The Feminist Perspective Of Criminology Essay

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Feminist perspective in criminology is dedicated to examining crime in a way that acknowledges how women experience crime both as offenders and victims. Because rape is a crime that primarily victimises women, it is important to draw on the feminist perspective when analysing it.
In New Zealand legislation, rape is defined by Section 128(2) of the Crimes Act 1961 as:
“Person A rapes person B if person A has sexual connection with person B, effected by the penetration of person B’s genitalia by person A’s penis,—
(a) without person B’s consent to the connection; and
(b) without believing on reasonable grounds that person B consents to the connection.” but by limiting the legal definition of rape to “intercourse without consent”, the violent nature of sexual assault is being ignored in favour of seeing it simply as illegal sex. By defining rape this way we are not acknowledging the fact that rape is used as a tool to dominate and control the victim and that prevents us from addressing the issue of rape in an appropriate way (Cook & Jones, 2007). In New Zealand we have a rape culture that comprises much more than just the physical act of rape. In order to address rape culture we must look beyond rape as a crime and examine our attitudes towards rape, towards victims of rape and towards women in general.
Buchwald, Fletcher and Roth (2005) define rape culture as “a complex set of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women” (p. vii). It is
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