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York University
CRIM 2650
Anita Lam

Feminist criminology, part II Lecture Overview 1. Brief recap 2. Feminist criminology in practice 3. Case study: Prostitution Brief Recap  Prostitution is quintessential female crime –stigma attached to prostitution.  Criminal woman as doubly deviant—not only is she transgressing the law, but the conventional norms of femininity that suggest that women ought to be law abiding but sexually passive  Medicalization of female deviance  E.g. Nymphomania –mental disorder that is only applied to women who have violated the expectations associated with femininity. In 1800s they were demanding access to education, marrying later in life, having fewer children. Sign of moral delinquency—leading you to a dark path where you can suffer from insanity or go into prostitution in order to satisfy their out of control sexual desires.  Second-wave feminism—don’t all see prostitution in the same way. Radical/liberal  Prostitution only made possible in patriarchal and capitalist society—argue that prostitution wouldn’t exist if we were not living in a cap society that treats the bodies of working class as commodities that can be bought and sold. Working class men’s bodies are bought for labour power, but for women, they have less employment options, they might be driven to sell sexual services, and as a result, their prostitution exist because of the social and economic subordination of women in this kind of society. Same in a patriarchal society where theres an ongoing demand for men to buy womens bodies and as result there have been feminist criminologists that have argued that its patriarchy that creates the need and legitimates the need for prostitution. Feminist criminology in practice  Dependent on social and political context of a particular context --in the book theres a case where sweden has a strong womens movement which explain why it could turn its radical perspective into a law against male purchaser of female prostitutes  Unintended consequences of policy changes  E.g. Mandatory charging policies— law enforcement policies that we take charging out of the category of optional law enforecement outcome, and make them mandatory in cases of domestic assault. Feminists argue that We need these arrest policies to show that male violence was unacceptable and was a criminal matter. There were unanticipated affects in the U.S -they saw an increase in number of adult women who were being arrested under this policy but the male arrests for the same offence decreased. So whats happening here? Women who are trying to defend themselves are actually being arrested. Similiarly in Canada we have mandatory policies in cases of domestic abuse – since 1909 – these laws were rarely enforced though cuz 1. Police and courts didn’t want to intervene in cases of assault for fear that it would divide families 2. Private family affair 3. Police tempt to prefer cases where they can actually act as crime fighters rather than social workers. So domestic violence was at the bottom of police priority. This policy has negative effects on immigrant women who are being abused- placed in a tough position—if they report the incident there could be dire consequences for them – if they are not a permanent citizen of Canada, this report can lead to her deportation.  Intersectionality – Assumption of singular women with similar resources was disregarded through the concept of intersectionality because race, class sex, gender differentiates women  Unpredictable effects— that stem from stage intervention. Have begun to question whether we even want the state as a solution in the fight against male violence Case study: Prostitution in Canada  Prostitution is legal in Canada. Prostitution-related activities, however, have been criminalized.  Holdovers from Victorian era:  Bawdy-house offence (s. 210 of Criminal Code): 1) Every one who keeps a common bawdy-house is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. (2) Every one who (a) is an inmate of a common bawdy-house, (b) is found, without lawful excuse, in a common bawdy-house, or (c) as owner, landlord, lessor, tenant, occupier, agent or otherwise having charge or control of any place, knowingly permits the place or any part thereof to be let or used for the purposes of a common bawdy-house, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.  Procuring and living on the avails of prostitution (s. 212) –offence targeting people who live in part on the profits of prostitution, targeting pimps. If your mother was a prostitute, and she was paying for your tuition, you would be called into court under living on the avails of prostitution. Anyone living in the life of a prostitute is living on the avails. The purpose of this law is to isolate prostitutes.  Communicating for the purpose of prostitution (s. 213): in effect since 1985  Any person who in a public place (a) stops or attempts to stop any motor vehicle, (b) impedes the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic or ingress to or egress from premises adjacent to that place, or (c) stops or attempts to stop any person or in any manner communicates or attempts to communicate with any person. for the purpose of engaging in prostitution is guilty of a summary conviction Challenges to the Prostitution Laws 1. 1990 Prostitution Reference  Does the communicating offence violate s. 2(b) of the Charter (i.e. right to freedom of expression)?  S. 1 of the Charter:  The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in its subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by laws as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.  S.1 justifies the violation of right to free speech  Substantial legislative objective: eliminate social nuisance associated with public display of sale of sex –honking, finding condoms on the ground. Supreme court treats the prostitute as a broken window, with her, she brings nuisance to the society. 2. Bedford v. Canada (Ontario, 2010)  The combined operation of the following 3 laws causes harm to female prostitutes: 1) keeping a common bawdy house, 2) living on the avails, and 3) communicating offence –for example, the striking down of bawdy houses- takes
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