Based on case studies from the US, UK and Australia, this book looks at the ways in which female killers are constructed in the media, in law and in feminist discourse almost invariably as victims rather than actors in the crimes they commit.
A fascinating profile of female homicide offenders emerges from this analysis of the characteristics of women murderers in six cities in the United States, including the circumstances of the murders, the role of the victims, the role of the perpetrators, and their fates in court.
Victimisation of women in times of war, genocide or mass slaughter has been the primary focus of the majority of explorations concerning gender and conflict. Traditionally, women are espoused as victims, at the mercy of male killers, and therefore subordinate. The notoriety of brutal, horrific, and incomprehensible sexual crimes against women in times of genocide has ensured that reluctance in addressing female accountability has plagued this debate. While examinations of these atrocities are imperative and indispensable in facilitating reconciliation, both psychological and social, this one-sided representation has led to a misunderstanding of the dynamic roles which women play during genocide. Whether supportive, active or auxiliary roles, women have been a vital component in endorsing, and sanctioning genocidal violence in history. In Rwanda, some women not only provided assistance and encouragement to Hutu men but, also perpetrated the attacks, and incited rape. The suffering of female victims cannot be fully understood without a consideration of the extensive nature of the perpetrators, both male and female. Moreover, quite the opposite of diminishing the value and significance of the victimisation of women, any examination which focuses on female agency re-balances the scales of gender inequality, and consequently serves to empower women. Women should not be portrayed solely as victims. Women in the Rwandan genocide were victims and perpetrators, agents and symbols. Gender expectations which propagate the superiority of men, both during and after conflict are detrimental to the reconstruction of post-genocide gender identities.
Traditional homicide indicators are based on male violence - and do little to predict when, or whom, women will kill. Vickie Jensen shows that gender equality plays an important role in predicting female homicide patterns. Jensen's analysis of the occurrence of women's homicide reveals that lethal violence is most likely when severe gender inequalities exist in the family group. Her conclusions establish the clear relationship between political, economic, legal, and social equality for women and the reduction of all forms of domestic violence.
Why are we so reluctant to believe that women can mean to kill? Based on case-studies from the US, UK and Australia, this book looks at the ways in which female killers are constructed in the media, in law and in feminist discourse almost invariably as victims rather than actors in the crimes they commit. Morrissey argues that by denying the possibility of female agency in crimes of torture, rape and murder, feminist theorists are, with the best of intentions, actually denying women the full freedom to be human. Case studies cover among others the battered wife, Pamela Sainsbury, who garrotted her husband as he slept, the serial killer, Aileen Wournos, who killed seven middle-aged men in Florida between 1989 and 1990, Tracey Wiggington, the so-called "lesbian vampire killer", and Karla Homolka who helped her husband kill two teenage girls in St. Catherines Ontario in 1993.
Springfield. Columbine. Sandy Hook. Each school shooting in the United States is followed by a series of questions. Why does this happen? Who are the shooters? How can this be prevented? Along with parents, school officials, media outlets, and scholars, popular culture has also attempted to respond to these questions through a variety of fictional portrayals of rampage violence. Rampage Violence Narratives: What Fictional Accounts of Rampage Violence Say about the Future of America’s Youth offers a detailed look at the state of youth identity in American cultural representations of youth violence through an extended analysis of over forty primary sources of fictional narratives of urban and suburban/rural school violence. Representations of suburban and rural school shootings that are modeled after real-life events serve to shape popular understandings of the relationship between education and American identity, the liminal space between childhood and adulthood, and the centrality of white heterosexual masculinity to definitions of social and political success in the United States. Through a series of "case studies" that offer in-depth examinations of fictional depictions of school shootings in film and literature, it becomes clear that these stories are representative of a larger social narrative regarding the future of the United States. The continuing struggle to understand youth violence is part of an ongoing conversation about what it means to raise future citizens within a cultural moment that views youth through a lens of anxiety rather than optimism.
Understanding Homicide is a comprehensive and challenging text unravelling the phenomenon of homicide. The author combines original analysis with a lucid overview of the key theories and debates in the study of homicide and violence. In introducing the broad spectrum of different features, aspects and forms of homicide, Fiona Brookman examines its patterns and trends, how it may be explained, its investigation and how it may be prevented. The book is unique in its focus, coverage, and style and bridges a major gap in criminological literature. While focused in several respects upon the UK experience of homicide, the text necessarily draws upon and makes a significant contribution to international literature, research and debate.
A genre-bending feminist account of four Chilean women who committed the double transgression of murder, violating not only criminal law but also the invisible laws of gender. Women Who Kill analyzes four shocking homicides carried out by Chilean women over the course of the twentieth century. Law-graduate-turned-writer Alia Trabucco Zerán introduces us to these shadowy yet captivating women, foregoing sensationalized portrayals and instead highlighting the violence enacted against them, both before and after they committed their crimes. This radical inversion reveals another narrative, one as disturbing and provocative as the transgressions themselves: how society, the media, and the political establishment reacted to these women who decisively broke from the passive domestic life that was reserved for them. Expertly intertwining true crime narrative, critical essay, and research diary, International Booker Prize finalist Alia Trabucco Zerán (The Remainder) brings a provocative feminist perspective to the study of female transgression.