Sexual violence in war has, in recent years, become a topic widely treated in mainstream media. Most feminists have celebrated this as the achievement of feminist scholars and activists whose work, it is alleged, has finally succeeded in drawing attention to this serious problem. Against this view, the present article argues that sexual violence in war has always been visible and forms a central topos of wartime propaganda. The important issue is not, therefore, whether such acts are visible, but how they are framed. Mainstream feminist discourses in Europe , especially those that focussed on sexual violence in the wars in Yugoslavia , reveal a striking continuity with earlier discourses that represent the masculinity of the Other as a deviant masculinity, in contrast to the "manly", protective masculinity of one's own collective (nation, ethnic group). Feminist discourses on sexual violence in war that call for military intervention to protect women's rights fail to reflect on the role of military institutions as the essential locus where hegemonic masculinity is constructed, are directly functional to the politics of intervention, and lack any means of distancing themselves from paternalist militarism.