‘Don’t Get Pulled Over’ Is Cop’s Stellar Advice To Women Afraid Of Getting Raped By Police
Sexual assault by law enforcement has been a problem in Oklahoma of late, with three different officers being arrested recently for on-duty sexual misconduct. Oklahoma women are understandably a bit anxious about the threat of being mistreated during a traffic stop, but Captain George Brown of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a helpful tip for anyone who’s worried: If you just “follow the law in the first place” so you don’t get pulled over, you have nothing to worry about! That’s awesome to know, because I’m pretty sure no one has ever been pulled over for a tail light that’s out or a routine drunk-driving check. Or for no reason at all. But why dig into the root of the problem when we can issue inane advice about how women shouldn’t have gotten themselves into the situation in the first place?
A news anchor quotes the advice Brown allegedly gave her on behalf of Oklahoman women during local news station KJRH’s coverage of the most recent arrest, and his words of unwisdom follow closely on the heels of “but what was she wearing?” and “maybe women just shouldn’t drink in public or they’re just asking for something bad to happen” in terms of victim-blaming for sexual assault. Just follow the law and you’re safe from police rape (unless you aren’t), and if you did break the law, I guess having a cop force you into the back of his patrol car is just what you should have expected! I can’t imagine his advice to just not get pulled over was well received by the dozen-plus victims assaulted and mistreated by the three officers arrested in the past month. Sorry, ladies, if you just hadn’t been speeding then maybe this wouldn’t have happened to you.
While teaching news viewers what they are supposed to be doing to avoid having a police officer rub his dick on their face, Brown doesn’t mention what sorts of efforts, if any, are underway to teach police officers about the role they might, perhaps, be able to play in keeping themselves from raping someone. I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of tips of my own for any law enforcement officials who are worried that they might perhaps get into some hot water one day for sexually assaulting, molesting, or otherwise harassing citizens while on duty:
1. You probably shouldn’t be a police officer if this is something you find yourself thinking about a lot.
2. You probably shouldn’t even be a citizen. Consider leaving polite society and becoming a hermit, where the possibility that you will rape someone during a traffic stop is approximately zero.
3. If you must be a police officer, just don’t pull people over.
4. If you must pull someone over, don’t rape them. This is not difficult. Billions of people manage to interact with each other every day without raping one another. You can do it, too.
I don’t expect my helpful rape prevention tips to get a lot of traction in Oklahoma, where a fundraising campaign for one of the arrested officers made $7,000 before getting shut down by undoubtedly horrified GoFundMe admins, and where Brown’s victim-blaming advice was cheerfully received and parroted by the local news anchor. But “just don’t get yourself into the situation” is too often the advice on preventing rape. It’s time to change the conversation.