When She Was Bad...: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence

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9780140243888: When She Was Bad...: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence

While national crime rates have recently fallen, crimes committed by women have risen 200 percent, yet we continue to transform female violence into victimhood by citing PMS, battered wife syndrome, and postpartum depression as sources of women?s actions.

When She Was Bad convincingly overturns these perceptions by telling the stories of such women as Karla Faye Tucker, who was recently executed for having killed two people with a pickax; Dorothea Puente, who murdered several elderly tenants in her boarding house; and Aileen Wuornos, a Florida woman who shot seven men. Patricia Pearson marshals a vast amount of research and statistical support from criminologists, anthropologists, psychiatrists, and sociologists, and includes many revealing interviews with dozens of men and women in the criminal justice system who have firsthand experience with violent women. When She Was Bad is a fearless and superbly written call to reframe our ideas about female violence and, by extension, female power.

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From the Inside Flap:

In this provocative book, award-winning journalist Patricia Pearson argues that our culture is in denial of women's innate capacity for aggression. We don't believe that women batter their husbands or abuse the majority of children in North America. We ignore the 200 percent increase in crime by women in a period when most crime statistics are dropping. Pearson weaves the stories of women such as Karla Homolka and Mary Beth Tinning (who smothered eight of her children) with the results of criminologists and psychiatrists to expose the myth of female innocence.

About the Author:

Patricia Pearson is an award-winning feminist writer and crime journalist who has worked at Harper?s magazine and had articles appear in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and Details. She served as field producer for Lifetime?s documentary series Confessions of Crime.

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Pearson, Patricia
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