Coercion and Women Co-offenders
A Gendered Pathway into Crime

Four: A Feminist Critique of Representations of Potentially Coerced Women

This chapter discusses the media construction of women co-offenders and their relationship with their male partner/ co-offender, using the case/ court file material as a comparative tool. It particularly considers the ways in which the women’s representation served to minimise and discredit their perspectives and defence, particularly in relation to the potential influence of their relationship with their male partner on their offending behaviour. It also considers the ways in which the women’s suggestions of coercion or coercive techniques (at varying levels) by their male partner were constructed, particularly in media discourse. In doing so, the chapter is divided into a number of key themes, such as ‘bad women’ and ‘equally bad or worse’. It is important to note that the themes apply to the women at varying levels and the extent to which they were evident in the women’s legal and media representation will be discussed.

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