Disposable Acessories Or Gender Liberation: Women In Gangs

2487 words - 10 pages

Society has marginalized women into gender related roles that made it almost impossible for them to succeed. Women in society are taught to become puppets to a male master. Women in society were supposed to follow the orders of their male counterparts. Some of the women who felt that they are been marginalized by society create or join subcultural groups known as gangs. The question remains: are female gang members used as disposable accessories in gangs or are they forming their own gang to liberate themselves from gender related roles set by society? Girls in male gangs are viewed as disposable accessories, but they have changed the nature of a gang by creating all female gangs eliminating the male dominant figure. I believe that female gangs have been misunderstood and are liberating themselves from the stereotypes set by society.
Gangs are a group of people or an organization fighting for a purpose. Gangs can have three members or more from the ages of 12 through 24 (Belknap, 2007). Some gangs are unisex, male gendered, or female gendered only. According to Belknap, many girls join gangs for four reasons: protection, family, escape, and status.
In early history, women were viewed as housewives; their expectations were not necessarily equal to men. Females were placed in gender roles by society. Early gender roles included cooking, cleaning, taking care of children, and becoming house wives. Male gang members accept and encourage sex roles. Fleury and Fernet discuss the views that gang members have crystallized sex roles. A young gang member interviewed says, “I don’t like it [when my girl] come out to the park with me. Because girls that hang out in that park, they aren’t seen as good girls...They’re whores and f***, you go with them to just chill, not to have something serious (Fleury & Fernet, 2012, p.7). It appears that the image of a “good girl” is decided by a sex role. A “good girl” is a woman who does chores, cooks, attends school, and stays home. It seems that these members believe in male supremacy in gangs. They believe that women who join gangs aren’t necessarily “good girls”. They are just whores who violate social norms. Many female gang members are used as objects because of the norms set by early history.
As time has passed, societies began to plant the idea that women were not capable of committing crimes, and were less dominant than males. The fruits of that idea planted made society stereotype women who acted out of their normal expectations. The idea of a women gang member was invisible because gangs are seen as masculine. A gang member was a stereotyped sex role; gangs were male gendered because of their violent acts and criminal activities. Women are seen as not being aggressive and dominant; the idea of a female gang member was never embraced. Therefore, females were not perceived as a criminal and were rarely the primary suspects.
Society had planted the idea that women are innocent and women tend not to become...

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