‘Fear of crime’ – A Discussion on Gender
It is commonly held that the ‘fear of crime’ is gendered. I will explore what gender means, how it affects those in society, and equally, how the society around them reacts in return. The characteristics of both victim and perpetrator can slant the public’s opinion either way, with some women painted as innocent and others tarred as ‘they-had-it-coming’s. This essay highlights the consequences that can come from old-age stigmatisations of gender roles and how modernity is countering this with new movements and platforms.
In the vast majority of different societies, it is understood there are different roles for men and women; a man would be the ‘breadwinner’ who earns money to support the family while the woman would be a homemaker, make a comfortable space for the man to relax in after a hard day at work. This is what is known as a gender role; a particular idea or expectation of someone depending on their gender. Bronwyn Davies observed that children “learn to position themselves correctly as male or female, since that is what is required of them to have a recognisable identity,” (Davies, 2002), meaning that before a child has reached adolescence, their perspective on the world and, in turn, the world’s perspective of them may be dramatically different to someone of a differing identity. According to Davies, this socialisation comes from, usually, a specific care-giver as well as the media, friends, and those around them in their daily lives. This separates a child from understanding the world objectively; there will always be a slant on different aspects of their lives from the clothes they wear, how they sit, or otherwise interact with others. When the term ‘female’ comes to mind, it is usually accompanied by ‘feminine’ and other traditional aspects of being a woman. To understand how women fit into society, a huge part of their shaping comes from their first introduction to other humans; the family. To understand why there was a disconnect between men and women in certain occupations, such as science, technology, engineering, and mechanical, or STEM (Hackitt, 2017), a study was conducted to compare the childhood socialisation experiences and occupational attainment, finding that daughters and sons with more present fathers in their childhood were less likely and more likely, respectively, to go onto acquire gender-typed occupations. There was also a connection between sons and mothers with traditional values and attitudes regarding the role of women, sons were more likely to attain gender-typed jobs. (Lawson, et al., 2016)
Historically, women in western culture have primarily been second-class citizens, only achieving the right to vote in 1928 in the United Kingdom after infamous protests and resistance. Arthur Brittan and Mary Maynard theorise that masculinity has been used as a tool, an “ideology which gives men the ‘right’ to dominate women.” (Brittan & Maynard, 1984) A Edge Hill University student...