What Does A Police Officer Look Like?
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Politics and Activism

What Does A Police Officer Look Like?

I bet most of you pictured a male officer.

What Does A Police Officer Look Like?

Let me start off by saying, that this week at camp was Superheroes Week. One of the special events for Superhero Week was to have a police officer come and speak to our campers. I had no other information than that fact alone. Here's what I pictured when they said police officer...

I pictured a forty-something-year-old, 6'5'', white male with a buzz cut. Here is a little test for you... What did you picture? When I said a police officer came and spoke who did you immediately picture in your mind. A male or a female? I can guess that the majority of you pictured the same as me, a male.

I have to admit that the more I thought about it, I was ashamed of myself as a female. I then dug deeper, why did I immediately think that? The long, sophisticated answer is that we are bound by societal gender roles. Why do we immediately picture males in certain professions rather than females?

I can say that as an educator it is profoundly important to flood your classrooms showing women in every field and occupation imaginable. Showing your young girls that they can be anything. I do not think it was planned to have a woman police officer come and speak to us but I am glad she did come. She also did not sugar coat the fact that it is harder for girls in the field and there are those individuals who will try to take advantage of you.

She mentioned this is most likely because women will generally be smaller than those they are dealing with on the force. I am not male bashing or anything of the sort. It is just as important to show young boys that they can be anything they want to be as well, even if it is a field that is generally dominated by women such as hairdressing.

I could not help but think of a science education class I took in college where we saw third-grade drawings of themselves as scientists. Most young girls drew men even though they assignment was to draw yourself as a scientist. Is that not a scary finding? Girls need to know that they can be scientists or whatever they put their mind to, but they need to have societal support. They young boys need it just as much if not more.

I hope if I have daughters some day that when they hear a police officer is coming they can picture a woman and do not just think they are only men.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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