Gayle young white women leniently because they

Gayle Rubin, in her essay, The Traffic in Women, builds upon a
theory that situates the structural oppression of women within working social
systems, rather than biology, ultimately reproducing heterosexuality and
creating gender divisions. She relies on economic interpretations from Karl Marx
and Friedrich Engels, an anthropological perspective from Claude Lévi-Strauss,
and the theories of psychoanalysis from Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan to
define the “sex/gender system,” and how it has been historically evident in varying
societies. The kinship system which is essentially the “core” of the sex/gender
system is founded on the exchange of women and continually necessitates the
asymmetry of gender: “Far from being an expression of natural differences,
exclusive gender identity is the suppression of natural similarities” (Rubin,
180), resulting in the subordination of women. Anna Tsing’s essay, Monster Stories: Women Charged with Perinatal Endangerment, discusses the varying
degrees of criminal negligence stemming from ambiguous childbirth incidents
that resulted in infanticide due to unassisted child birth, specifically
outside of a medical environment. Tsing focuses on the “monster stories” of two
young women who gave birth alone and were then charged with perinatal
endangerment. Throughout these stories, Tsing discusses the perceptions and
characterizations of what makes a “good,” “bad,” or “unnatural” mother through
the lens of a court and how those mothers are convicted depending on her age,
race, and class. Judges prosecuted young white women leniently because they
were seen “as perverse products of a distorted maturation process” (Tsing,
286), conversely, impoverished white women and women of color were sentenced harshly
because their crimes activated a certain cultural narrative about their moral
character as well as their questionable decision to refuse professional medical
help. In her essay, Dirty Protest:
Symbolic Overdetermination and Gender in North Ireland Ethnic Violence, Begoña
Aretxaga indicates that both the male and female prisoners’ use of their bodies
as powerful instruments and symbols of resistance against authorities can be
related to Foucault’s assertion of the pervasiveness of both power and
resistance. However, Aretxaga contradicts Foucault’s notion of subjected and
docile bodies: “the points at which the technology of normalization breaks
down, the moments in which ration disciplines of the body fail to produce
docile subjects” (Aretxaga, 124). The dirty protest and the hunger strikes that
followed were newfound forms of protest and resistance that emerged from a
space dominated by power, the body.