The Absent Piece of Skin: Gendered, Racialized, and Territorial Inscriptions of Sexual Violence during the Bangladesh War
2015. "The Absent Piece of Skin: Gendered, Racialized, and Territorial Inscriptions of Sexual Violence during the Bangladesh War", The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence, Public Memories, and the Bangladesh War of 1971, Nayanika Mookherjee
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The chapter locates the accounts of male violations by the West Pakistani army within the historical and colonial discourses relating to the construction of the Bengali Muslim. Further, it identifies the intertextual, contemporary citational references of the discourse of Bengali Muslim in photographs and interviews. The chapter draws on Judith Butler’s and Marilyn Strathern’s work on gendering and performativity to address the citational role of various practices of discourses of gender and race within colonial documents and their application in a newer context of colonization and sexual violence of women and men during wars. The role of photographs and image making is intrinsic to these practices. Through an examination of the combing/silence surrounding male sexual violence vis-à-vis the emphasis on the rape of women in independent Bangladesh, it is argued that these racialized and gendered discourses are intricately associated with the link between sexuality and the state in relation to masculinity.