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Carceral Feminism - is this a thing now?

(53 Posts)
AgileLass Sat 10-Aug-19 20:44:50

I keep seeing this phrase in some feminist Facebook groups, always in a tone of the deepest disapproval.

I just don’t get it... how can wanting men to be punished for violence against women and girls be unfeminist? Is it more feminist nowadays to be in favour of prison abolitionism? I can see how women suffer disproportionately from punitive sentencing for non-violent crimes, but surely violent criminals (overwhelmingly male) need to be punished and removed from society, perhaps forever.

Can anyone explain the logic? Am I missing something?

TurboTeddy Sat 10-Aug-19 21:08:45

I'd never heard the term either, this is what wiki says. Sounds like liberal feminism which I think focuses more on equality (centering men) than women's liberation.

Examining the contemporary anti-trafficking movement in the United States, Bernstein introduced the term to describe a type of feminist activism which casts all forms of sexual labor as sex-trafficking.

FermatsTheorem Sat 10-Aug-19 21:14:33

It's another form of dick-centring pseudo feminism. It's something that identifies the person who says it as a complete tosser.

Anti-carceralism itself probably started from a set of good intentions - recognising that the US in particular disproportionately imprisons black, and to a lesser extent, poor people, and that people from these demographics are much more likely to be found guilty, and if found guilty much more likely to get harsh sentences, than middle class white people. It stressed alternatives to custody for first/minor offences, and an emphasis on rehabilitation rather than retribution within the criminal justice system.

But in the hands of the dick-pandering idiots it has morphed into this monster which feels that we must embrace "restorative justice" i.e. have the poor, maligned sex offender say "I'm vewwy, vewwy sowwy" with his fingers crossed behind his back then let him off with a slap on the wrist.

53rdWay Sat 10-Aug-19 21:16:48

This is good:

TurboTeddy Sat 10-Aug-19 21:18:14

restorative justice Ah that favourite of far left SJW's.

Fun fact, Jess Bradley is a fan of restorative justice.

JellySlice Sat 10-Aug-19 21:22:17

Never heard of this, but your description immediately made me think of feminine socialisation - the "be nice" aspect, ie that demanding the punishment of others is an unfeminine attitude.

If there are 'feminists' who believe that feminism should centre men (because TWAW), then it is plausible that there are 'feminists' who believe that feminism should be nice to men.

Maniak Sat 10-Aug-19 21:25:40

There's always a problem with domestic violence and law enforcement for marginalized communities. For instance, imagine the position of an immigrant woman in the US without a green card. If she goes to the police she may get deported. Or, even if she is legal, her partner may get deported, which, for example if they have children and family, or if she's dependent on his income, may not be an option for her.

Or, say, in Australia where there is such a high rate of suicide in custody for indigenous people. A woman may want the violence to stop, that doesn't mean she wants the person dead.

So the idea is that law enforcement does not work for a lot of women in DV situations, and that feminism should try to help them with other methods for sorting it.

FermatsTheorem Sat 10-Aug-19 21:27:53

That is a great article 53rdway. (I've watched some of Penny White's youtube videos - she's great.)

Why does it not surprise me that Jess still-under-suspension Bradley is a fan of restorative justice? Could it have anything to do with him thinking that a slap on the wrist is a fitting punishment for jerking his wrist in public places (allegedly)?

AgileLass Sat 10-Aug-19 21:49:37

That is a good article. For me the line between violent/non-violent offences seems a crucial distinction.

How do anti-carceral feminists approach the abysmal rates of prosecution/conviction of sexual offences against women?

MargueritaBlue Sat 10-Aug-19 22:19:56

People who commit violent crimes, people who abuse, neglect or torture children or animals, people who traffic people and anyone who facilitates these criminals should go to jail.

If that makes me a right-wing nutter - so be it.

LangCleg Sat 10-Aug-19 22:26:13

This is where anti-carceral feminism gets you:

Until men sort their shit out, am an out and proud carceral feminist, thankyouverymuch.

PencilsInSpace Sat 10-Aug-19 22:55:52

There are legitimate arguments and campaigns to be had over the way the criminal justice system treats women, especially if they are black and/or poor. Also the way the civil courts, family courts and immigration system treat women. And you don't have to look to the US, there are plenty of UK examples.

Those legitimate arguments and campaigns won't happen within 'anti-carceral feminism' because 'anti-carceral feminism' basically means don't snitch on abusive men, leave it all to internal investigations, kangaroo courts and a vague sense of community accountabilty. Hence Jess Bradley. Hence that clusterfuck at SWP. Hence probably a load of crimes against women that have never been examined in proper daylight.

Note how things get extremely fucking carceral when it suits some people's agenda.

terryleather Sat 10-Aug-19 23:07:00

Note how things get extremely fucking carceral when it suits some people's agenda.

Quite so Pencils, they're happy enough to contact the police over a limerick or a tweet that they finds offensive.

JanesKettle Sun 11-Aug-19 00:20:50

To be fair to the anti-carceral feminists (and please correct me if I'm wrong...and keep in mind I'm flipping carceral myself), this arises from an intersection with issues of race.

Where black, indigenous and other men of color are imprisoned at a rate substantially higher than white men, it's my understanding that some feminists feel a duty to be anti-carceral - maybe until this disparity is resolved ?

I don't agree with them, but I think anti-carceral feminism does arise partly out of (misguided and male centred) concerns about racist policing.

JanesKettle Sun 11-Aug-19 00:25:02

I can imagine situations where I'd want restorative justice rather than jail time - but the thing about restorative justice is that it's just as badly set up for female victims of female specific crimes as is the legal system.

Incarceration is not going away any time soon, nor should it.

Maniak Sun 11-Aug-19 01:00:15

So for example, women who end up engaging in criminal activity have no recourse against the male violence.

"The female inmates told researchers they felt the police were rarely sympathetic or helpful to them as victims of domestic abuse, and said they did not have confidence in the police to identify the primary aggressor and provide protection. A number reported having been repeatedly arrested by the police in incidents of domestic violence where they had not been the primary aggressor."

I don't know about anti carceral feminism, but given that it's coming straight from feminists such has Beth Richie, whose conclusions came from working with incarcerated women in the US, I don't think it's reasonable to dismiss it as male centred. Although of course some variants of it may be.

AnotherAdultHumanFemale Sun 11-Aug-19 01:14:16

People who commit violent crimes, people who abuse, neglect or torture children or animals, people who traffic people and anyone who facilitates these criminals should go to jail.

If that makes me a right-wing nutter - so be it.


Carceral feminism just sounds like another thing they made up to have a go at women who actually want justice when it comes to crimes committed against women and children.

They love to portray as as prudish, ugly, angry, old cows but in the end, what do they stand for themselves? Men being allowed to rape women and children and hurt animals with no consequences? Porn becoming so mainstream that it's broadcast in the daytime on the main channels? People having sex in the streets?

I'm happy to be called a prude if it means I can have boundaries and safety maintained in society.

Deliriumoftheendless Sun 11-Aug-19 09:07:46

Pencils has summed this up very well.

Again, turning a legitimate movement into “protect abusive men”.

If you can’t utilise the police where do you turn when you are abused? And who benefits?

LangCleg Sun 11-Aug-19 09:12:17

Again, turning a legitimate movement into “protect abusive men”.

Correct. And anti-carceralism in the UK has always been a far left and/or anarchist thing, nothing to do with feminism. So it's another imposition by the Woke of a US framing onto UK political issues.

SunsetBeetch Sun 11-Aug-19 13:27:49

Hmmn makes me wonder what happened to the other half of the "terfs are trash" duo? I'm guessing nothing?

Also guessing that anti-carceralism (if that's a word) is popular in Antifa circles and therefore probably also TRA circles.

SunsetBeetch Sun 11-Aug-19 13:29:16

Seems to be that women are, once again, being played by men, for men.

TheInebriati Sun 11-Aug-19 14:37:03

So the idea is that law enforcement does not work for a lot of women in DV situations, and that feminism should try to help them with other methods for sorting it.

Feminists set up and run DV counselling, helplines, and shelters. Back in the day what used to happen is a van would pull up outside your house and a chain of women would remove all of your stuff, then take you and your kids to a shelter.
No woman is told to go to the police. Its counterproductive to helping women leave abusers.
So I don't know where that idea comes from, because it isn't from any experience of a feminist run shelter.

Making feminism for everyone has meant that those shelters pretty much no longer exist. They are now mostly mixed sex. In some, empty beds are reserved for male victims.
And now of course, evil feminists are to blame for this situation! And also have to fix male violence, and law enforcement.

Fraggling Sun 11-Aug-19 16:43:05

Great thread agree with all the points

I am very very very much in favour of prison reform. No one should be bullied sexually abused beaten etc in prison. Suicide rates are appalling. There are a lot of??? around what to do for non violent crime. Racist sexist criminal justice system etc etc and that's just the uk.

I suppose the anti carceral people who just want all the prisons closed forget that punishment is only 1 aspect, with public protection being another, and also to show justice being done. The protection piece is critical.

Action for trans health who jess b is /was involved with call for the immediate release of all trans prisoners.

AgileLass Sun 11-Aug-19 17:06:11

Yes, I’ve seen posts along the lines that “what good does it do the victim to have the offender locked up in prison?” confused

Plenty of good, I would have thought confused

Fraggling Sun 11-Aug-19 18:30:33

And plenty of good in preventing further offences esp with sex offenders by the time they are caught they are usually prolific / been escalating / at it for ages.

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