Reexamination of the Foreign Female Captive: Deuteronomy 21:10-14 as a Case of Genocidal Rape
Whether it's Yazidi women captured by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq or Nigerian girls taken by Boko Haram, young girls being forced into marriage and sexual slavery have lately captivated the world's attention. In both cases, the men in these armies (who see themselves engaged in holy war) support forced marriage through the invocation of an ancient principle that views women as “spoils of war.” Moreover, both of these wars have been called, at one point or another, acts of genocide against ethnic/religious minorities. In light of these recent events, this article reexamines the foreign female captive in Deuteronomy 21:10–14 through the lens of intersectionality and suggests that this text describes what contemporary international law scholars have identifi ed as genocidal rape: the taking and raping of women identifi ed as belonging to the foreign enemy. This article questions biblical scholars' traditional interpretations of Deut 21:10–14, which obfuscate the ethnic dimension of this female's status. Contrary to many interpretations of this text, which argue for an erasure of the foreign captive's ethnic identity, this article argues that the captive's ethnic identity actually serves as a means of targeting, marginalizing, and oppressing even after her procurement.
Back to Volume 32, Number 1