ABSTRACT

I start from Benedict’s book and The Invisible War as primary sources for my analysis of the institutional gendered violence in the US military. By considering the military as an obvious site in which hypermasculinity, male hegemony, and the culture of violence pervade, my argument explicitly suggests that the gendered relations of power embedded in this particular institution produce and enable widespread and yet “invisible” terrorism aimed at its female soldiers.2 I examine rape as an act of terror exercised “collaterally”—a symptomatic tool of the “gendered war” or “gendered terrorism” ingrained in the military culture. How has the military failed its female soldiers so miserably? What is behind its failure to combat sex crimes and rape within its confi nes? Whereas I intend mainly to

respond to these issues, I will also look at another documentary, Señorita extraviada (Missing Young Women) (2001), which focuses on the ongoing feminicidio (femicide) in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, as another form of gendered terrorism-violence unleashed from within, against its own women.3 I will examine the conditions that have prevented the Mexican government from stopping the hundreds of rapes, mutilations, tortures, and killings of women in the border city of the Juárez-El Paso metropolitan area. Connections between the subjects of the two documentaries, The Invisible War and Señorita extraviada, will be explored as I join the call of victims and survivors globally to count rape and feminicidio as forms of terrorism that violate basic human rights and to hold the perpetrators accountable.4