The cost of masculine crime

"Men are, by a huge margin, the sex responsible for violent, sexual and other serious crime. The economic cost of this ‘masculine excess’ in delinquency is staggering - to say nothing of its emotional toll. Why is the social shaping of masculinity not an urgent policy issue?"

Don't give me the old bromide that testosterone did it! That is an excuse! A denial of self-responsibility! A claim that protects violent men from being held accountable. Both men and women suffer because of these brutes! 


"Of the one-third of a million people in England and Wales found guilty of an indictable offence in the 12 months ending June 2012, 85% were men. The more violent the crime, the more men predominate. From a unique table deep in the quarterly Ministry of Justice Criminal Justice Statistics Bulletin for England and Wales we learn that males were 88% of those found guilty of violence against the person, and more than 98% of those committing sexual offences."

Just as the women of Turkey, dressed from head to toe in heavy gabardine in 100 degree F weather, to conceal their bodies because men couldn't control their impulses to rape, so, men of many countries continue to think they are entitled to use and abuse women. Doesn't that sound sophomoric to you? How can anyone claim they can't control their natural urges? If men were subject to such impulses, doesn't that imply those who can't exist as less human than the gentler ones? More like beasts than Homo sapiens. 

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"So male criminality is (to some extent) the downside of the originality and selfhood that men are allowed to have. "

That is a fascinating idea Luara. Many thinkers from the very libertarian / anarchy perspective make that point a lot but I've never seen it arrived at it from this direction.
By extension when women enjoy the same degrees of selfhood and originality we might expect that their criminality would increase. So in practice which would be better: more or less liberty? Or in other words, perhaps it would be instead be better than men give up those aspects that lead to criminality and emulate the feminine aspect. But that would also mean that if those things are objectively undesirable, women should give up wanting those things too right?

Most of the people in prisons come from bad, disadvantaged backgrounds - poverty or abuse.  Their criminality was their response, their way of coping with life. 

So I would say, help the people with bad backgrounds to cope in a better way than being criminals - that would be the answer rather than bringing them up in a traditionally female way. 

Our prison system and our punitive ideas of justice are all messed up.  Those people need help and education, but prison often just hardens people, embitters them and trains them to be better criminals. 

Our punitive ideas of justice perhaps come from religion.  The idea of transcendent will - that anyone can choose not to do the things they did, by making a choice outside of physical reality, justifies punishment.  I don't see any other justification for punishing people. 

Some people have to be confined to protect society.  But they are probably better off and will behave better in the future if we try to help them and treat them as well as possible - rather than punishing them by allowing their lives to be miserable in prison.

"Most of the people in prisons come from bad, disadvantaged backgrounds - poverty or abuse."

Could it be that "people in prison come from bad, disadvantaged backgrounds - poverty or abuse" because there is a higher police presence in such neighborhoods, that they stand before a judge more often than people from "good", advantaged, wealthy, and abuse that occurs behind closed doors? 

Could it also be that a majority of police and judges are conservative, law-and-order types?  People who think that the way to correct criminal behavior is to impose harsh punishment?  Maybe, too, they are less able than we free-thinkers to see the culture of the "other" (the dreadlocks, the grilles, the music, the language, the saggy pants, the glorifying of the "gangsta," etc.) as non-threatening?  Objective reasoning isn't easy sometimes.

Does anyone doubt that poor neighborhoods are more dangerous?

Poor neighborhoods beget poor  education which begets more  violence......Very  sad  but true.......

I definitely agree about violence being heavily influenced by your environment.

I think that the problem is beyond just government help (although it could assist some). Boys aren't generally taught how to handle their feelings. And in today's zero tolerance environment for fighting, the one tool they had for expressing themselves now carries serious consequences.

I think boys should be taught empathy, social skills, and emotional expression in the same way we teach these skills to girls.

Patricia, when I was in China doing my research on women's lives in different cultures, I was allowed to visit a rural village. My transport was up a river on a barge carrying petroleum, machines, goats, and farm supplies. My "escort/interpreter" was a woman picked by the Chinese government for her trustworthiness for supporting the Chinese political line. One of my goals was to observe women's health care. We went into a rural hospital that was a Quonset hut. Male and female patients were in beds along the walls with a walkway down the middle. Families of patients were there with food, clean linens, and whatever was needed for treatment. They sat on benches beside the beds. As we walked the length of the ward, I saw needles sticking out of all parts of people's bodies and technicians tended them and turning the needles. One woman was having a baby and I stopped to talk to her through my interpreter. This was her first baby and she was very excited about the prospect of having a boy. She had been in labor for hours and the crowning event began, then the birth. The baby was a girl; the mother began to sob.  

Joan, that sobbing mother is so sad, and I can't even picture the 100s of thousands like her, and how sad that would be.  I'm sobbing just thinking about her.

Personally, I always wanted girls.  For one thing, I've always enjoyed talking about many things, including feelings, that males don't want to talk about.  Plus, I've never been interested in sports, cars, wrestling, fighting, or making critical remarks about someone I'm talking to in a "humorous" way, that seems to be a form of bonding that males do.

Hey Spud.....I think  more  men  are willing  to show  their  vulnerable side  now, so you are not alone....The so called  `Metrosexuals'   is an example.......Men are into fashion and  better  grooming.   All this  is  good.....In the previous  generations, men were  very  defensive  about their  masculinity  amongst their peers, and  tended  to  act as macho  as possible.....So it is refreshing to see  more of them lighten up a bit.......    

I've never been interested in...wrestling, fighting, or making critical remarks about someone I'm talking to in a "humorous" way...

You (and quite a few of the men who write on A|N) are well outside that restrictive "man box" that so many men and boys are socialized into -- an aspect of Dominator Culture that, as bell hooks wrote, frames all relationships as power struggles.

I too will gladly take relating to each other as whole people instead!

You do know that in the first world, men are MORE likely to be abused in relationships than women, right? And that they still feel that the figures could be worse, because men being abused often goes unreported because they don't feel the police will do anything. And that it's not just about women being in prison less, their are a lot of studies that show the law system often lets women off with less, even when they do the same crimes.



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