Ideologies of Forgetting
Rape in the Vietnam War
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First book to study rape and sexual abuse of Vietnamese women by U. S. soldiers during the Vietnam War.
Rape has long been a part of war, and recent conflicts in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur demonstrate that it may be becoming an even more integral strategy of modern warfare. In contrast to the media attention to sexual violence against women in these recent conflicts, however, the incidence and consequences of rape in the Vietnam War have been largely overlooked. Using testimony, oral accounts, literature, and film, Ideologies of Forgetting focuses on the rape and sexual abuse of Vietnamese women by U. S. soldiers during the Vietnam war, and argues that the erasure and elision of these practices of sexual violence in the U. S. popular imagination perpetuates the violent masculinity central to contemporary U. S. military culture. Gina Marie Weaver claims that recognition of this violence is important not just for an accurate historical record, but also to truly understand the Vietnam veteran's trauma, which often stems from his aggression rather than his victimization.
Gina Marie Weaver is Assistant Professor of English at Southern Nazarene University.