ABSTRACT

This chapter describes the genocidaires' exploitation of gendered anxieties among Rwandan Hutus of both sexes and the gendercidal targeting of Tutsi men and boys by the Hutu Power regime. It explains the rampant sexual violence against Tutsi women, the unusually prominent role of female Hutu perpetrators in the genocide of Tutsis, and the skewed gender ratios of the immediate post-genocide period. The “gendering” of a given genocide, therefore, encompasses the cultural configurations that influence the mobilization of perpetrators and the targeting of victims, as well as the sexed bodies that are damaged or destroyed in genocidal campaigns. The role of gendered propaganda before and during genocidal outbreaks should be recognized as an especially intimate and potentially toxic element. The Rwandan genocide is established as one of the quintessential twentieth-century examples of mass sexual violence against women in war and genocide.