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Feminist Theory  

Rachel Bridges Whaley

Feminist theory is not one theory but a set of theories on the relationships between gender, the gender order, and gender stratification and criminal offending, victimization, and criminal legal system (CLS) processing. Feminist criminology is distinct from criminology because it embraces an understanding of gender, race, class, and sexual identities and their system level counterparts (i.e., stratification systems based on gender, race, social class, and sexuality) as key organizing forces in society that have multiplicative implications for criminality, victimization, crime rates, and CLS practices. Feminist criminology is a very large field with a 50-year history and is a theoretical, empirical, and activist enterprise.