French Novelist Albert Camus wrote, “We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes, and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves”. Crimes are crimes and should not be differentiated on the basis of gender motivations since they are different for each. It was God who made the woman by nature mild, sober, soft, lovely and to be loved with little exception. Even though women are believed to be less violent than men, there are still a percentage of violent acts committed by women.
This is in part to the overwhelming beliefs by society that crimes are the domain of men and women are viewed to be more nurturing in that regard. Our lives are already different at birth, as our genders determines who we are and how we are will be viewed by society. In every society our gender constructs these differences. Men have always been associated with power and wealth and women hardly a role at all. Other causes that have been affected are race, class, and sometimes-physical ability.
So people believe there is an unequal distribution of wealth, power and standing in the world. Men have always been regarded as the persons most likely to commit a violent crime. Over the past few decades we have seen this thinking change and more women have found themselves in the rising numbers of these cases. Dr. Andrew Chishom, Professor Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina wrote that in 1970 there was 6,000 women incarcerated and in the 90’s that number increased to 75,000. What are the causes of the increases in crimes being committed by women?
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Dr Chishom also reports that crimes historically were predominately committed by men and that women involved themselves in many kinds of crimes with them, “Women became more daring”. In the movie Thelma & Louise, we saw varying incidents where women were treated in manners that were considered demeaning. Not to say that this would be a reason to commit a crime, but it does open the way for some women to question who they are and why they find themselves taking such abuse. Thelma and Louse reminded me that not only are women looked at differently than men, but also even when a crime is committed, they are still not considered smart.
Thelma, a sensitive, naive and somewhat goofy woman, lives in a loveless marriage to a man that is overpowering and loves practicing control over her. Louise, a strong and independent woman who knows that she wants more out of life than what she has been dealt. Going away for a weekend would have been an opportunity for the both of them to find out what they really wanted to do with their lives, Crimes are not always planned, but can make people appear that they were built this way from the start. Louise found herself in a situation that was irreversible.
Having experienced the same act of violence that was being perpetrated on Thelma in the parking lot of the bar brought back such horrible memories and at that point Louise was not going to relive it and let it go again. Thelma and Louise, found themselves in such a horrible and unthinkable situation they could only resort to a life of continued crime, since they were now considered suspects in a the shooting and death of Harlan. Crimes such as rape, murder, robbery, and brutality are not easily seen as acts that Women would find themselves involved in. However, there are many circumstances that have placed many women in those situations.
Women were widely considered not to be capable of the ferocity or deep-seated evil as men. After all, in eighteenth century patriarchal society, they were widely seen as demure, submissive creatures. True, some had fallen on the wrong side of the tracks and had become petty thieves or whores, but a common contemporary conception seemed to exist that women were pretty much incapable of malice. Some women commit crimes because of pressures that otherwise would be not an issue if they didn’t find themselves in a situation that seemed impossible to get out of, so their actions become devious.
Both men and women sometime defer from normal societal cares when confronting conflict. In Thelma and Louise case, men created the spontaneous devious acts that changed their view of the law as well as men in positions of authority. Certainly, you can argue that men are viewed to be stronger and their physical strengths totally outweigh that of women. It has been thought constantly that men were and are prone to violence, and women would only commit a crime as a result due to some kind of force, or because the authority over them was too severe.
As Beth Richie discussed in her women and crime book, “Compelled to Crime” The Gender Entrapment, many of those women were in previous abusive relationships. When a woman is abused she can only take it for so long before she breaks. So many women are oppressed that when they do get a chance to fight back, they fight with all of their might. In the film Thelma and Louise, they fought against a rapist, because Louise had been raped in Texas, and the man got away. Louise did not want to let another rapist walk the street.
She was defending herself, Thelma, and in a sense making an example out of that man by showing society that men will not always be able to walk away from their victim. Some women do fight back, and they will fight to the death if necessary. Thelma had been oppressed her entire life by her husband, who would not let her do anything. In fact Thelma stated once they left town, that she was going to let her hair down once and for all! That shows how oppressed she really was. Men are viewed very differently than women are when a similar crime has been committed.
This is because over the decades men have proven themselves worthy of this title. Men have been more aggressive in all areas of crime and thus are given sentences that are harsher than women. This does not exclude women from their crimes, however because in many cases women have acted in defense of themselves giving them more reason for justification when they take a life. However, society will probably always have a little more mercy on women when they commit a crime, sighting many opticals that could have caused them to act in such a manner.
Both genders are left with frightening realities that face them, and that is that a life has been taken and punishment will be inevitable. Scott, Ridley. Thelma & Louise. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1991 Nicole Walker “Why Women Are Committing Crimes”. Jet Find Articles. com. 15 Mar 2010. Http://findarticles. com Beth E. Richie. “Why Do Women Commit” Crimes PhD. University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of African American Studies http://www. ojp. usdoj. gov/bjs/homicide/gender. htm. Greenfeld, Lawrence A. and Tracy L. Snell, Women Offenders, December 1999, pp. 1, 2, 4
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