledge, 2015. Kafer, Alison. Feminist, Queer, Crip. Indiana University Press, 2013. Queer and Heteronormativity | Include Gender. http://www.includegender.org/facts/queer-and-heteronormativity/. Accessed 15 Apr. 2019. Sandahl, C. “QUEERING THE CRIP OR CRIPPING THE QUEER?: Intersections of Queer and Crip Identities in Solo Autobiographical Performance.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, vol. 9, no. 1–2, Jan. 2003, pp. 25–56. Crossref, doi:10.1215/106426849-1-2-25. Sherry, Mark. “Overlaps and Contradictions between Queer Theory and Disability Studies.” Disability & Society, vol. 19, no. 7, Dec. 2004, pp. 769–83. Taylor and Francis+NEJM, doi:10.1080/0968759042000284231.

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Ayons les Femmes et Bodies of le Reste Suivra The Women as a

Battlefield in French Algeria 1830-1962

Sanae Ehauleyan Alouazen

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The systemic practice of rape during the war in ex-Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1995 highlighted a specific form of violence often dismissed as a universal collateral damage of wars. In 2008, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1820, which noted that "rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, or a constitutive act with respect to genocide." This form of specific violence has been granted more attention by observers of current armed struggles. How can this recognition shed light on the history of French colonialism and the widespread use of rape and sexual assault as torture weapons against native women during the Algerian war of independence? The practice of rape as a torture routine in colonized Algeria sheds light on the gendered roots of mass violence by painting colonization as not only the appropriation of land but also the appropriation of women’s bodies. The brutal acts of sexual assault as a French military counterinsurgency tactic constituted a blueprint for contemporary imperialist endeavors. As Algerian feminist scholar Marnia Lazreg has noted, the French colonial war in Algeria provided templates for the US efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the greater Middle East.(146) 80

One of the earliest clues that there were some in the US defense administration who were contemplating torture was a report of a Pentagon screening of “The Battle of Algiers,” a film France had blacklisted because of its supposedly libelous depictions of French soldiers engaged in torture. (Briggs 20) A report for the US Naval War College entitled “Counter-Insurgency Lessons from the French-Algerian War” suggested that US defense administrations had drawn different lessons from the film: it argued that the French had made “superb use of psychological operations” in Algeria that had lessons for the US war in Iraq. (Briggs 29) Rape is a tool not only of patriarchy, but also of racism, colonialism, nationalism, and other pernicious hierarchies. Rape is a universal wartime weapon utilized to humiliate, destroy and undermine the targeted society’s cohesion. Therefore, it is urgent to analyze rape within the colonial context not as a regrettable byproduct and lack of individual discipline but a widespread phenomenon and routine element of mass violence. Seifart observes “The rape of women of a community, culture, or nation can be regarded as a symbolic rape of the body of that community” (35). Torture was a quintessential feature to


establish and maintain French colonial control throughout the empire. In the case of Algeria, the use of torture dates to 1830 the very beginning of French colonization. At that time, rape, beatings with batons, exposure of naked bodies, and starvation were frequent. In the first phase of the settlement, Branche asserts, women were less frequently searched by the French army (79). However, the increasing instances of militants dressing in the Haik to avoid the authorities, intensified the suspicion against women and resulted in routinized control of women. As a result, the chief commander in Algeria, General Lorillot, demanded the recruitment of female personnel “to permit the immediate frisk of Muslim women arrested as suspects.” The frisking of Algerian women varied from palpation to the literal control of sex, reports Branche. The examination of women’s pubic pilosity constituted a routine exercise for intelligence gathering. The logic backing this atypical control suggested that women with shaved pubis continued to entertain sexual relations with their fugitive militant husbands. (Branche 87) The Algerian war reinforced and increased the practice of sexual aggression against women. From “the wives of ” to rebels against the colonial order, women progressively occupied the position of “the enemy.” The pressing need for victory in Algeria created a sense of urgency wherein victory at any cost was justified. Without checks in place to limit either violence or power, the range of victims, motivations for torture, and intensity of violence increased as time went on. Torture became routinized in Algeria in 1957 when interrogation centers were installed by the French in Algiers, Philippeville, and elsewhere (Brown 80-83).

The Algerian war of liberation officially begun in 1954 and was spearheaded by the Front de Liberation National fighting against French colonialists and with the goal of attending independence from a century of colonial settlement. A bloody war that left behind more than two million massacred Algerians and a national memory tainted with unspoken wounds. Many taboos are intertwined with the razzias, ratissages and air bombings committed by the French state. Indeed, rape as a war weapon is a central one. Women participated in Guerilla warfare, occupying different positions. According to the archives of the ministry of Algerian War, 11000 women were directly engaged in armed struggle (Guerre d’Algérie, Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer). French General Pacquette attested in 1960: “L’aide apportée par les femmes à la rébellion constitue à n’en pas douter un obstacle de plus en plus sérieux sinon nouveau dans notre lutte contre l’infrastructure rebelle.” (Jauffret, 226) In an article published by Le Monde in 2000, a French military confirms that nine out of ten war prisoners were subject to rape. “Rape but do it discreetly” an officer commanded his soldiers, admits Benoit Rey a nurse in Constantine. He explains that rape was one of their advantages as men serving in French Algeria. No moral dilemmas were imposed because it concerned “women, and more specifically, Arab women.” He adds that “Algerian men were considered second-class men, and women were even beneath that, worse than dogs.” (Beaugé, Torture en Algérie) Underpinning Rey’s account of rape reveals the mechanisms of colonialism: otherization and dehumanization. After all, how human are the colonized? In 1961 at the Villa Sesini, Henri Pouton 81


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witnessed hundreds of rapes in less than ten months. He adds that during “les rafles” in Algiers, the soldiers managed to keep a woman or two for a couple of days uniquely to satisfy the needs of the soldiers. Pouton distinguishes the different nature of rapes: “those meant to make the women speak” and those rapes of “comfort” intending to entertain the soldiers. “We had total liberty” he insists, adding that rape was seen as a form of torture like any other but “one that privileged women.” The journal of Mouloud Feraoun, an FLN militant, describes rape as a routinized practice in the Kabyle region. He notes that “when the soldiers displaced the Kabyles from their homes in order to search their houses, they know, that les sexes of girls and women will be frisked as well” (24). In a different section, Feraoun reports the rapes committed in rural Kabyle villages : "À Aït Idir, descente des militaires pendant la nuit. Le lendemain, douze femmes seulement consentent à avouer qu’elles ont été violées. À Taourirt-M., les soldats passent trois nuits comme dans un bordel gratuit. Dans un village des Béni-Ouacif on a compté cinquante-six bâtards. Chez nous la plupart des jolies femmes ont subi les militaires. Fatma a vu ses filles et sa bru violées devant elle (78)." Rape haunts the memory of Algeria. The silence surrounding thousands of raped women, aborted children and orphans constitutes a form of collective trauma. In the recent decades, some Algerian women, and men, started breaking the silence in spite of social stigmas and taboos. That is the case of Louisette Ighilahriz, who in 2000 published an autobiographical account of her torture in “Algérienne” and Mohamed Garne, the orphan of wartime rape. Before that, several 82

cases of torture through rape caught the attention of the French public, including Djamila Bouhired and the notorious case of Djamila Boupacha. The next section will examine the cases of Djamila Boupacha and Kheira Garne, in order to highlight rape not as an isolated case but a systemic weapon of torture during the Algerian war. Kheira Garne: During the same year that the controversial “Le Monde” article published testimonies of French torturers during the Algerian war, Mohamed Garne, who defines himself as “French by crime” was the first war victim recognized by the French court after a long combat with the justice system. Garne was a rape child, birthed by his mother Kheira who was imprisoned in a detention and torture camp in Theniet El Hed. Kheira Garne was at the time a fifteen years old adolescent, captured and and gang raped by a dozen of French soldiers over several months ensuing her pregnancy. The soldiers attempted to force an abortion by beating her with electrical wires (Hebbadj, Kheira Garne). Mohamed Garne was born on April 19th, 1960, in the camp Théniet-el-Haad. French nuns placed him in an orphanage, telling his mother Kheira that he had died when she was giving birth. After being adopted by the French-Algerian writer Assia Djebar at the age of five, he emigrated with his adoptive mother to France before being placed back into an orphanage. At the age of 28, Mohamed Garne decided to get married and to go on a quest to find out more about his parents. To his surprise, his birth mother Kheira was alive. Tormented by a cruel past, Kheira lived in a graveyard in Algiers:“ Les vivants m’ont fait


trop de mal, je préfère vivre avec les morts” she confessed to her son (Ibid). Having believed that his father was a martyr of the independence war, Mohamed Garne discovers the unsettling truth: he was a child of war rape. From 1994 to 2001 he enters relentless battle against the French justice system. In 2001, he becomes the first recognized victim of the Algerian war. As a result, he won the exceptional right to disability benefits and a partial military pension from France because of the trauma he had suffered upon learning he was the child of sustained rape. How about the trauma sustained by Kheira Garne herself? The potential for reparations for Kheira were dismissed from the trial.

the most intimate parts of her body, including her breasts, genitals, and anus. Sexual violence was also employed when cigarettes were snuffed out on Boupacha's breasts and buttocks. Burns acquired their meaning both from the instrument used—an object typically associated with leisure and pleasure—as well as the placement of burns on Boupacha's body: targeting sensitive areas increased pain, while desecrating the private parts of her body magnified humiliation. Boupacha sustained numerous acts of torture tainted with sexual humiliation and racial denigration: “They rammed the neck of a bottle into my belly. I shouted in excruciating pain then lost consciousness for two days.” Djamila recalls her persecutors shouting at her: “We won’t rape Djamila Boupacha: you; it might risk giving your pleasure” (De On June 3rd, 1960, Simone De Beauvoir Beauvoir and Halimi, 33-39). published a visceral account of the story of Her torture came to an end on March Djamila Boupacha. Simone De Beauvoir’s 15th, 1960, when she testified before the article came as a shock to the French liberal Palais de Justice in Algiers, confessing to the opinion and created havoc on the practice of bombing yet insisting on opening an investitorture during the war of liberation. Djamila gation on the torture acts. The torture inflictBoupacha is a female Algerian nationalist ed on Boupacha was an attempt to destroy her arrested for allegedly bombing a French Café body, voice, identity, and humanity. in the University of Algiers and consequently Gisèle Halimi, a French-Tunisian lawyer tortured by French soldiers. When Boupacha that undertook high profile cases defending was arrested and put in a military prison she FLN members and seeking accountability undergone several interrogations, punctuated against the French military investigation by beatings and a severe kick in her ribs, which methods, became Boupacha’s legal counselcaused a “hemithoracic displacement” (De or. Working alongside Simone De Beauvoir, Beauvoir and Halimi, 33). Halimi capitalized on public opinion as a De Beauvoir details the brutal acts of political leverage to prevent Djamila’s disaptorture that the occupying soldiers practiced pearance and eventual execution by military on Djamila, including electroshock on her authorities and to bring the trial to a civilian face, nipples, and genitals, water torture in court. Under the Evian Peace Accords of a bathtub, and lit cigarettes ground in her March, 1962, which officially ended the Algeskin. The sexual nature of Boupacha's torture rian War, Boupacha was released along with all is evident in that electrodes were placed on other prisoners of war. However, through this 83


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agreement, her torturers also gained immunity are inherently predisposed of being raped from prosecution. because it is a “female-oriented crime” Patin is admitting that rape is a gender-based hate The cases of Geira Kheiri and Djamila crime. Feminist scholarship confirms that Boupacha are central to the understanding rape-supportive attitudes, including anti-feof the sexual and racial politics of Algerian male biases, greatly increase the propensity war. They illicit a pertinent question: why do to commit sexual assault with the specific soldiers torture, rape, and sexually humiliate? intent of causing the victim severe mental or The French military provided ambivalent physical pain or suffering (Russel, 33). In the answers that bring to the surface the intricate context of an independence war, the intent of tensions of colonial wars as the literal occupa- the perpetrator reflects the will of the colonial tion and appropriation of racialized bodies. enterprise to dehumanize, discipline and dePatin, the President of the Public Safety stroy the colonized. Control theory identifies Committee and the presiding magistrate over rape not as a crime of passion but as a crime Boupacha’s case, justified the use of torture motivated by the desire of a man to exert by arguing that “boys will be boys.” He adds dominance over a woman (Brownmiller, 345). that these soldiers are merely inexperienced Rape is an exercise of control, domination and youth. Patin claims that these torturers come power. In the colonial setting, rape is further from superior social class and education status complicated by dynamics of racial hierarchy compared to Algerian women and should thus therefore constituting an irrevocable weapon be forgiven because they’re “European French- against the construction of Algerian mascumen.” Adding that rape as means of torture linity as well. French discourses on Algerian against women is not fatal or “real torture” masculinity were utilized as a focal point to in comparison to similar practices inflicted the construction of European masculinity. At against men (De Beauvoir and Halimi 45, 90- times the Algerian was excessively virile, and 95). These claims stated by a French military other times inverted and emasculated: “both figure, are not merely naive but they reveal a a dominating brute and a decadent young profoundly disturbing discourse. Adonis.” Rape permits a violent confrontaFirst, the dismissal of the systemic nature tion between the self and the other, through of these violences as mistakes committed by which the French man reasserts himself as viril sexually deprived soldiers denies accountabil- and deems the Algerian man as emasculated. ity for the acts of men. In addition, these Thus, rape is not simply a crime perpetrated justifications belittle the political significance by men against women, it is an expression of of sexual assault as committed by military a hostile masculinity exacerbated by a racist officials in the context of war. Patin offers a imaginary. The racist dehumanization of the libidinal interpretation that explains sexual colonized sought to rationalize rape based on assault as a manifestation of repressed desire the inherent difference of the Algerian Other. rather than an act of gendered and racialized Pseudo-scientific manuscripts listed the cliviolence. Furthermore, by establishing a mate, Islam, immorality, primitive physiology gender hierarchy and suggesting that women and barbarity as reasons for Algerian men’s 84


aptitude for sodomy. Therefore, sodomizing Algerian men aimed to denigrate, emasculate, and humiliate them by “treating them like women.” Raping Algerian women acts as a symbolic castration of Algerian men. French men commit sexual assault to denigrate or distinguish themselves from Algerian men. Nevertheless, even though both men and women are targeted, its criminal efficacity is accentuated in the case of women because it directly targets their filiation. Women are seen as the property of an inferior group of males (Baker, 36). By abusing the property of a rival group of men, the perpetrator establishes his dominance over those men. Furthermore, rape during wartime is often exercised in groups and functions to establish camaraderie amongst soldiers. For these perpetrators, sex is instrumental and having an audience is critical for perpetrators who use their actions to relate to other men (Groth, Nicholas and Birnbaum 56). Gang rapes reinforce the cohesion of soldiers. This dimension suggests that soldiers could brag amongst each other about their rape conquests, therefore, a crime becomes an act of glory that affirms virility. As referred to in the introduction of “Guerre d’Algérie: Le Sexe Outragé” many sources attest to the systemic nature of torture in the Algerian war and the failure of these tactics in collecting intelligence. Branche contends that the ultimate goal of torture was not to gain information, but to break a person's will and dehumanize him or her in the process (Sexual Violence, 247). Rape is an act of violence through which the woman herself is targeted and through her, the soldier targets her family, her village, and eventually: the peo-

ple of Algeria. Rape and sexual violence are a result of persistent and overlapping structures: war and masculine domination. These acts do not only aim to attain the victim’s sex, body and psyche but aim to destroy the person, reduce her to an object, denying her humanity. The imperatives of the dominant social order, both French and Algerian, discouraged women from testifying. As a result, there are no official statistics of rape crimes during the French occupation of Algeria or during the war. Mouloud Feraoun reports the directives that Kabyle men gave to the women of their villages. The women are urged to endure rape by occupying soldiers yet to mock them in the process, and to not let the enemy feel that he touched her dignity, or that of her people: "Ils ont expliqué texte du Coran à l’appui, que leur combat à elles consistait précisément à accepter l’outrage des soldats, non à le rechercher spécialement, à le subir et à s’en moquer. Au surplus, il est recommandé de ne pas parler de ces choses, de ne pas laisser croire à l’ennemi qu’il a touché la chair vive de l’âme kabyle si l’on peut dire, de se comporter en vrai patriote qui subordonne tout à la libération de la patrie enchaînée (67)." The trauma endured by Algerian women was rendered a proof of their patriotism. This collective Amnesia delegated these women to the forgotten archives of a bloody history written by defeated and victorious men. As many postcolonial feminist thinkers affirm, a surrender or a ceasefire does not necessarily signify peace, especially for women and girls (Boesten,110). In this same vein, Dori Laub, a survivor of the Holocaust and a psychotherapist, warns that survivors of traumatic events who do not tell their stories become victims of a distorted memory, and concludes: “None 85


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find peace in silence, even when it is their choice to remain silent� (79). Indeed, what peace for Algerian women?

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Bibliography: Beaugé, Florence. "Torture en Algérie: le remords du général Jacques Massu." Le Monde, 22 June 2000. Beauvoir, Simone de, and Halimi Gisèle. Djamila Boupacha. Gallimard, 2006. Boesten, J “Analyzing Rape Regimes at the Interface of War and Peace in Peru”, The International Journal of Transitional Justice, vol. 4, 2010. Branche, Raphaëlle. “Sexual Violence in the Algerian War.” Brutality and Desire, 2009. Brown, Heidi. "From Sensation to Representation: The Torture of Djamila Boupacha During the Algerian War." Women in French Studies 26, 2018. Brownmiller, Susan. Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, 1975. Brun Catherine, Shepard Todd. Guerre d’Algérie : Le Sexe Outragée, 2012. Felman, Shoshana, and Dori Laub. Testimony Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis and History. Taylor and Francis, 2013. Feraoun, Mouloud, Journal 1955-1962, 2011.

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Photo Essay

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Intergenerational

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call me roach and presumptuous 91


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Roaches 2019  

Roaches is a student publication part of the Gender Studies Department which focuses on academic and creative themes of race, gender, and qu...

Roaches 2019  

Roaches is a student publication part of the Gender Studies Department which focuses on academic and creative themes of race, gender, and qu...

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