Gender Entrapment Essay

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Anntoinette M. Crouch Women, Crime and Criminology Gender Entrapment Beth Richie, in her book Compelled to Crime the Gender Entrapment of battered black women, explains the gender entrapment theory. The theory is the link between culturally constructed gender–identity development and violence against women in intimate relationships, including women’s participation in crime. The social process that constitutes this link offers a new perspective on violence in the lives of African American women, a new theoretical explanation of battered women’s criminality. A woman's struggle to protect herself from violence in the home is difficult regardless of race or class. However, African American women have an added dimension to their struggle. In addition to the gendered nature of violence, they must also contemplate the effect that reporting violence may have on the black community in which they live. Commonly, black women are asked to ignore their own needs as women and focus on the needs of the community. Cooperating with authorities against black men can result in community abandonment because of the perception that black men are selectively penalized. Black women know the experience of living in an oppressed community. They know their communities are both underserved by the police and at the same time are subject to excessively domineering police actions. This results in large scale arrest and incarceration of black men and other men of color. Black women feel the effects of racism on their community and the economic consequences of racism, not only for themselves, but for their men as well. Many black women, even those experiencing violence at the hands of black men, will try to avoid subjecting black men to the possibility of law enforcement oversight or control. Black women may possibly associate the physical abuse with racism. In her research on battered

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