Book Review: The feminist and the sex offender: Confronting sexual harm, ending state violence

AuthorMauricio P. Yabar
Published date01 December 2022
Date01 December 2022
Subject MatterBook Reviews
lens. Some of the topics covered in detail within this work are robbery, murder, police who murder
civilians, civilians who murder police, stop and frisk and other high prof‌ile policies, testimony, and
judgment. All topics are covered in depth and use both national-level data and f‌indings from aca-
demic researchers across many professionals. The use of data to both corroborate the authors argu-
ments and to provoke questions is one of the core strengths of this book. However, this also means
that some parts of the chapters are heavily focused on data, which may put some readers off who are
not well versed in reading about statistics and graphs. Many of the chapters include several graphs
and explanations within them, which make it easier for the reader to acknowledge the sources of data
while the authors walk them through it. Because the authors do walk readers through their interpre-
tations, this work makes a good f‌it for introductory college courses.
It is precisely because the authors were able to cross f‌ields of research in all chapters that this book
brings together multiple disciplines and allows for a greater understanding of the perspective of each
discipline and how they f‌it together to construct our current data-based narratives of racial injustice
and stereotypes. Shadows of Doubt is an amazing resource for students and concerned citizens alike,
for both the content and substance of the arguments and as an example of how research and data can
be outlined to readers of all skill levels.
Ava T. Carcirieri
Levine, J., & Meiners, E. R. (2020). The feminist and the sex offender: Confronting sexual harm, ending state violence.
Verso. pp. 224. $17.46. ISBN: 9781788733403.
Reviewed by: Mauricio P. Yabar, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
DOI: 10.1177/07340168211029989
While scholars largely agree about the lack of empirical evidence regarding the eff‌icacy of sex
offender management laws, the scholarship on this subject rarely applies critical approaches to inter-
rogate the perniciousness of these laws and the structures of racism and sexism that embrace them.
The Feminist and the Sex Offender thoroughly f‌ills this gap in the literature, successfully expanding
the conversation concerning societal responses to sexual crimes using a critical framework. The
authors provide historical context on the implementation of sex offense laws, along with the
social narratives and representations of reality that justify the public shaming of persons with
sexual offense convictions. This book encourages the reader to contemplate alternative approaches
to condemn all forms of violencesexual harm inf‌licted by individuals and harm inf‌licted on indi-
viduals by the state.
A timely and enlightening book, The Feminist and the Sex Offender exposes the often-overlooked
miscarriages of the legal system in its efforts to address sexual offending. The opening chapters docu-
ment the history of sex offender management laws. Specif‌ically, the authors address the role of fem-
inism in the enactment and evolution of the states approach to solving the problem of sexual
violence against women and other marginalized groups. This is followed by discussions on intersec-
tional responses to sexual violence, racial and gender bias in sex offender management laws, alter-
native approaches to accountability and rehabilitation, among other topics. Throughout the book, the
reader is reminded to question sociopolitical forces that shape and sustain the sex offender legal
regime and to critically assess the eff‌icacy of its policies with regard to the purported goal of erad-
icating sexual violence.
Book Reviews 529

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