Many people may be unfamiliar with the term femicide, because it is not a very common word, but there are many people fighting to include this concept in every person’s vocabulary. Diana E. H. Russell and Roberta A. Harmes hope that in writing “Femicide in Global Perspective” they demonstrate to researchers, theoreticians, and activists, in all parts of the world, the importance of using femicide instead of homicide (Russell and Harmes 2001: 3). The authors provide a good definition of what femicide is, “a hate crime that involves rape, torture, mutilation, etc. but ultimately results in death, one can see the crudeness of this behavior and the seriousness of the issue. ” Throughout their work, they do a good job of explaining the importance of adapting to this concept instead of continuing with an incorrect perception of this hate crime. There are both positives and negatives in this work, but for the most part, the authors provides good positive information that will lead to a better understanding of the severity of femicide. Throughout each of the chapters in the anthology, they present different articles from places all over the world, in which the viewpoints are similar.
After presenting the information, the authors support it by providing graphs and statistics. A femicide is a hate crime that involves rape, torture, mutilation, sexual slavery, sexual abuse, physical and emotional battery, but femicide actually means when these forms of sexist terrorism result in death. One of the authors major goals is to show the importance of defining femicide as the killing of females by males, not only as a homicide case, but as a hate crime because they are female (4).
In response to this idea, they decided to include only those articles in which the term femicide is used. By providing only those articles the authors hopes that they will demonstrate the importance of using femicide over homicide as well as the severity of femicide, its global dimensions, and the need to make it a more widespread idea. One of the goals they are striving to achieve is that all people working in the field of violence against women will incorporate the term femicide.
Their hope is that by having the experts use the term, it will ultimately lead to every man and woman using it in their own vocabulary. The issue of femicide must be taken more seriously. They discuss this issue in detail by providing multiple accounts of femicide cases followed by statistics and useful information. In “Femicide in Global Perspective”, Okun noted that, “Since the founding of America’s first battered women shelter in 1974 through the end of 1983, well over 19,000 Americans have died in incidents of women abuse or other forms of conjugal violence. In their work, they give reference to the typology of femicides based on the relationship between the killer and the victim. To further explain this idea they added a table containing the different classifications and the types within them. In class, we gave reference to the idea that murders were more frequently found to be people the victim new, not a stranger. There is also a table provided in John E. Conklin’s text, “Criminology”, in this table the percentages are listed for both male and female victims. The percentage for strangers is only 16. percent, which means that 83. 3 percent of the time the victim has met their killer before (Conklin 2007: 53). “Femicide in Global Perspective” has good insight on the issue of femicide. Before reading this anthology, one might be unfamiliar with what a femicide is and how it differs from a homicide. The articles provided by the authors, do a good job of linking the main purpose and goals to each of the articles arguments. Specific examples or other forms of information support each of her main arguments on this issue.
Homicide, is defined by, thefreedictionary. com as the killing of one human being by another human being. On the other hand, femicide is simply defined as the killing of women by men from a hate crime perspective. The importance of this issue is portrayed by including only articles that use the term femicide so that the concept can be easily understood. It is also the authors hopes that these articles will demonstrate the usefulness of the concept as well as making people aware of the large amount of femicide cases.
Another thing that they did well in the anthology is using real life examples of femicide and getting insight from people who knew victims. They use these resources to their fullest potential by providing examples for each specific argument. Not only does this provide a good insight to these issues, but it also provides a more serious and negative effect on how terrible these hate crimes really are. The most impressive part of their work is the many viewpoints they gathered and presented in the anthology.
The authors collected different articles from all over the world, in each of these articles, the viewpoints were similar, and the stories were truly eye opening. After relating the articles to their central point, the importance of adapting to this concept instead of continuing with an incorrect perception of this hate crime, they did a good job supporting the information with graphs and statistics. In their work, there is a lot of discussion about making feminists aware of these issues and making them aware of the new lingo that they should be using.
This might be the downfall of their work in a sense that they address more feminist people than the greater community. Other than this issue, the authors did an excellent job at explaining such a complex and diverse issue. Personally, the issue of femicide was new; what one might normally classify as a homicide, would now be classified as a femicide. Since the anthology was an entire new outlook on an issue that many people are unfamiliar with, there was a large amount of material to be explained.
One’s personal understanding of this topic is broadened by reading “Femicide in Global Perspective. ” There are many thoughts and ideas expressed in her work that will later affect the way issues such as femicide are perceived. From a personal viewpoint, the authors do a nice job explaining their main points in a way that the majority of the authors readers can understand. One might consider the amount of statistics and examples that they provided to be a great resource in the understanding of femicide.
If the authors would have provided a better acknowledgement of the importance of having the society as a whole, not just feminists, support their ideas the anthology would have been even more successful. One might say that the way the authors handled such a complex and diverse issue would be greatly appreciated. One would hope that more people would read this anthology and be inspired to take up the challenge of making femicide a more accepted and widespread term. Overall, the content and diversity of the articles provide a good insight for readers in which that the viewpoints are now seen as a serious issue.
For those readers that did not have a very good understanding of this issue the authors have provided a solid definition of what femicide is and why it is such a serious issue. Bibliography Conklin, John E. 2010. Criminology. Tenth ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc. , Print. Thefreedictionary. com. Farlex, Inc, 2009. Web. 20 Oct. 2009. . Russell, Diana E. H. , and Roberta A. Harmes, eds. 2001. Femicide in Global Perspective. New York and London: Teachers College, Print. Athene.