May Be Woman But Shes Not Angel Criminology Essay

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Reading this book from a feminist point of view Patricia Pearson where she discussed the nature female aggression and the way society responds towards women committing a crime. This book it is well written, convincing with an alarming view of women, not as victims of violence, but as perpetrators and partners of it. Pearson studied the concepts of female aggression and she discovered some important statistics, where she points out that the majority of child homicide in US; child's physical abuse is caused by women. Despite the fact that women commit crimes the violence is still seen as male construction, where in the other words women and children are still seen as victims. Pearson describes that women claim their innocence that their behaviour is accidental or caused by abuse. But the violence committed by women regardless of how they are seen or labelled by our society is rising and the violence is still seen as masculine. She also argues that despite the finding of bio criminologists that aggression is not innately masculine; we still have the notions that women are gentle and this is because the "patriarchs and feminist will not look for the facts that dispute it"p.11

Pearson also point out the perception of female violence and their motive where she explain this that women claim that they were violent because they had no choice. Such as the case of Karla Homolka where her motive for violence was that she was a battered women, controlled abused threatened and coerces by Paul her husband whom she had to marry because of her secret and him blackmailing her. Where Karla helped Paul rape and kill women including her sister. She argues that even if a women is involved in these horror crimes they are seen by the society as victims, or innocents and with the excuses that they either had not choice, were abused, the violence was necessary for women as it was for self-protection or for survival. She also argues that women can make a plea on 'premenstrual syndrome', where men cannot say that he committed a crime because his testosterones levels were too high. Pearson found that Women are more likely to be asked about her family history as to whether they have been abuse or neglected by their probation officers than men, and that unless we start seeing the violence as human instead of gender the judicial system will continue to operate the same with excuses about female behaviour.

Her study has shown that women aggress their new born and infants and she found that not only the majority of infants are murdered by women but there are more infant boys killed than girls"p.71. Women commit 'nonaticide' because they do not consider themselves as women; when they are in denial of their maternal grace. But she argues that feminist has considered the infanticide as one of masculine conspiracy to make women do bad things.p.76. Whereas she argues that infanticide has been committed throughout the history for many reasons, such as personal, political, superstitious, and strategic. She also argued that one motive that is used is that a new mother after pregnancy experiences a "postpartum depression" also known as "new mother syndrome" which is linked directly to female hormones where it turns women inexplicably violence".p79

Pearson argues that women use their children as pawns exercise power and still try to claim their innocence. Where her studies brought to attention that women kill to be recognised such as in the case of Marybeth Tinning where for her killing her infants brought attention to her and that she "was overwhelmed by sympathy she received as grieving mother". p.95 which in psychiatric parlance it means that she had "Munchausen syndrome by proxy" p.94,Where the author argues this label as hugely misleading and that female psychopaths would be discovered, and she also argues that women do use their children to express their will to power.

Pearson points out that When women assault their spouses or lovers and argues that despite the fact that we have cases of women abused their spouse as society we do not see that 'husband abusers exist'.p.117 Domestic violence refers mostly to male abusers where the studies show that women abuse men as well, and the same abuse occurs among the same sex couples. Research began to reveal that domestic violence has been claimed by both sexes. But, women's behaviour has an excuse such as Battered-women's syndrome where men do not have this protection as they do not deserve "the excuse"p.127 when problems occur regarding domestic violence she argues that labelling it is not clear when 'men' are concerned. She also argues that masculine does not mean that can cause violence and also does not mean that it cannot become a victim. Even when mutual abuse is present she argues that in most cases women are the perpetrators of the conflict.

Women may have different characteristics when it comes to violence, but, they are not unfamiliar to these crimes, such as serial killers. the death of innocents, the tragic cases of caretakers such as Dorothea Puente how she took advantages of their charges by poisoning them.p.152 She argues that women can be perpetrators of the crime other than victim, but, the reason why we don't fear them is that female predators tend to be "place- specific killers"p.153; Men are more like "stalkers" where women are "trappers"p.159, 160. Despite the fact that women commit crimes we still sympathy them finding excuses for them, but when it comes to men serial killers we see them as "pure evil"p.153. The author argues that we need to understand that violent women are as dangerous as men and they can destroy you instantly same as men.p.175 so, we need to see the crime as human rather than gender.

As for the fact that women can be partners in violent crime Pearson has studied the case of the Canadian killer Karla Homolka and found that together with her husband, Paul, tortured and murdered three young women, including her own sister. Where Karla testimony was that, she was forced, been beaten and blackmailed by Paul to participate; Pearson provides shocking material that indicates Karla killed the girls. Pearson argues that the paradigms such as "FBI paradigm assumes that a women's stake in deviant behaviour can never be self-interest"p.185 and women are mostly coerced by male to obtain her to agree and then gradually make them do deviant activities should not be applied in such as Karla Homolka's case; where according to Candice Skrapec "women who kill repeatedly see themselves as someone who matters and powerful". p.195

Pearson also has shown us the wold of female prisons where she described the Chowchilla prison as "full array of human temperament and desire"p.204, of women that have committed crimes of passion, greed, necessity, and want. She argues that women also do commit crimes because they were unemployed, or because crime is the culture they know. She also argues that 20% of female inmates are psychopaths, they too "create groups and hierarchy of power"p.205. In the prisons there are women who killed infants, predatory women, sex offenders and that there are women in "CCWF are considered "maximum risk" but she argues that society still sees that women are in prison because of men abuse. She argues that despite that women can be as dangerous as men in prisons, in some cases women are more dangerous because they tend to be more deceptive and manipulative where male attack are more obvious you see them coming, the society sees them different.

Despite of the fact that women are seen as innocent they need to hold themselves accountable for our deeds p.226 Pearson said that when the book came out written by Freda Adler in 1975 'Sisters in Crime', shook up the world, when she said that 'woman's aggression it is going to catch up with men's' p.228, Pearson it is continuing to prove that women's aggression has reached the level of man, it is already there, and that women are as dangerous as men. She also argues that women gain fame through crime, kill for money the same as men, but, woman should also take account of their behaviour and so should the society see it that way.

Not only the author throughout the book has tried to prove that women can be perpetrators of the crime rather than a victim but she also argues that our "culture should urgently acknowledge violence as a human rather than gender, phenomenon". P.232 Pearson also argues that because our denial of women's aggression, it will, profoundly undermine our attempt as a culture to understand violence and trace its causes.p.243 Pearson is trying to show that the society is not fair, the system is not fair where she bring forward the material that can be debatable that sheds a light on violence and how society responds to crimes committed by different gender, and how women can get away with murder.