Violence, Gender and “Race”

A Moroccan Goumier sharpening his American bayonet, photograph published in the US Army magazine Yank, October 22, 1944.


During colonization in the nineteenth century, European countries imposed a political violence which stemmed from their military and economic superiority. The order based on white supremacy was accompanied by specific gender relations, formed far from the home country and thriving on an often-ambivalent imagination regarding indigenous men and women. Practices were consequently quite varied, ranging from cohabitation to the use of colonial soldiers, to bloody repression and the regulation of prostitution. Up until independence, the political order went hand in hand with questions of gender and “race,” regardless of the home country involved.