Posts tagged crime
terrorbull replied to your post: So many anons have been harassing Christianna for…yeah, you should totally kick some of that theory over here. I feel icky about shoplifting mostly just because I’ve only seen white punk dudes do it (everyone else “grows out of it” I guess), and I generally hate most things that white punk dudes do.
This is something I started writing about last semester, though I was approaching it from a theory perspective I found that a lot of what exists is historical and/or criminological. The literature you are going to find is mainly:
- The history and criminology of shoplifting as a feminized act
- Because historically it has almost always been committed by women, or anyway, it has almost always been women who are charged with it
- In the early stages of commerce culture (ie, the Victorian era), public comments very often linked the feminization of the crime to women’s new presence in public and commercial life, and read it less as a pathology and more as a reaction to HOW MUCH STUFF WOMEN CAN HAVE AND WANT NOW THAT THEY CAN GO TO STORES
- But since then, it has been very rarely read in terms of women’s relationship with feminized material culture and people almost always argue that it is representative of a pathology
- Which is bullshit, even though I think most of us recognize that there is a psycho/physiological thrill associated with it
- But, like: there’s also a psycho/physiological thrill associated with smashing the patriarchy, that doesn’t mean that I do it because of how my brain is wired
- Anyway, the other main strands of literature about shoplifting focus on how it was presented starting in the counterculture movement (ie, Steal This Book) and within anarchist circles, and from what I read (including in some of these zines), there are almost no women’s voices present in this discussion
- But we know, from our oral presence and because we know, that shoplifting was part of a form of uniquely feminist resistance. We know this, we remember this, sometimes in feminist readings since the seventies there will be mention of it, “…shoplifting as tiny resistances against sexist commercialization…” But almost no one has really taken some time to see how all of these pieces fit together
- A few feminist organizations have looked at how women, especially nonwhite women, are hugely and disproportionately prosecuted for shoplifting. This was actually one of the main political focuses of Off Our Backs in the early 1980s, I’ve discovered. There were even cases where women who had been involved in other behaviors (feminist activism, rape revenge, immigrant activism, labor organizing) were actually scapegoated by cops on shoplifting charges
- How can you be a young adult woman, how can you listen to your fellow young adult women, and not know that there is something about shoplifting (especially the shoplifting of makeup) which is part of our feminist consciousness? It’s there, and we need to talk about it. So much talk about shoplifting experiences has been a major part of feminist consciousness raising for people in my age group.
- It’s interesting, too, that this arose out of a white privilege of invisibility but also resulted in it being much more difficult for a woman to get away with shoplifting because the profile of a shoplifter has become a woman, making her increasingly visible. Plus, it seems like most shoplifters are “caught” (detained, etc.) because they don’t know their rights when it comes to that sort of thing—like, I would argue that loss prevention is extremely predatory. I had one friend tell me that when she was a preteen, she lifted some mascara, and when she got caught, a guy held her in a room and told her if she gave him a hundred dollars then he wouldn’t call the cops. I can’t imagine that that’s the worse that has happened to girls in that situation.
I have some Thoughts about shoplifting but I have to organise them for a bit still. this is a good post.