Using Segal’s article in Criminological Perspectives

Using Segal’s article in Criminological Positions ( figure 18 ) explore the complex relationship between maleness and criminalism by inquiring ‘is force masculine?

If we are sing this inquiry in the visible radiation of Lynne Segal’s article, we need to turn to a figure of issues. First, we need to see feminist authors and research how their work has altered theories of criminologists about whether force is masculine ; we will reason that their part has been valuable but non without jobs. Second we will look at the inquiry of male force itself and inquire whether women’s fright of force from work forces is justified, and if it is, how to account for it. We will detect that this is a complex topic and one can non claim that there is a simple equation between force and being male.

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Segal Begins with an account of the alteration in perceptual experience and way made in criminological theories of male force because of the work undertaken by women’s rightists on the topic of sexual force, colza. She quotes Susan Griffin, from an article published in 1971 inRampartsmagazine, who asked ‘why do work forces ravish? ’ Griffins concluded that work forces raped because of cultural patriarchate ; society encouraged work forces to ravish as a symbolic look of male power, accordingly colza became ‘a sort of terrorism’ ( Segal, 2003, p211 ) . This thought was made more extremist by the publication of Susan Brownmiller’s book,Against our Volition, in 1975. Segal claims this book ‘proved to be a landmark in feminist thinking’ . It analysed male power and asked where it came from and considered why it was expressed in footings of sexual force ; Brownmiller’s galvanizing decision was that work forces and their force towards adult females should truly be the Centre of feminist thought ( Sehal, 2003 p211 ) .

Segal is house in her position that one of the most of import accomplishments of these women’s rightists was to expose myths about colza and male force. The first two myths ‘de-bunked’ were the thoughts that colza was rare and that it was the activity of sex-crazed aliens, alternatively it was seen that colza was a common happening and normally carried out by a adult male known to the victim. A farther myth uncovered was the thought that work forces wanted to ‘protect’ adult females. If this protection had existed, it was argued, the work forces who dealt with the victim would be thoughtfully sympathetic. However, this proved non to be the instance as male constabulary officers, medical professionals and Judgess frequently treated the victim with ill will and sought to protect the rapist’s rights before the victims. Elizabeth Stanko describes these work forces as ‘the 2nd assailant’ ; so violent she considers their response. However, the women’s rightist authors went farther than this and developed the position that the prevalence of colza was a direct consequence of the being of these myths ; adult females were seen to be ‘inviting their ain colza and that work forces were ‘victims’ of their ain unmanageable libidos. Interestingly, the one myth the women’s rightists did non expose was that work forces are ne’er raped ( Segal, 2003 p212 ) .

Brownmiller continues her statement by claiming that men’s silence on the topic of colza, even those who must be cognizant of its being, exposed their collusion in patriarchate. She points to Sigmund Freud, who wrote at great length on the topic of personal motive and sex, yet he ne’er mentioned colza. Alfred Kinsey, who was responsible for some of the largest studies about sex in the 1940s and 50s, dismissed the significance of colza by his suggestion that adult females claim to hold been raped largely because they are embarrassed by their ain gender, so want to conceal it ( Segal, 2003, p213 ) .

However, Segal is non convinced with the statement that colza must be given a wider societal account, and explained in footings of men’s power and society’s disdain for adult females. To back up her malaise with this position, she turns foremost to anthropologists ; from their work she discovers that the incidence of colza is non cosmopolitan. In West Sumatra, where all degrees of violent offenses are low, there is really small coverage of colza. In communities of the Arapesh American Indians, described as a soft, non-aggressive civilization, there is besides small reported colza, despite the fact that the state as a whole has a high incidence of this offense. Segal’s decision is that sexual force is linked to the general degree of force in a society non its patriarchate. Violence is non needfully masculine but must hold other accounts ( Segal,2003, p214 ) .

The work of historiographers would besides look to back up this. Roy Porter, analyzing women’s Hagiographas from pre-industrial England, concludes that adult females, although worried about many things, do non advert a fright of colza, proposing it was non really common. His decisions are mirrored by the work of Barbara Lindeman, who studied 18th century Massachusetts, who besides records highly low degrees of recorded colza. Both these historiographers believed that adult females were in low-level places within their societies but conclude they are non kept in this place by male force ( Segal, 2003, p214 ) .

Segal maintains that colza can non merely be seen every bit Social as other factors might be overlooked as a consequence. In order to analyze this fear Segal looks at whether force is specifically masculine. She concludes that it is non possible to reply in such a simplistic mode. Work force are violent, they accounted for 92 % of convicted instances of force against the individual in 1995 ( Muncie, 2002, p243 ) . But adult females are going more violent. Between 1965 and 1975 sex and violent offenses by work forces increased by 100 % but by 225 % in adult females ( McLaughlin, 1996, p519 ) . Barbara Hart, in a survey of sapphic twosomes revealed that force within these partnerships was increasing ; she despairs, ‘women were crushing and terrorizing other women’ ( Segal, 2003, p218 ) . Segal suggests that economic want and a sense of disaffection from society leads to the being of an ‘underclass’ is the existent cause of force. If adult females belong to this category their degrees of force rise, nevertheless, the bulk of members of this group are work forces.

It is clear that the inquiry ‘is force masculine’ does non hold a simple reply. The work of the early women’s rightists was valuable in placing the job, nevertheless, it is non helpful when they merely ascribe social and cultural accounts to it. It clearly has other, sometimes more single causes. Violence is masculine but non entirely.


McLaughlin, E. , and Muncie, J. ,Controling Crime, Sage Publications: London, 1996

Muncie, J. , ‘Youth and Crime’ , in Jewkes, J. , and Letherby, G. , eds. ,Criminology: a reader, Sage Publications: London, 2002

Segal, L. , ‘Explaining male violence’ , in McLaughlin, E. , Muncie, J. and Hughes, G. , eds. , inCriminological Positions: Essential Readings,2neodymiumedition, Sage Publications: London, 2003

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