In the past several days, the IDF has released information about the acts of rape and sexual sadism Hamas members committed against both women and children on October 7. Nicole Lampert examines how Western feminists have reacted:
The response among the majority of groups committed to ending violence against women and girls was threefold: to keep quiet, to disbelieve the victims, or to insinuate they deserved their fate. In the words of 140 American “prominent feminist scholars,” to stand in solidarity with Israeli women is to give in to “colonial feminism.”
Here in the UK, this approach is perhaps best embodied in the work of Sisters Uncut, a charity that boasts its own “Feministo” committed to “taking direct action for domestic-violence services.” [After holding a massive anti-Israel protest], the charity issued a 600-word statement, filled with references to “apartheid,” “genocide,” and disproved reports that the IDF had bombed Gaza’s al-Ahli hospital. There was no mention, however, of the 239 abducted Israelis, roughly 100 of whom are believed to be women, or the sexual assaults that took place on October 7.
When the journalist Hadley Freeman pointed out this wasn’t terribly feminist of them, the group responded by claiming reports of Hamas’s sex attacks amounted to “the Islamophobic and racist weaponization of sexual violence.” Towards the end of their rambling statement, they concluded: “no people would ever accept being murdered, humiliated, dispossessed, racially targeted, oppressed, cleansed, exiled, and colonized without resisting.”
In fact, the only [such] charity in the UK to call out Hamas’s sexual violence was Jewish Women’s Aid.