Female criminality is a major issue that is generally viewed as a serious threat to society as a whole. Both crime and criminals have been the focus of attention in today’s society. The crime rate is gradually increasing. Crime has always been seen as a male-dominated activity in India. However, now, this concept of male-centric behavior has been debunked. Men and women commit criminal activities as a result of tensions, anger, jealousy, enmity, and hatred. They are involved in a variety of nefarious acts. This movement is primarily due to shifting societal norms and standards, which result in the complexity of existence individually or collectively.
Because of its impacts on the family, children’s upbringing, and society as a whole, women’s criminality is a serious societal problem with the potential to become a big crisis. Women and crime have become a hot topic in the professions of social work, sociology, criminology, and law in recent years.
Women’s criminal behavior has been a neglected subject of study for a long time. The woman has always been the foundation of the family and society as a whole, according to history. Women have been regarded as defenders of social standards, traditions, conventions, morality, and family harmony since the dawn of civilization.
Every religion has elevated women to a place of honor. The initial concern of the author was that why the woman, who has long been considered as the cornerstone of every family and spiritual faith, and without whose blessings the process of pumping new life into humankind cannot be completed, has gone astray and entered the crime scene, and it is this that has attracted the researcher’s interest in the topic of “Criminality among Women.”
Women perpetrate crimes such as dacoit, robbery, theft, kidnapping, abduction, pickpocketing, chain or watch snatching, cheating, counterfeiting, and drug trafficking. Women who engage in such criminal behavior are more likely to exploit the laws designed to protect them.
THE FEMINIST SCHOOL OF CRIMINALITY AND EMERGENCE
Until the late 1960s, feminist criminology was thought to be a male-dominated discipline of study, with men investigating and researching male criminality. Only a passing mention of female criminality was made, but since the rise in female criminality in the late 1950s and 1960s, the focus has shifted to biological determinants rather than social and mental distinctions between females and males at the same time, female criminology was on the rise, which coincided with the entrance of the second phase of feminist and feminism viewpoints, which have significantly added to our understanding of crime and deviance in recent years.
Before the development of second-wave feminism, informal and official social restrictions were one of the methods used to reduce crime. This was due to women’s social expectations to remain in home domains, to serve as a wife and mother, providing emotional support to the family, and performing domestic tasks such as housework. Women would not have enough legitimate opportunities to find work, earn money, and create a career as a result of these factors. Illegitimate features of this include engaging in illegal and deviant actions. Following the end of World War II, many societal changes occurred. Women became bolder and began to speak out about their challenges and dissatisfaction with being forced into the traditional role of a housewife Women began to work outside the home, inspiring other women to follow suit, and a social shift was unavoidable. This gave them autonomy, which can also be referred to as liberalization. There are two sides to every coin, and this gave women several opportunities to engage in criminal activities such as crime.
Because of their empowerment and self-confidence, women challenged established expectations of male and female behavior, including criminal aspects. Women were stretched out as a result of social changes in marriages and couples, as well as discrimination, especially because women were supposed to take care of home, family, and children. The ideology of being independent and stop depending on their partners for small wants was the impact on liberalization and hence leads to female criminality.
Feminism has a lot to do with female criminality. Prostitution and shoplifting were once the only areas where female criminality was confined, but as time passed, women became increasingly involved in more serious and terrible crimes such as violent assaults, fraud, and even white-collar and corporate crimes. As a result, the number of women who commit crimes has increased from one in seven in the 1950s to one in four now, and this rise in female criminality has coincided with a drop in traditional feminine stereotypes.
Consider the consequences of third-wave feminism on female criminality in the 1990s to apply the concept of liberation in a more modern context. As a result of the indoctrination of girls to become more assertive and even aggressive, moral panics about girl gangs and their involvement in gang culture occurred in the early part of this century. Showing unladylike behavior such as drinking and physical connections produced a moral and societal panic in the mid-1990s, thanks to a creation by a young working female mingling and behaving like young boys. The phrase “freedom” can also refer to how the media portrays female criminality and how attitudes toward female criminality are changing. Women were no longer thought to make poor decisions. Their actions have since been heavily denounced in the media, both for the act itself and because the offenders were women. These forms of representations, according to sociologists, are an attempt to limit female behavior because male and female criminals are judged using different criteria.
Since the beginning of the rise in female criminality, which occurred just before the second wave of feminism, there has been a lot of exaggeration of feminism as a mistake. Female gang roles are more traditional than most people realize, according to recent research, with girls taking on subordinate roles within society. It was mostly middle-class and traditional families, where traditional gender roles were prevalent in working-class areas, who began pressuring working-class women and girls to confront their traditional responsibilities.
Say, on the other hand, that third-wave feminism has changed the way girls are socialized in working-class communities, and that this has had an impact on feminism and female criminality.
Putting women in prison on biological grounds improves society’s opinion of biologically criminal women. As a result, society overlooks other factors that contribute to female criminal behavior, such as social and economic factors. Because they are emblems of compassion and care, women are always shown as attractive beings that lack machismo. As a result, they cannot be classified as criminals in the same way that their male counterparts are.
However, as time passes, courts and jurists are changing the paradigm of female criminality, treating female criminals in the same way that male criminals are treated, putting them on an equal footing with male criminals. Nonetheless, feminism is a contentious concept that, depending on one’s intellect, can be taken to extremes. The Momentum Feminist Criminological Grant involves research on female violence as well as hypothesis creation and testing.
Women’s capture may be on the rise as a result of government concerns about law enforcement, the criminal justice system’s shifting attitude toward female offenders, and the changing nature of women. The relevance of financial and ecological issues is given to understanding female criminality. Female offenders contribute to the criminal justice system in a numerically smaller way than male criminals, according to new research. Regardless, the frequency of crimes committed by women in financial problems appears to be on the rise.
Author(s) Name: Purvi Srivastava (Student, Bennett University, Greater Noida)