American Rape of Vietnamese Women was Considered "Standard Operating Procedure"
Barsocchini, Robert J.http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/03/american-rape-of-vietnamese-women-was-considered-standard-operating-procedure/
Date Written: 2017-10-03
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21340
Comparing testimony from Vietnamese women and American soldiers, Gina Marie Weaver, in her book Ideologies of Forgetting: Rape in The Vietnam War, finds that rape of Vietnamese women by American troops during the US invasion of Vietnam was a "widespread", "everyday occurrence" that was essentially "condoned", even encouraged, by the military, and had its foundation in military training and US culture.
Weaver explores the military and civilian culture of the period that produced these behaviors... US culture and military training also encouraged the idea that women were inferior and the feminine was something to be hated and violently rejected. Masculinity was defined through violent hostility to femininity. Women, like the Vietnamese people, were objects - in the case of women, detestable objects that existed to serve men sexually. Thus, Vietnamese women, Weaver notes, were doubly inferior, doubly hated. Training essentially demanded men become misogynist predators. Further hostility towards the feminine arose due to the prominence of women in the Vietnamese forces; the idea of being killed by a woman made the threat of the feminine that much more potent, and aggression against the feminine that much more common and extreme. There was also an idea in the culture that men simply "had" to have sex; that they could not abstain during their tours of duty.
(Weaver) stresses the issue is also important as rape in the US military continues at a high level today, having been mostly transferred away from foreign populations and onto female American soldiers.
Weaver points out that many veterans are "victimized" by the memory of atrocities they have committed, but by committing them they are also victimizers. Allowing them to admit what they have done (as many have tried to do) and accepting what they have to say, rather than whitewashing it, is thus, Weaver says, an important part of the healing process.