Talk:Rape during the Rwandan Genocide

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Note removed[edit]

I am removing [1] note "[a]", under the first mention of "in an act of genocidal rape" in the lead sentence, which contains the quotation "It is also rape unto death, rape as massacre, rape to kill…", sourced to Sharlach 2000, pp. 92–93. Reasons:

  1. The quotation is misattributed. It may be cited after Sharlach 2000, but Sharlach isn't the author; she merely quotes it, in turn, after MacKinnon, Catharine A. (1994), "Rape, genocide, and women's human rights", Harvard Women's Law Journal 17: 5–16, p. 11f.
  2. The relevance and connection of the quotation to the lead sentence is not clear. What does "It is…" mean? Was this quote intended as describing the events in Rwanda? As describing why the events in Rwanda count as genocidal rape? As defining what genocidal rape is, in general? As describing typical properties of genocidal rape?
  3. As it turns out, the quotation is from a paper that was written before the Rwandan genocide and doesn't mention Rwanda at all. The passage quoted is concerned exclusively with describing events in Bosnia, arguing why MacKinnon thinks rape in that particular war constituted genocide.
  4. The way the note is currently inserted in the lead sentence naturally suggests to the reader that it is a reference supporting the claim being made in that sentence: that the events in Rwanda were "an act of genocidal rape". For this purpose it is obviously unsuitable.

I'm not saying the quotation couldn't possibly be used somewhere else, contextualized properly, perhaps in a background section on how the concept of "genocidal rape" was developed. But where it sits now, it constitutes a grave form of source misuse.

Fut.Perf. 10:39, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

note restored stop fucking hounding mr the rollback eas a mistake btw am on mobile Darkness Shines (talk) 15:26, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
If you have no substantial argument to raise here (again, as in so many other cases), then the edit will be reinstated in a short while. Fut.Perf. 15:34, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

I agree with Fut. Perf. that this quote doesn't belong here. MacKinnon's article is about rape during the Bosnian War (it looks like she discusses Croatia, too), not about Rwanda. It's disappointing that Darkness Shines is uninterested in discussing this at all. --Akhilleus (talk) 19:16, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

@Akhilleus: Actually MacKinnoins quote is how she defines genocidal rape, which is why it is in there, just behind the internal to the article on Genocidal rape. So why does a definition not belong in the article? Darkness Shines (talk) 10:08, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
No, it is not part of a definition in MacKinnon's text – and even if it were, your presentation of it would still be misleading, as your note isn't presenting it as part of a definition either. (On a different note, thanks for reverting the Wikinger socks; it's appreciated.) Fut.Perf. 18:48, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Source questioned[edit]

I have not been able to check the correctness of footnote [5], which seems dubious. This is for the sentence "During World War II, rape and mutilation were commonplace as troops invaded enemy territory and typically attacked women first", sourced to "Audoin-Rouzeau (2003, p. 158)", i.e. to "Audoin-Rouzeau, Stéphane; Annette Becker (2003). 14-18: Understanding the Great War. Hill and Wang." The book is not searchable on Google for me, but its index and ToC are visible on Amazon. According to the title of the book and the index info, the book as a whole is about WWI, not WWII, and p. 158 would be concerned with atrocities committed in 1914. Could we have a precise citation what Audoin-Rouzeau & Becker say about WWII on that page? Fut.Perf. 11:28, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Another sourcing/summarizing issue[edit]

The following passage from the "background" section is in need of repair:

"Gender-targeted crimes, especially rape, is a war economy, which is the process of producing and allocating weapons to inflict violence in the most efficient way.[8] Rape allows ethnic cleansing to be carried out more effectively and efficiently. With this ideology, women became more than prizes and became the main target.[9]"
(Sourced to: [8] "von Welser 1993: 149" and [9] "Münkler 2004: 82")

Problems:

  1. First sentence is ungrammatical (verb agreement error)
  2. The entire sequence of ideas is in fact taken from Münkler, not from von Welser. I haven't been able to check von Welser directly (and I assume the article author didn't consult her directly either, as her book is in German and not online). However, from the way she is cited in Münkler as well as in other works [2], she herself wasn't making any such claim about "war economy", but was merely quoting an opinion expressed by some (apparently anonymous) war witness. Since the war witness herself is not a reliable source on matters of such politological interpretations of the war, we can't use this judgement here, certainly not in a way that states it as plain fact in Wikipedia's voice, making it appear as if it was some kind of profound scientific analysis rather than a one-off quip by a random observer, and also certainly not in this form where it is misattributed to von Welser.
  3. The wikilink to "war economy" is wrong, as we are dealing with a rather special ad-hoc meaning of "economy of war", not with the normal concept of "war economy" that article is about.
  4. The final sentence, "women became more than prizes and became the main target", makes no sense taken out of its context in Münkler's discussion like this (Münkler is comparing modern forms of sexual violence in war with older forms, where women were supposedly seen primarily as war booty).

Fut.Perf. 15:19, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Overly close paraphrasing[edit]

The following passage constitutes overly WP:Close paraphrasing:

The genocide in Rwanda did not occur by chance, and neither was it in response to the death of the president, Juvénal Habyarimana. The genocide was the result of years of meticulous planning, as a critical part of the genocide was the participation of the general populace in the killing. One Rwandan theologian has put forth the argument that the genocide itself would not have been possible before the 1990s, and that there had been preparations under way for years, and that participation by the media was a "structured attempt to use media to influence awareness, attitudes, or behavior".[13]

Here is the original from the cited source (Green 2001–2002, pp. 733–776):

The Rwandan genocide was not a chance incident. Nor did it arise solely in response to President Habyarimana's death. The genocide was the culmination of sweeping efforts that had been meticulously planned over a period of years. The participation of the broader population was a critical aspect of the Rwandan genocide [...] In fact, a Rwandan theologian has argued that the genocide would have been inconceivable before the 1990s and that it took four years of preparation to make mass violene possible.33 To this end, the media participated in a "structured attempt to use media to influence awareness, attitudes, or behaviour".34

Apart from the copyright/plagiarism perspective, there are also two further problems caused by this misuse of close paraphrasing: first, several statements that are clearly the individual author's interpretative opinion and ought to have been hedged as such (that the genocide "did not occur by chance", that it was "meticulously planned", etc.) are now presented as simple facts in Wikipedia's own voice; second, the final quotation is misattributed, as the footnote makes it appear as if the literal quote was being attributed to Green, and/or to the unnamed "Rwandan theologian", when in reality Green is himself quoting and attributing the two statements to two different third parties (the "theologian" is one Tharcisse Gatwa, while the authors of the literally quoted bit are Christine L. Kellow & H. Leslie Steeves.)

This needs repair, or removal. Fut.Perf. 22:40, 26 April 2015 (UTC)