Feminist Perspectives’ Contribution To Criminology Writing Sample


Feminism entails a constructive understanding of how gender differences amount to inequalities in various environments. Historically, societies embodied gender roles as a fundamental variable in defining the norms and culture of a people. Women have, for so long, been victims of gender biases and participatory contexts, especially criminal offenses. However, over the years, feminist theorists have endured studies to assert the position of women in all facets of life, including criminology studies. Under this purview, theorists postulate that females have a fundamental role in shaping every aspect of criminology. The theorists ascertain that it is important to include women in research and intellectual empowerment to create a befitting and just society for everyone. The concept of feminist theory was developed as a standpoint of women defining diverse aspects of social life, humanity, and relations in unrelated settings (Van Gundy, 2013, p. 1; Andraszczyk, 2017). The principles of gender inclusivity, equality, and cultural implications bear fundamental roles in the development of criminology perspectives as epitomized in the phases of the feminist movement and legal frameworks, which have revolutionized over to establish binding laws worldwide.

Concurrently, this paper seeks to understand how the perspectives of feminism and developing principles contribute to the development of different aspects of criminology and related studies. According to Heidensohn (1968), deviance in women has been a major aspect of society since time immemorial (p 162). The ancient population portrayed a male-dominant society where women could contribute to immeasurable accounts of crimes against their rights without their knowledge. Heinsohn further alludes to Kathleen Daly’s assertions that there has been a massive investment in feminist scholarships and movements against gender deviance to ensure sustainable inclusivity among the sexual categories (p 497). Notably, there were myriad conceptual developments that saw the inceptions of gender-based research perspectives.

The Background of Feminism Dimensions in Criminology

Contextually, feminism defines a broad spectrum of ideas, including the advocacy for women’s rights to establish equality among the sexes. The perspectives involve social beliefs and economic and political equality across sexes. Initially, the wave of such perceptions began in the West. Today, the concept manifests globally as a means to liberate and empower women in different fields. The founding theorists held a comprehensive notion of feminism’s value as a major factor in social dynamism (Millman, 1975; Leonard, 1982). During the ancient times in Europe, women were conserved in the domestic sphere whereas public life and event participation was fundamentally men’s affair. Such conceptions derailed the inclusion of women in different fragments of life for a long time. Consequently, feminism ensued as a rebuttal to discrimination against women as other theorists started to advocate for inclusion in various developments within studies (Stojkovska-Stefanovska, 2018). Feminist theory is a pivotal aspect of social construction that seeks to ensure progressive development and empowerment of the female gender for equality in societies.

Further developments have occurred over the years to help understand the value of feminist criminology. The concept of feminist criminology is shrouded by myriad definitions, including cultural struggles, social norms, and exposures alongside the racial struggles for liberation. As a result, black feminists, for example, contributed to the promulgation of gender rules in legal executions. Over the last 35 years, the notion of feminism as an approach in criminology has evolved progressively to involve emerging issues and new findings, depending on the extent of research and routine practices. Such scenarios gave rise to different waves of the feminist movement within the scope of criminology.

Contribution of First Wave Feminist Movement to Criminology

This wave started in the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, involving an early liberalization quest to create a just society that recognizes women as having equal rights as men. Different theorists stamped their desire to promote individual freedom for everyone in criminology and related studies. These feminist philosophers such as Mary Wollstonecraft began a movement wave of critical advocacy for women’s inclusion in politics, economic development, and social duties. During this era, the quest for women economic empowerment experienced an extensive paradigm shift, with females beginning to understand their fundamental rights in communities and leadership. Primarily, people were engaged in sexual conservation, considering women as sex objects rather than a segment of a population who could be identified as middle class or leaders (Magarey, 2001 p 3). The first contribution was about the principle and aspects of patriarchy, which defines situations where men dominated the society (Carol Smart 2013, p 8). Therefore, the reference to gender structure became vital in shaping the rise of feminist criminology as a social stratification concept. Seemingly, the legal frameworks in place during this era may not recognize females as critical members of communities.

Conventionally, the women began to understand aspects of stints in jail and could express themselves in different scenarios, including the call for fair trials in jails. In essence, patriarchy was a gender structure stratifying men as dominant over women in societies. The women started campaigning for political and civil equality rights for all genders. They initiated a paradigm shift in approaching sexual relationships to allow women to participate in all social, economic, and political activities like men. Traditionally, men could violate women’s rights and use them as sex objects to satisfy their interests. However, the first feminist movement sought to enlighten the victims of human rights and the opportunity to prosecute those who perpetuated such barbaric acts in societies (Henne, 2017). In countries like Australia, there were vibrant movements to advocate for gender-based equality in societies (Magarey, 2001 p 4). Their music and art streamlined the movements and initiated the desire to ensure the sustainability of the new wave. Gelsthorpe and Morris (1988) further examined the onset of such activities, asserting that majority of these conquest were replications of the social injustice and patriarchy to define new statutes in criminal law (p 95). The key content of the first wave was to awake the female gender to take their position and understand that they are not only sexually valuable to men but could also contribute to their growth in other functions like leadership and economic growth. This era marked the first phase of education about proportional gender aspects in criminology. Thus, women began to realize that it was an offense to allow me to exploit them without their consent.

Contributions of Second Wave of Feminist Movement to Criminology

This era was an epitome of eventful theoretical changes with diversified concentrations on the consciousness and position of women in economic classes, and ethnic norms alongside their sexuality. It earmarked the era of pragmatic liberalism targeting issues around domestic labor, equality in the employment sector, and a clear understanding of what could entail one’s sexuality as an aspect of criminology. This era prompted the rise of different theorists, including patriarchy, who believed in radical feminism, socialists, also known as Marxists, whose belief was anchored on capitalistic utilization of women in different fields, and black feminism (Rafter and Heidensohn, 1995). Each fragment of these movements portrayed distinctive attributes in understanding the developments of the notion of feminism as part of criminology and affairs of social justice.

Radical Feminists

The philosophy of the radical feminist movement was coined on the premise that females were exploited in all aspects of human existence, including the political space, economic functionality as well as in social responsibilities. Some of the traits promoting this movement were the dominance of men in all critical decisions and the oppression of women at all levels. In essence, these theorists began to distinguish the fact that patriarchy originated at family levels where women were to stay home and do all chores without a single pay because that is where they were considered to belong (Gelsthorpe, 2003). Such backgrounds accounted for private patriarchy, which also included sexual abuse and domestic violence against women. Primarily, this marked the foundation of much of feminist criminology. At the same time, women suffered a lot of injustice in public spaces being used as human resources without pay at various cadres.

Marxists Concepts

Socialists considered the interconnection between capitalistic exploitation and patriarchy as a way of understanding how men benefited from the struggles of women without payment. In essence, capitalism included all duties assigned to all genders, which also involved domestic labor. Based on this approach, women were considered as service providers who could care for the family and remain dependent on the men as breadwinners of the social units. Nonetheless, they would conduct family duties bearing and raising children, who would later become pivotal workforce in developing the economy, yet nobody paid women. The women of that time satisfied the sexual needs of men at the desire of their spouses. These factors would amount to a gross violation of human rights against females (Carrington, 2018). The notion of radical feminists consequently became a significant foundation in raising awareness among the victims.

Black Feminists

The perpetuation of racial discrimination was a fundamental concept that seemed to affect the freedom of black people in all spheres. Social philosophers considered such circumstances as key contributing factors in the purview of feminist criminology (Henne, 2017). Consequently, the founders constituted a movement to nurture a new wave of approaching gender parity in different sectors. Combined with the milestones achieved by the first wave, there were critical legal frameworks instituted to protect women from further social ills.

Third Wave Feminist and Fourth Wave/ Modern Perspectives of Feminism

The third wave emerged in the wake of the 1990s, formulated by those born in the 1960s and 1970s in the developed world. During this age, society had begun to be marred with media saturation, including cultural and social diversities taking shape. Primarily, Generation X scholars made the realization of this wave propelled by the expanded economic and professional powers executed by women in the aftermath of the second wave. They began to work towards justice based on gender, racial, economic, and social fragments. The Third Wave Foundation, founded by Rebecca Walker, became a major driving force in shaping the movement into a major global perspective through support groups that fought against inequalities in societies (Brunell and Burkett, 2021). Primarily, it was borrowed from the second-wave theorists such as Alice Walker, who was Rebecca’s mother and manifested by different artists around the globe. Some of the key barriers fought by this wave were sexism, and racism alongside classism in societies which barred many women from becoming successful. Their key approach was to create awareness and ensure an effective transition from one generation to the next. Gender aspects became pivotal in criminology as some legal contributions started to gel, including the definition of gender rights.

The perspectives of racism and gender gaps have emerged to become fundamental facets of female criminology. Modern feminist movements tend to focus on recognition as a vital component of criminal law (Lacey, 2018). The current era of movement has the opportunity to improve the ideas of the previous feminist movements to harmonize such segments in criminology. Accordingly, Gelsthorpe (2020) assumes myriad factors amounting to a criminal offense against women as the key determinants in the growth of feminist criminology. The variance and emergence of different values and norms may become vital in shaping the legal frameworks in countries and social settings.

Progressively, the aspects of women, crime, and social norms were vital in shaping criminology practices. During these feminist movement eras, the rule of gender-based justice was initiated and became part of national and universal constitutions for criminology. Lacey (2018) argues that culture and indigenous knowledge have had considerable consequences on criminalization procedures worldwide (p. 133). Similarly, prison statistics portray disproportionate figures, which raises a concern about how a gender-lensed approach to criminology affects different accounts of justice in societies. Lacey (2018) further claims that the proportion of women in prison dropped during the 20th century alongside the crime rates, which could potentially indicate the rise in the search for justice and execution of human rights in criminology. Such values portray the outcome of feminist struggles to align the legal systems to the inclusion of a gender-sensitive mechanism.

Contributions of Feminist Perspectives in Criminology and Social Constructs

Over the recent years, there has been a tremendous surge in criminology research and the emergence of a stronger movement to advocate for equality in gender perspectives in societies and criminal justice. According to Harding (2017), there is a close relationship between these developments in the research agenda, with an accumulation of grants on streamlining criminal justice systems to avert the historical experiences of gender biases and inequality (p 106). Therefore, male resistance is a primary strategy used in responding to the social challenges against women.

The feminists’ perspectives have had a tremendous impact on accumulating literature on female offenders alongside helping highlight the institutionalization of sexism in the purview of criminology. These waves of feminism provide a conceptualized approach to understanding criminology theories, policies, and practices as envisioned in the legal frameworks (Prando, 2019). Understanding the history of female struggles with patriarchy and the value of cultural gender roles helps to create dynamic thoughts on this concept. Loraine Gelsthorpe examines the contribution of feminists in the development of legal fragments asserting that alongside other achievements, feminists’ theories contributed to masculinity principles (Gelsthorpe, 2003 p 8). At the same time, the work of feminists has progressively developed from time to time to harmonize the criminal concerns over gender biases. One of the major achievements realized is the inclusion of women in research and social constructs in criminology developments.

Moreover, there has been a paradigm shift in addressing war crimes like rape as an aspect of gender-lensed notion, including masculinity and other sexual victimizations. Chesney‐Lind (2020) asserts that some of the main courses which ensured the development of a dynamic approach to feminist criminology are the history of gender, race, and political dimensions of human life (p 414). In essence, the understanding and generation of legislative pieces on reproductive justice and principles around human rights have enabled authors to engage females in research. In essence, it is important to understand that cultures are created from values ascribed to the beliefs and behaviors of people in their daily routines. Some of the common offenses perpetrated against women in society because of male dominance include sexual assault and harassment (Chesney‐Lind, 2020). Such practices formed the foundation upon which many feminists sought to liberate the females and develop mechanisms through which they could make their voices heard in a patriarchal society.

There have been critics as well as an appraisal to help generate policies that harmonize the disparities in gender and sexuality theories. Nonetheless, there exist multiple challenges in convicting women too as offenders or handling their dynamism in legal execution (Cain, 1990). Females can be offenders and victims as provided in legal constitutions. Thus, the prevailing gender privileging alongside racial concerns needs to be addressed in the current generation and the future. In an ideal world, gender-lensed perceptions in criminology tend to limit the realization of real-time justice in many societies (Gelsthorpe, 2003 p 9). Consequently, there is a critical need to explore the boundaries between gender gaps and the application of the law.

The current wave of feminist criminology is envisaged in the comprehensive application of law and societal norms. Fundamentally, the surge in technology and the use of the internet have made learning and research a bit simpler and easier to accomplish. However, the complexity of digital communication and social networking seems to propel toxic feminism, which may hinder the sustainability of the achievements of the other waves of feminism. Currently, there are countless legislative movements to promote gender equality in politics and corporate societies. However, these movements may not remain tenable where the prevailing circumstances are not conducive.

What can be done?

The notion of feminist criminology is a broad sector that requires continuous research and development. Notably, there are countless gaps in the implications of gender-based biases in addressing the concerns around feminist criminology. As a result, all interested parties, individuals, and government agencies should focus on promoting awareness and behavior change. There is a need to debate the concept of criminology as a neutral application of law rather than a facet of gender-based concepts. Cossins (2020) postulates that the #MeToo movement has been a major development in the struggle to liberate women from patriarchy in the modern world. Such prospects in law implicate feminist criminology as a fundamental notion of social organization. At the same time, the inclusion of sexual constructs such as the practice of gays, lesbians, and trans-gender in this debate may help to broaden the implications of criminology in law (Marganski, 2020). As a result, governments around the world should design policies that consider the development realized in feminist criminology as a crucial aspect of humanity. Couper (2016) considers the inefficiency in female gang crime engagement as a major concern in European countries. Contextually, understanding the engagement of girls in criminal offenses may become paramount in understanding comprehensive criminology philosophy.

At the same time, national agencies should offer strategies to create more opportunities for feminist research. Such a move will help unearth some of the existing challenges faced in criminology and the study of feminism. Primarily, implementing policies that tackle the inclusion and persecution of women in law without prejudice and privilege will help in creating a new era of humanity and application of the law. Funding scholarships for feminist criminology will open many doors in the study of law and human rights worldwide. In essence, much of the previous studies pointed at the injustice and other inequality perspectives petted against women. Therefore, there is a need to shift the focus to feminist criminology and the deviance of men in modern society. The issues of gender empowerment should be considered a determinant of social justice and not just the right of females in their community setup.


To conclude, gender parity issues and sexuality concerns against women have greatly contributed to the development of feministic criminology. Overly, all the waves of feminism seem to have focused on inequality challenges that women faced in different parts of the world as a result of male dominance. Based on the theorists’ perspectives, men construed multiple offenses against women either consciously or unawares. Therefore, there was a need to advocate for equal human rights, which would include females’ to access equality in social, economic, and social opportunities without facing discrimination. All the waves in feminist criminology movements were a result of the pressing desire among women to play a role in shaping the growth of their economies and policies. As a result, the contributions of all feminist theories will become beneficial if there is value for equality and human in criminology studies. The legal framework of the studies about women has a central position in the quest for the development of a just society where every sexual orientation is valuable. Succinctly, understanding the values of the feminist perspective revolution in criminology presents a chance to comprehend the place of culture and heritage in legal constitutions and governance.

Reference List

Andraszczyk, W., (2017). The criminal activity of women in selected criminological theories–cultural gender contexts. Resocjalizacja Polska, 14(2), pp.79-86.

Brunell, Laura and Burkett, Elinor. “Feminism”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2021, Web.

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Carrington, K., (2018). Feminist criminologies. Alternative criminologies. Londres: Routledge, pp.110-124.

Chesney‐Lind, M., (2020). Feminist criminology in an era of misogyny. Criminology, 58(3), pp.407-422.

Cossins, A., (2020). Feminist Criminology in a Time of ‘Digital Feminism’: Can the# MeToo Movement Create Fundamental Cultural Change? In The Emerald Handbook of Feminism, Criminology and Social Change. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Couper, R., (2016). How do Females Make Sense of Their Experiences of Being Involved in Gang Activity? (Doctoral dissertation, University of East London).

Gelsthorpe, L. and Morris, A., (1988). Feminism and criminology in Britain. The British Journal of Criminology, 28(2), pp.93-110.

Gelsthorpe, L., (2020). Feminist Perspectives in Criminology: Early Feminist Perspectives. In The Emerald Handbook of Feminism, Criminology and Social Change. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Gelsthorpe, L., 2003. Feminist perspectives on gender and crime: Making women count.

Harding, N., (2017). Why feminist criminology must pose a methodological challenge to male-centred criminological theory. Emerging Voices: Critical Social Research by European Group Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers. London: EG Press Limited, pp.105-118.

Heidensohn, F., (1968). The deviance of women: A critique and an enquiry. The British Journal of Sociology, 19(2), pp.160-175.

Henne, K., (2017). Feminist Criminology. In The Palgrave Handbook of Australian and New Zealand Criminology, Crime and Justice (pp. 587-602). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Lacey, N., (2018). Women, crime and character in the 20th century. Journal of the British Academy, 6, pp.131-167.

Leonard, E.B., (1982). Women, crime, and society: A critique of theoretical criminology. New York: Longman.

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Discussion Of Morality In Auschwitz

Morals provide a benchmark for choosing what is right or wrong in any social context. The author of Survival in Auschwitz depicts the failure of morality to instil empathy and a moral compass in his life. He reveals his earlier immoral actions as a civilian before being incarcerated. In the Auschwitz prison, he experienced cruelty and had to struggle to survive. His unpleasant experience makes him realize that morality is a relative concept that can be defined differently depending on one’s immediate context.

In the Lager, inmates came from diverse cultural backgrounds; some were of Jewish and German heritage, and comprised well-cultured individuals from civilized societies. Despite this state of affairs, once they entered to the Lager, the unforgiving prison environment forced them to reevaluate their perception of morality. They considered acts such as theft, betrayal, deceit, and trickery immoral because they had been socialized to believe so before their incarceration. The author tells us that, although he does not speak Yiddish or understand much about the Jewish culture, he maintains a close circle of friend that includes Rabbis and religious instructors who share the scriptures with him (Levi, 1996). This perspective is a proof that if such people were not in prison, they would be preaching ethical behavior. However, prison life has changed their perspective of what is right or wrong.

Death threats are common in prison life, which, coupled with the strangle for survival, changes one’s view of justice and morality. This influence illustrates how morality is defined by an individual’s context rather than by society or universal dictums on human rights and fundamental freedoms. Due to the relentless competition among prisoners for insufficient resources, it slowly makes theft acceptable in the prison life. Levi (1996) says, “If I find a spoon lying around, a piece of string, a button which I can acquire without danger of punishment, I pocket them and consider them mine by full right.” (p. 53). His sentiments proof that theft is commonplace in the life of prisoners. An action that was considered morally wrong when not in prison now seems moral and acceptable.

Moral justifications are also different between civilian and prison life. In the Lager, the author argues that right and wrong are understood differently: “think of the possible meaning in the Lager of the words ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ ‘just’ and ‘unjust”’ (Levi, 1996, p. 74). A critical consideration of the meaning of a prison language would reveal that not much of the ordinary ethics would persist in this penitentiary. The whole encounter by the author in prison can be summarized as a statement of the cruelty and evil in this realm. Despite this reality, he still observes that such evils are not done by the Germany willingly, but because of the period in history they are in. He says, “They build, they fight, they command, they organize and they kill. What else do they do, they are Germans” (Levi, 1996, p. 76). From this statement, the author asserts that the prisoners’ morality has been corrupted by the prison experience and similarly the Germans’ morals have been eroded through the influence.

In the story The Drowned and the Saved, Levi uses the concept of morality concerning the life in the Lager to survive. He believes that man’s more civilized social habits and instincts are repressed by his experiences. He further says, “In the Lager there are two types of people: “the saved” and “the drowned” (Levi, 1996, p. 82). This statement can be interpreted to mean that in prison every individual is desperate and alone and must struggle for his survival without any support to avert imminent misery and death. In this aspect, the saved ones are those individuals who have mastered the art of survival in the Lager.

On the other hand, the drowned are those who cannot adapt to the new environment. To support this point, the author says, “Among the few hundred Jewish prisoners who have survived more than three years, the first to arrive did so only by ruthlessly organizing for their survival, obtaining favorable positions, and relationships” (Levi, 1996, p. 89). As it may be in a normal society, an individual may fall between the drowned and the saved. When it comes to prison life, this intermediate state does not exist. In jail, there is no neutral ground and easiest path to fall into being drowned because it needs no tactics.

In conclusion, there are many survival ways in the prison environment despite it being difficult and unpredictable. In the Lager, the most known way is to rise the ranks because it is advantageous and comes with many benefits. The author asserts this idea by telling us about the little known Alfred L. who entered the camp naked and alone, but with time he forged good relations with his comrades with maximum courtesy (Levi, 1996). His demeanor made him prominent and he rose the ranks to become a notable leader in the prison.


Levi, P. (1996). Survival in Auschwitz. Simon & Schuster.

Central Rat Race: Signs Analysis

Signs Used in the Central Rat Race

The Central Rat Race primarily uses three signs in its promotion. Following the event’s central theme, its primary sign is an animal mascot, the rat in business attire, and running shoes (Central Rat Race, 2018). This is complemented by the use of a cheese wedge shape and the color yellow, generally associated with positivity and optimism (Central Rat Race, 2018; Kauppinen-Räisänen & Jauffret, 2018). These signs are visual, literally denoting a foot race, while figuratively having connotations with a rat race, a pointless pursuit. Furthermore, Central Rat Race’s award ceremonies use large bank checks that feature the logo of Mindset, a major charity organization, to communicate significant sums of money being given to charity (Central Rat Race, 2018). The use of this sign conveys generosity and success as both business executives and charity donors.

Evaluation and Suggestions

The primary strengths of the Central Rat Race’s signs are their conveyance of the chosen theme. The signs are also colorful and cartoon-like, highlighting the fact that the event is not entirely serious. Moreover, the rat is a positive symbol in Hong Kong’s culture, symbolizing positive qualities such as intelligence and ambition. By associating the race’s participants with this symbol, the event ascribes these positive qualities to them. However, the lack of an obvious textual component can make understanding the event’s context or content challenging for someone who isn’t already familiar with it. Furthermore, the rat is a primarily negative symbol in most European cultures, associated with deceptiveness and disease. However, this fact is not as relevant for an internal event.

Based on the above observations, two suggestions can be made to improve the event’s signs. First, a textual component can be introduced to make communicating the event’s context easier, especially for those who are not aware of it. Second, the rat mascot, while recognizable, changes from event to event. Although some amount of change is expected, a more consistent design would improve recognizability. Finally, if the event’s organizers choose to expand internationally, they may examine the mascot’s design in more detail.


Central Rat Race. (2018). Photo Gallery. Web.

Kauppinen-Räisänen, H., & Jauffret, M.-N. (2018). Using colour semiotics to explore colour meanings. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 21(1), 101-117.

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