FEMALE PRIVILEGE – Evidence collection -Police violence and who it targets


By now most of us in the US are aware of how much “special attention” the police seem to give black men in general but especially young black men. Cases like that of Amadou Diallo and Abner Louima make the news, but Oscar Grant my not be as familiar. And these black men don’t have to men at all; the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in March of 2013 that police had acted properly in handcuffing and then tasering a minor for approaching a woman who happened to be his mother. (The police said they acted out of caution for the women’s safety; they ended up arresting her too so it’s not likely she felt very threatened until the police went after her son.) To be sure, white men are often roughed up by the police, get shot for no particular reason. Whiteness helps but it is no guarantee of your civil rights.

What does appear to guarantee your civil rights is being of the right gender. I am looking for examples of similar police violence, to the point of death, inflicted on women. I do not recall any and I can’t find any. I suspect if we do find instances, the incidences for various dempographic groups will resemble that for incarceration.

This is an appeal for assistance in finding these cases of police violence against women. It will be interesting to see how much of this is directed against white women.

I have heard at least anecdotally that youngish white women are targeted for traffic stops and that sounds plausible to me. I don’t know if they are cited at disproportionate levels and I doubt they are arrested, even at the same level as other demographics. Thanks for your help in this.

Also I think we will find this is a Western pattern of discrimination, if in fact it exists. Ni Yulan’s gender certainly did not lead the Beijing police to spare her at all.

Again, thank you for your assistance in this.

Jim Doyle
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Jim Doyle

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="3089 http://www.genderratic.com/?p=2912">9 comments</span>

  • I would suspect female officers would go harder on women they arrest than male officers would.

  • While it’s not related directly to brutality I have seen claims that increased arrest rates for women in DV cases is a result of more female cops.

  • Cicero, could you pass me the URL on that search? I am curious to see the racial breakdown of those incidents. One of the “intersections’ of gender and race is that non-white women basically don’t get treated like women.

    I don’t remember welcoming you, so welcome! And I mena it even if I have already welcomed you.

    JE, that stands to reason. It fits a general pattern.

  • Thanks, Cicero. The first was of abuse in Punjab, which isn’t going to bear on the racial politics I was refering to, and then the others, in London – those look mixed – one woman with an “Asian” name and one white woman, in 2008.

    So that bears out my prediction. Not many news articles and mostly non-white women.

    “Thanks for the welcome:)”

    Let me refine that: Hjertligt velkommen.

  • “I have heard at least anecdotally that youngish white women are targeted for traffic stops and that sounds plausible to me”

    The cynic in me thinks this is just so the cops have an excuse to talk to these women.

  • When it comes to that “special attention” that police dole out I think the difference you’re going to see is that when it comes to women its often (almost always) a sex crime (namely the form of a cop raping/sexually assaulting a woman). I’ve seen those stories pop up and they are certainly a problem.

    But I think this may feed in to what you may be trying to say when it comes to the attention such cases conjure.

    When women are treated this way the story will almost certainly zero in on her gender.

    When black men are treated this way the story will almost certain zero in on his race.

    Another example of this happened a few years ago when McCain was running for the White House. At an even someone asked if he would be taking a look at the ways fathers are treated in family courts. McCain said something that involved the use of “tar baby” and that he wasn’t going to start overturning cases because a couple of fathers felt they were mistreated.

    I remember the uproar over the racism of his use of tar baby. Oh yea people were lining up to take shots at the guy in the first place and this was just another bull’s eye to aim for.

    How many sources do you recall said anything about how he dismissed a perfectly valid question about the treatment of father’s in family courts? (Well I talked about it Glenn Sacks did but that’s about it: http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/2008/09/i-am-black-and-i-am-man.html).

    But anyway that’s what we are looking at. When you start off deciding that the angle of the story is x then its pretty easy to miss y.

  • Paul, the empiricist in me recalls women reporting exactly that.

    Danny, my experience is exactly as you say, that if it’s a black man they will make it about his race, and I have been paying attention to this since about 1970. They run pictures in the paper, they trumpet his name if it sounds “black” – all that kind of thing. And even if I hadn’t been noticing this because some newspaper columnist pointed this out all those years ago, you could make the same observation based on all the secondary discourse about criminality. This all feeds into the “born thug” narrative that we hear Bill O’Reilly and others bang on about.

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