Women as Wartime Rapists reveals the stories of female perpetrators of sexual violence and their place in wartime conflict, legal policy, and the punishment of sexual violence. Very few women are wartime rapists. Very few women issue commands to commit sexual violence. Very few women play a role in making war plans that feature the intentional sexual violation of other women.
This book is about those very few women. More broadly, Laura Sjoberg asks, what do the actions and perceptions of female perpetrators of sexual violence reveal about our broader conceptions of war, violence, sexual assault, and gender? This book explores specific historical case studies, such as Nazi Germany, Serbia, the contemporary case of ISIS, and others, to understand how and why women participate in rape during war and conflict. Sjoberg examines the contrast between the visibility of female victims and the invisibility of female perpetrators, as well as the distinction between rape and genocidal rape, which is used as a weapon against a particular ethnic or national group. Further, she explores women's engagement with genocidal rape and how some orchestrated the ethnic cleansing of entire regions. A provocative approach to a sensationalized topic, Women as Wartime Rapists offers important insights into not only the topic of female perpetrators of wartime sexual violence, but to larger notions of gender and violence with crucial cultural, legal, and political implications.