Captain Crab sent in a story at E&P Pub about some t-shirts that Israeli soldiers were wearing that have sparked a controversy in Israel after it was reported on by Haaretz. Here’s an image (found at Sky News):
The shirt on the left shows a pregnant woman, clearly meant to be Arab/Palestinian, in crosshairs and says “1 Shot 2 Kills.” The one on the right has a kid carrying a gun in crosshairs and says “The smaller, the harder,” or maybe “the smaller it is, the harder it is.” This next one has a woman crying next to a dead child and a condom wrapper situated like crosshairs and says “better use Durex.”
That one apparently is meant to imply that it would be better if she’d used contraception and the child was never born, but I was really confused by it at first. Given the widespread use of rape in war (in a general sense, not specifically this conflict)*, my first thought, before I realized that was a child next to her, was that it meant a “better use” for her was to have sex with her. Not that the actual meaning is any nicer.
According to the Chronicle Herald, soldiers wore the shirts to celebrate finishing basic training.
It’s an interesting/repulsive example of dehumanizing the group defined as the enemy (they aren’t people, they’re “kills”), as well as how women’s reproductive capacity is often seen as a threat or potential weapon–by reproducing, women create more enemy soldiers.
CLARIFICATION: These weren’t official shirts given out by the Israeli military, in case that wasn’t clear. It’s not yet known who created them, but it was something that soldiers themselves appear to have come up with, not anything officially sanctioned by the military. Whether supervisors knew about them and did anything before the newspaper articles started coming out, I don’t know, but now the army says those who were caught wearing them will be disciplined.
* If you are interested in a first-hand account, A Woman in Berlin is a first-person journal account, published anonymously by a female German journalist, of her experiences in Berlin during the two months that Soviet troops occupied the city after the Nazis were defeated. Soviet troops took part in widespread and repeated rapes of the women they found living in the city, who found that their best defense was to try to connect themselves to one or two high-ranking Soviet officers, hoping the men would protect them from being raped by other soldiers (and maybe bring them some food, since most were on the brink of starving) in exchange for the women “willingly” having sex with them (as “willingly” as you can when your option is “if I don’t let you have sex with me, you’ll let all those other men rape me”).