Introduction [chapter]

Stacy Banwell
2020 Gender and the Violence(s) of War and Armed Conflict: More Dangerous to Be a Woman?  
The question that appears in the title of this book is taken from the following statement: 'it is perhaps more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in armed conflict'. It was made by Major General Patrick Cammaert in a video clip on the Stop Rape Now: UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict website (Stop Rape Now, n.d.). He is the former United Nations force commander for the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I will return to this statement shortly, for now let us review the
more » ... op Rape Now website. The site includes the 'GET CROSS!' campaign with the following caption: '[t]ake a stand against the use of sexual violence as a tactic of war by adding your crossed arm picture to our global campaign' (Stop Rape Now, n.d., emphasis added). This global campaign is visualised through an interactive map. This is populated with crosses where individuals have uploaded images of their crossed arms. Other images of individuals (including celebrities) crossing their arms flash across our screens. Celebrities, such as Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, also feature in the video clips included on the website. They inform us about the use of rape as a weapon of war against women and girls. They also encourage viewers to develop their knowledge further and take action. Others have also written about the Stop Rape Now website (Grey & Shepherd, 2012; Meger, 2016b). Departing from this work, I draw on Visual Criminology to unpack this campaign. Briefly, and in simple terms (a more detailed review is provided in Chapter 5), Visual Criminology is interested in the visual representations of crime and punishment. It unpacks the visuality of hierarchical classifications such as race, class, gender and sexuality as they relate to these phenomena (Brown, 2014; Brown & Carrabine, 2017; Henne & Shah, 2016). Beyond this, Visual Criminology is interested in human lived experiences and in interrogating the ethical and moral consequences of looking at images (Brown, 2017; Brown & Carrabine, 2017; Gies, 2017). Of relevance for my discussion here is the argument that visuality need not only be visual, it also includes narratives which seek to reify Gender and the Violence(s) of War and Armed Conflict: More Dangerous to be a Woman?, 1-17
doi:10.1108/978-1-78769-115-520201002 fatcat:ejivsffsdba3dg43q75tv52l4m