Women : The Imprisonment Of Battered Women Who Kill By Elizabeth Dermody Leonard

Decent Essays
Since it can most likely be assumed that most students taking Honors 264 do not have extensive prior knowledge about female criminals, it would be important for them to receive background information before studying other course materials. One of the required texts, Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi, deals with a prostitute who, after a difficult childhood filled with abuse, eventually realizes how women are treated in her Egyptian society and murders her pimp as a way of breaking free from the gender roles. However, this may be a rather new subject for many students and an introduction to battered women who become criminals would be insightful and useful. Therefore, Convicted survivors: the imprisonment of battered women who kill by…show more content…
From a very young age, she witnessed her father violently beating her mother and her being completely subservient to him, which was her first experience of learning how men are always superior to women. As her childhood goes on, she becomes a victim of abuse herself and this ideology is further engrained within her. First, her mother performs female circumcision on her, which first showed Firdaus losing control of her own body and foreshadowed how numerous people would have the same impact on her in the years to come. In addition, she was molested by both her uncle and a childhood friend and treated as a sexual toy, leading a young Firdaus to assume this was appropriate behavior for men. Finally, she was forced to marry a much older man at a young age who repreatedly beat her to the point in which her entire face was swollen and she was barely able to survive. When she made her uncle aware of this, he responded that she should keep quiet and not complain because she was lucky that he would even take a girl like her to be his wife. Therefore, the only way to escape one abusive situation was to flee to another, which is true of many victims of familial and domestic abuse.
Throughout Leonard’s book, she repeatedly emphasizes the importance of looking at the childhoods of battered women who become criminals. One prominent example of this is how “nearly three-fourths [of study participants] reported some kind of physical violence in their childhood homes, including that of
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