The Arab spring, one of the most encouraging events from a democratic perspective in recent years, has unfortunately mostly failed. Egypt, the most important Arab country, and the country where democrats’ hopes where highest, has lapsed back into an increasingly oppressive military dictatorship. But one country, the one where it all started, continues to follow a democratic path.
The willingness of new governments to respect rights will determine whether those uprisings give birth to genuine democracy or simply spawn authoritarianism in new forms.
Politically, sexual violence constitutes both a form of terrorism against its target, and an act of affirmation for the rapists and those who identify with them. It is not normally a form of “horizontal violence” – that would imply that other than this unfortunate slip-up, perpetrator and target would both share the same class position and interests. The prevalence of sexual violence, and its intractability, speaks against this naive theory.Rather than depoliticizing this question, sexual violence should be understood as a form of oppressive violence meant to either establish or defend hierarchies between people. Keeping some people – overwhelmingly
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: The Gendered Body Public: Egypt, Sexual Violence and Revolution