Feminist Perspective of Crime and Deviance


Feminists, similar to Marxists, view crime and deviance as a structure of power, where, how people are treated is based on what their economic background is or what resources they have. Or, to be more specific to this case, what gender they are.

When analyzing this topic, feminists primarily focus on how female perpetrators are viewed. They'll compare female and male convicts to see if society reacted with a double-standard, or if morality was used to blame a specific gender. They'll also look to see if the motive of a crime was to show power or dominance over another person.

For example, if a woman physically and psychologically abuses her husband on a regular basis, feminists will compare society's reaction to this crime vs. the reaction to a man committing the same exact act to see if there are any double-standards or biases.

The majority of times, the perpetrators will be treated differently based on their gender.

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According to Ruth Mann (Intimate Violence in Canada: Policy, Politics, and Research on Gender and Perpetration / Victimization, 2007), violence should be "degendered" and attention should be on the motive of the crime and not who committed it because much of the time, males will have a harder sentence than females when it comes to domestic violence.

Society tends to view males as bigger and more powerful, and the reason why men are abusive is that the man wants to show dominance. Whereas when it comes to females who commit the same crime, society views the male in this situation as weak and lacks the capability of defending himself, thus putting the blame on the victim.

In conclusion, feminists focus on patriarchy and want all criminals to be treated and viewed as the same, not based on social power.

What are your thoughts on the feminist perspective of crime? Share them in the comments.

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