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Feminist Theories in Criminology, Essay Example

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Abstract

Women are commonly involved in crime just as men. Although most of the crimes that are associated with women are petty offenses, some accounts of violent crimes have been documented and punitive measures are considered appropriate irrespective of gender in this situation. This paper gives an account of the understanding of the involvement of women in crime based on the feminist theories

Introduction

The use of the feminist theories in the field of criminology is a source of decisive appraisal elemental protectorate of control, reproduction as well as regulation of order along with power in as far as the society is concerned (Belknap, 2007). According to the perceptions of theorist, both men as well as women have divergent perceptions of the world. Consequently, it is imperative that the voice of the women is considered in respect to the interpretation of their behavior, in contrast to its decision being based on beliefs in addition to sanctions that excludes the experience of women.

This paper attempts to give an oversight of the feminist theories as they apply in the field of criminology with specific interests in female offending, female victims in instances of male violence, and the duties of women who are employed in the criminal legal system.

Accounts of feminist criminology

According to the feminist criminologists, changing the conception of inequality in a society offers a new means of evaluating legal thought together with practice. The feminists indicate a link of power to knowledge with respect to interpreting and fabricating criminality. According to the argument of feminist criminologists, women face discrimination on account of sex which consequently leads to a denial of opportunities in politics, career, and economic as well as personal achievements relative to their male counterparts. The elimination obstacles of access routes to the opportunities can be achieved through equal participation of women as men in public domains through implementation of change (Belknap, 2007).

The feminist theories have documented a strong connection between the liberation of women to an escalation of crime rates that are associated with women. With an increase in the emancipation of women that leads to a greater involvement in full time positions of employment, the possibility of their engagement in the crimes that are committed by male is drastically increased (Belknap, 2007). However, the feminist theories have not been able to adduce a strong empirical support to this argument. Majority of the crimes that were associated with women had no direct relationship to the improvement of their opportunities in the labor market or even in politics. The notable crimes that are committed by women are petty crimes involving property. Women are in most cases associated with shop lifting, welfare frauds and bad checks, all of which have a bearing to the escalation in the feminization of poverty. The crimes that are associated with women are linked to their roles of consumers, health care, shopping, which are their traditional roles in the context of a family setting. As a consequence, women are involved in simple feminine crimes such as writing and issuing of bad checks, taking items from the shelves of shops that they perceive as beneficial which depict their roles as homemakers. The rates of violent crime among women are considerably lower as compared to men (Belknap, 2007). However, the societal reactions to the crimes committed by women have become highly castigatory. Members of community are more likely to report instances of female crime to the police, who in turn would not hesitate to take legal actions against them. The females who dispute their gender roles as defined in the patriarchal gender system are associated with unruly behavior and consequently they are subjected to punishment (Belknap, 2007). The feminist criminologists assert that, an amicable solution to this problem is achieved through offering opportunities of employment to the women. This will empower them to hold positions of paid employment along with active politics in a similar capacity as men.

Reference

Belknap, J., (2007). The invisible woman: Gender, crime, and justice, 3rd Ed. CA: Belmont, Wadsworth.

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