In one report of a particular moment in the Vietnam War, men were standing in line for their turn to rape a young Vietnamese woman. One of the men later reported that she spoke to him, in English, and asked him ‘Why are you doing this to me?’ In thousands of similar instances reported in studies of rape in war, the woman has no recognizable character, she is silent. But here she takes the foreground, and she startles me, as she no doubt startled the men standing around her, by manifesting a sense of who she is, who her rapists are and whom they may see her as being. ‘Why are you doing this to me? Hey . . . why are you doing this to me?’1