In criminological history, discrimination against women was so evident and naturalised because for centuries, the underlying concept of ‘patriarchy’ or the power of men over women made it acceptable to stereotype women to subordina...
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...m of ‘good’ motherhood for women because, “no one likes to believe that the hand that rocks the cradle might be a shaky one” (Otto, 1981, as cited in Heidensohn, 1996: 783). Thus, being a ‘good’ mother resonates with being a ‘good’ feminine person to be valued in society (Heidensohn, 1996). The dichotomy between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mothers operates as a means of patrolling, controlling and reinforcing the boundaries of behaviour considered ‘appropriate’ for all women and mothers (Weare, 2013). Ongoing implications for women to be ‘good’ females, mothers and role models, affects how women are socialised, controlled and given opportunities to commit crimes (Morris, 1987), but more importantly, it relies on stereotypes to explain women’s criminality. Consequently, the portrayal of women is a determining factor in their treatment within the criminal justice and in society.
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