Meditating on the Penal Ratio of Men to Women

face of a prisoner

Definitions of offenses entailing punishment, norms of prosecution, and penalties, like the scholarly literature on crime, punishment, and gender, are socially constructed. Recent scholarship on gender and punishment has tended to emphasize highly interpretive contextualization and a conventional master narrative of the social construction of gender.

An alternative path is to seek self-denying common sense of persons suffering under punishment. To do this, one must quiet the self’s interpretative force through focus on a simple object. One must dissolve the self’s habitual narratives with mindfulness of present reality. Meditating upon the ratio of men to women absent in life-disposing punishment can be enlightening. Try this exercise and see!

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