Why are women the least expected to be a criminal?

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“Crime doesn’t differentiate between any community, gender, race, caste, or class.”~ Anonymous 

Criminal

Source: lawrato.com

Crime, when committed, always comes with its consequences which are sometimes unforgettable as it creates so much social disturbance amongst the citizens and their perspective of social order shakes; citizens often display their anger in the form of movements, protests, strikes, and candle marches. 

When someone commits a crime the law doesn’t differentiate between class, caste, gender, race, and ethnicity as it is not authorized to differentiate or pass a judgment based on someone’s social and economical status but when talking about the society and the view it holds everything is taken into consideration. 

Society from its normative lens views a criminal as the product of their caste, class, gender, and ethnicity. The hierarchical structure of each of these social institutions has a group that faces inequalities. When talking about attaching the aspect of gender to a criminal, people tend not to think at first that a woman can also commit a crime. As they highlight their statement as – Aurat hokar aisa kaam karti h – means, being a woman you are not expected to commit a crime. 

According to society, women have feminine energy that focuses on them being lovable, kind, soft, and motherly. All the traits that a criminal doesn’t welcome and this somehow increases the possibility of women indulging more in illegal or criminal acts as they would be the least suspected ones. 

A recent case of Chandigarh University (CU) depicts how the accused who was a 23 years old girl was found recording approximately 60 girls while taking bath as two of her well-known friends asked for the same, under pressure the girl started recording and got caught in the end by the hostel administration the students expressed their aggression by protesting and strikes. 

The girl when caught in this act opened up about the various reasons that gave society an opportunity to question the system more. Hostels almost got empty questioning the administration of the college and the absence of hostel staff’s inattentiveness left the girls and boys living in the college with a sense of lack of safety when on the premises. An academic year of students suddenly flipped because of a criminal offense that took the trust of many in the university.

The way society viewed this case was how a ‘girl’ could commit such a heinous crime after knowing how privacy holds most of the importance in an individual life, girls are socially not expected to indulge in criminal activities as much as boys, and the consequences of this mindset is something which is feeding criminal acts, holding women/girls a place where they are the least suspected ones. 

Once in the majority of cases, they are viewed as the least suspected. This helps them to initiate and indulge in such acts from where they can profit by breaking the law and social order, creating social disturbances. False accusation of rape has accounted for 8% out of all the cases of assault and rape (Source: Wikipedia.org).

Thrust which is suddenly created between criminal acts and women committing them is something that is created by our society only. Crime once committed shouldn’t be ‘not expected’ from any person belonging to any caste, class, gender, or ethnicity. Society should also view a criminal. The most important thing is that an illegal offense was committed by them, they are from whatever social position but still a disturbance to our existing social order. 

Normalizing the fact that a criminal knows no boundaries and needs to be behind bars once the law is broken or an illegal offense has been committed by them as law functions equally for every spectrum of social institutions, punishment should be the same for everyone and for equal amounts of time. The main aspect after committing a crime is always that if in this hierarchical society they were suppressed they can now in the realization practice and even thrive for a better future.

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Vrinda Sharma
Vrinda Sharma
I am Vrinda Sharma, ( she/her) Sociology student | Author | Public speaker

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