Saturday, September 17, 2016

Gender Stereotypes

It sometimes amazes me how prevalent gender stereotypes are. On NPR this morning I heard a story about the Washington D.C., police chief Cathy Lanier who is stepping down to take a position with the NFL.

The story mentioned that only 3% of police chiefs are female which is of course is unfortunate. However, in the story Katherine Spillar with the National Center for Women and Policing, a project of the Feminist Majority Foundation argued that it was unfortunate because, "Women tend to use a more community-oriented style of policing, are better communicators, can de-escalate potentially violent situations before they turn violent."

So rather than arguing against societal stereotyping and laws such as limitations on women in the military which result in few women reaching the top echelons in police departments, Ms. Spiller tries to use stereotyping to argue that women are better than men. The irony of her argument is simply incredible.

But then, to NPRs credit, they also talked to Dorothy Moses Schulz who is the author of a book about female chiefs called "Breaking The Brass Ceiling." Ms. Scultz responded to Ms. Spillar's comments with:
"Whether women all have better communication skills or are all better at de-escalating - I mean, those are basically sexist generalizations that there's no proof to."
It is nice to see some intelligence in gender discussions.

Eventually people will also understand that awarding undeserved alimony to women just reinforces the stereotype that women are weak and unable to take care of themselves.

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