What are some major frustrations encountered by female police officers?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In answering this question, I will be relying in part on Professionalism in Policing:  An Introduction (2011), by David J. Thomas.  He addresses women and African Americans in police forces on pages 151-153 of the first edition of the book.  I have also consulted Chapter 5 of  Handbook of Police Administration (2008), edited by Jim Ruiz and Don Hummer.

Female police officers often encounter frustrations in their work because of the fact that policing has long been seen as a masculine line of work.  The danger inherent in the work and the physical challenges that can be part of it have led to a macho culture that can pervade police forces.  The presence of this culture, which Thomas (153) calls “the brotherhood of the badge,” makes it very difficult for women to be accepted in police forces.

One major frustration for women police officers is that their male coworkers often do not respect them.  The male officers often feel that the women simply cannot do their jobs as well as men can.  Therefore, they do not respect the women and do not give them the same levels of support that they would give to other men.  This frustration is related to frustrations that women police officers feel over their career paths.  Women are often relegated to the less desirable jobs on the police force.  They are also less likely to be promoted.  Both of these are sources of frustration to some female police officers.  When women are promoted, they are often resented by their male colleagues.  Male police officers often feel that women get promoted just because they are women.  The men feel that there is an affirmative action system that promotes women who do not deserve to be promoted.

The frustrations that female police officers feel are, in general, tied mainly to the attitude that policing is a male occupation.  This leads to a variety of factors that are frustrating to women who are trying to make careers in policing.

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thewanderlust878's profile pic

thewanderlust878 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 3) Salutatorian

Posted on

I think there are quite a few major frustrations that female police officers encounter throughout the course of their career. The biggest one that I can think of is people trying to sweet talk/ get out of being in trouble when a female police officer pulls them over, asks them to leave somewhere, etc. It seems like, men especially, try to tell the officer something like "hey, a gorgeous girl like you shouldn't be putting me under arrest" or "hey baby if you let me go I'll buy you a drink tonight" or something like that. I'm sure that it can be infuriating and annoying to the officer, especially if it happens to her frequently. 

Hope this helps!

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