Essay on Feminist Criminology

Words: 3502
Pages: 15

Feminist Criminology:
How useful is it in its analysis of female crime?

MSc Criminology and Forensic Psychology

Feminist criminology emerged out of the realisation that criminology has from its inception centred on men and the crimes they commit. Although it can be argued female criminality was researched by Lombroso, as far back as 1800’s, female crime, it’s causes and the impact in which it had on society was largely ignored by the criminological futurity. Those Criminologist who did attempt to research female crime such as Thomas and Pollak were not only very damning of women but were also very condescending, choosing to stereotype them as either Madonna or whore (Feinman).
Law abiding women were described as passive,
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Walklake argues that In order for sexuality to be reconstructed it is necessary to replace male culture with female culture, a position sometimes referred to as Cultural Feminism. Radical Feminism operates under the premise that male culture and all that is associated with it is “bad and all female culture is “good” which in essence opens this perspective up to criticisms of essentialism and reductionism as one could argue as to the validity of this assumption as like with any culture there are positive and negative aspects and thus to assert that female culture is better than male culture would seem to make them no better than the patriarchal viewpoint which they seek to eradicate. Jagger (1983) argues that Radical Feminism presumes that all men have the same powers over their own lives as they have over the women, other critics have commented on the fact that Radical Feminism presumes all men are potential rapist, thus again making prejudgement as to their relationship with violence and their expression of masculinity in the violence towards women. Despite the criticism of this approach it a can be argued that this approach has made significant contributions toward placing male behaviour at the forefront of academic and political debate. Socialist Feminism Messerschmidt (1993) had this to say on his understanding of crime through socialism; “My socialist feminist understanding of crime had two premises. First, to