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"There's Girls Who Can Fight, and There's Girls Who Are Innocent": Gendered Safekeeping as Virtue Maintenance Work.

Authors
  • Lennox, Rebecca A1
  • 1 University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Violence against women
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2022
Volume
28
Issue
2
Pages
641–663
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1077801221998786
PMID: 33757312
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Women routinely practise taxing safety strategies in public, such as avoiding unlit spaces after dark. To date, scholars have understood these behaviors as means by which women bolster their physical safety in public. My in-depth interviews with women in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia suggest that, much less than reliably enhancing women's safety, safety work often exacerbates women's fear of violent crime and unreliably mitigates their exposure to violence. I thus interrogate the protective function of gendered safekeeping and reconceptualize women's safety work as virtue maintenance work, theorizing that women practice risk-management in public places to attain the ontological security associated with evading subjectivities of gendered imprudence.

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