FEMALE OFFENDER, VICTIM OF THE PATRIARCHAL SYSTEM : A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF THE CASE OF LISA MONTGOMERY.
Sammanfattning: Adultery, abortion, witchcraft, sex work, are crimes that have historically until today been identified as predominantly female crimes. By criminalizing them, the patriarchal society exercises a control of the body and sexuality of women to maintain and remain them in their gender norms. However, patriarchal society participated in their victimization. In fact, many women in prison have been abused in their childhood and often faced a continuous victimization. The aim of this thesis, using feminist theories and critical discourse analysis as part of a case study, is to understand to what extent the patriarchal system has an impact on the creation of the female offender arguing that female offenders are victims of the patriarchal system before being criminals. The analysis of discourses surrounding the case of Lisa Montgomery demonstrates that gender has an impact on how people are criminalized and punished. The abuses often overlooked by the system have an impact on the crime trajectories of female offenders. However, the justice system rarely takes those aspects into consideration, especially when the female offender does not fit her gender norms. She is then described as an inhuman monster who deserves a severe punishment. This participates to maintain and reinforce patriarchy by recalling societal norms of femininity. The case of Montgomery represents thus one of many cases in which female offenders are, before being an offender, a victim of the system that allowed her continuous victimization.
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