Added: May 7, 2016 – Last updated: May 7, 2016


Author: Hanno Brankamp

Title: Hegemonic Masculinity, Victimhood and Male Bodies as 'Battlefield' in Eastern DR Congo

Subtitle: -

Journal: IReflect – Student Journal of International Relations

Volume: 2

Issue: 1

Year: March 2015

Pages: 5-28

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century, 21st Century | African History: Congolese History | Types: Wartime Rape / First Congo War, Second Congo War; Victims: Men


Links: (Free Access)

IReflect (Free Access)


Author: Hanno Brankamp, School of Geography and the Environment, University of

Abstract: »While sexual violence against women prominently features on the agendas of international and local actors, sexual crimes against men and boys are vastly neglected. This article seeks to examine the interrelation between notions of victimhood, masculinity, and gender as structural factors in armed conflict, and takes sexual violence against men in the Democratic Re-public of the Congo (DRC) as a case in point. In particular, the concept of ‘hegemonic masculinity’ serves as an alternative, but not exclusive explanatory model for the use of sexual vio-lence and rape during conflicts in the Eastern DRC. In contrast to previous studies, the focus lies on the interaction between widespread notions of ‘female’ victimhood and ‘male’ perpe-tration that serve as drivers for the emergence of gendered hi-erarchies, which sanction hegemonic forms of masculinity. The article shows how these rival versions of masculinity in the DRC determine each other’s intensity and prevalence, and how the lack and/or exaltation of these masculinities can translate into predatory behaviour, such as the targeted use of sexual violence against men and women.« (Source: IReflect)


  Abstract (p. 5)
  Introduction (p. 5)
  Framing Conflict and Sexual Violence in DR Congo (p. 7)
  Unravelling Gender in Conflict: Men as Perpetrators, Women as Victims (p. 9)
  Women's Threefold Role in Armed Conflict (p. 10)
  Who's a Man? Hegemony and Local Masculinities (p. 12)
    Hegemonic Masculinity Re-Considered (p. 12)
      Socio-Economic or Status Masculinity (p. 13)
      Sexual Masculinity (p. 14)
      Militarised Masculinity (p. 15)
  'Bush Wives': Male Bodies as 'Battlefields' (p. 16)
    Male Rape and Sexual Identity (p. 16)
    Gender Inequality and Symbolism of the Masculine (p. 17)
  Conclusion (p. 19)
  References (p. 21)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of the Democratic Republic of the Congo | Rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo | Types of rape: Wartime sexual violence | War: First Congo War, Second Congo War