Though today we focus on the DRC, where hundreds of thousands of women and children are reported to have been raped in the most brutal ways, rape as a weapon of war has a long history, as long as the history of humankind and is an essential part of the war machine of all proud nations.
Women and children are raped. Women and girls are turned into sex slaves and used to give rise to new populations to wipe out the enemy group and replace it with the offspring of the conquerors.
Very young girls, ages of around thirteen, are abducted and handed out as trophies to soldiers/militia men/police.
Gang rape is the method used to subdue women and children.
The rapists are heavily armed. In the DRC, they are dressed in fatigues, wear cartridge-belts, carry rifles, RPGs and other weapons.
Apparently, they regard rape as their right and believe it is a right of passage to manhood. This is a belief reinforced by traditions such as ukutwala.
If Manhood depends on rape, and mostly gang rape at that, what does Manhood mean?
Does it mean accepting one's weakness and depending on the gang and weapons to give one courage?
Does it mean violating and enslaving those who cannot defend themselves, i.e. women and children?
Does it mean destroying communities?
So then, is a Man a Man because he is essentially a coward, has no self-respect and has repudiated civilized values?