Crime Against Women

In: Social Issues

Submitted By vishu0073
Words 527
Pages 3
This essay has five themes. First, jurisdiction has gender. Whenever power is being allocated between state and federal courts, one must ask not only how women are treated but how the allocation affects our understanding of the problems that belong to women and to men. By drawing jurisdictional lines, polities may also be drawing gender lines. We must probe both the jurisdiction in gender, and the gender in jurisdiction.

Second, I counsel against assuming that any particular jurisdiction is necessarily a safe harbor for women's equality. Equality is not an artifact of the level of a court or of a government body but of who has power within it and what their commitments are. Therefore, I am opposed to what I have termed "categorical federalism," to rigid equation of any particular level of governance with a particular set of problems or a particular view of them. Laws are not unidimensional but often affect many aspects of a person's life. Opponents of VAWA who wanted to label it a statute about families and about crime were right to understand that it did implicate family life and street crime. But they were wrong to see the provision in only those terms. VAWA was also about the relationships among violence, commerce, and equal citizenship. But proponents of equal citizenship ought not to assume that national or transnational legislation could ever suffice to alter the material conditions of women's lives. They need to look to state as well as national and international efforts to forward those goals.

My third point is to enlarge the frame beyond the arguments that jurisdictions can become gendered and that jurisdictional divides are one of the many mechanisms by which women and men are distinguished. Gender systems are themselves forms of jurisdiction. At its core, the sex/gender system is a system of boundaries. Many of the successes that have advanced…...

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