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Women In Law Enforcement

Essay by   •  December 23, 2010  •  691 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,844 Views

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Women in law enforcement face multiple workplace challenges that can be very trying for them. They face sexual harassment, gender discrimination in the form of the glass ceiling, double standards, differential treatment, and are made to feel like it is career versus family. Many people believe that it is a man’s place to be put in the frontlines where it is the most dangerous and that women should not be allowed there.

Sexual harassment is something that does happen more than it should. Many of the older generation officers still believe in the tradition that a woman’s job is not to be in immediate dangerous situations but should be working as a receptionist, nurse or stay at home mom. Many times the harassment goes without being reported because “the code of silence in law enforcement agencies and the severe retaliation that occurs when women report misconduct.” (Text, 56) Women deal with three major forms of sexual harassment which include “Hostile Environment, Quid pro quo Sexual Harassment, and Gender Harassment.” (Text, 56)

Hostile environments include sexist jokes, cartoons that depict women as nothing more than a piece of meat and unwanted requests for dates constantly. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is when a female is asked for sexual favors in exchange for a better job assignment. Gender harassment is where women are not assigned certain duties because it is felt that it is too dangerous and whether she is qualified or not, is overlooked for the assignment. The term glass ceiling fits into the gender harassment area. According to Wikipedia, “The term glass ceiling refers to situations where the advancement of a qualified person within the hierarchy of an organization is stopped at a lower level because of some form of discrimination, most commonly sexism or racism.”

Another area women struggle with in law enforcement is the double standards that they face not only because they are females but also because should they decide to start a family they are not given the same chances a male in their positions are. According to our text, “when a woman on the force lets her supervisor know that she is pregnant, she is not given light duty, but when a man who is injured off-duty is given the specific light duty assignments required.” (pg 57) Many male officers believe that it is a man’s place to be put in the frontlines where it is the most dangerous and that women should not be allowed there. According to our text, “the traditional



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