Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

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First published: October 1, 2023 - Last updated: October 1, 2023


Author: Ashmita Biswas

Title: 'I'll tell that human tale'

Subtitle: Documenting the Wartime Sexual Violence in Jing-Jing Lee's How We Disappeared (2019)

Journal: Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities

Volume: 15

Issue: 3

Year: 2023 (Received: June 13, 2023, Revised: August 4, 2023, Accepted: August 5, 2023, Published online: August 11, 2023)

Pages: 12 pages (PDF)

eISSN: 0975-2935 - Find a Library: WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century, 21st Century | Asian History: Japanese History, Singaporean History | Types: Forced Prostitution / Singarporean "Comfort Women"; Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / Asia-Pacific War; Representations: Literary Texts / Jing-Jing Lee


Link: Rupkatha Journal (Free Access)


Abstract: »Sexual slavery as a phenomenon of war was rampant during the Japanese Imperial Army's occupation of territories before and during the Second World War (1939-1945). These innumerable sex slaves, or "comfort women", as the Japanese Army had named them, were women (a striking number of them being minors) who were forcefully captured and separated from their families and placed at comfort stations built to fulfill the sexual needs of the Japanese soldiers. While this entire system was created on the pretext of reducing wartime rapes and curbing the spread of venereal diseases, these comfort stations did just the opposite. Studies conducted into these comfort stations reveal how they had become sites of inhuman sexual violence, torture, disease, and death. This paper will look at how Jing-Jing Lee's historical fiction How We Disappeared (2019) rewrites these innumerable, nameless, brutalized women into the world's history as victims of a bloody war that had tainted unassuming lives and had snuffed out their existence ruthlessly. Lee's narrative isscarred by violence committed along gendered lines -illustrating the reduction of the female body to a disposable sexual tool, existing merely to bear the brunt of a war that was not theirs. This paper decodesthe politics of gender violencebehind Japan's enforced and licensed prostitution, the nature of sexual violence, the commodification of women's bodies, the place of women in the socio-cultural context of the era, and the gendered role of women, in what was quintessentially men's war.« (Source: Rupkatha Journal)

  Abstract (p. 1)
  1. Introduction: Gendering Sexual Violence (p. 1)
    1.1. War and Sexual Violence (p. 2)
    1.2. 'Comfort Women': Who were they? (p. 2)
  2.'Wang Di' or 'to hope for a brother' (p. 4)
    2.1. ''lack-and-white house': Wang Di's human tale (p. 5)
    2.2. Fujiko's Afterlife: Survivor's Guilt and Shame (p. 7)
    2.3. Memory and Trauma (p. 9)
  3.Conclusion (p. 10)
  Declaration of Conflicts of Interests (p. 11)
  Funding Disclosure/Acknowledgement (p. 11)
  Reference (p. 11)

Wikipedia: History of Asia: History of Japan / Shōwa era | History of Asia: History of Singapore / Japanese occupation of Singapore | Literature: Singaporean Literature / Jing-Jing Lee | Literature: Works about comfort women / How We Disappeared | Prostitution: Forced prostitution / Comfort women | Sex and the law: Wartime sexual violence / Wartime sexual violence in World War II | War: Pacific War / Japanese war crimes