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Pregnant Policewoman Denied Office Duty

May 7, 2008
While the kewl kids are running around rebuking nasty feminists for being oh so outdated thus inconsequential in a modern post-sexism world, real women who are working and trying to survive from day to day are suffering from blatant sexism. If you happen to be traveling in the vicinity of Ocean Township, New Jersey and see an idiot wandering uselessly around with a police chief uniform on, just return him to the local precinct. I am sure the duty officer will have a tutti-frutti waffle cone on hand for this jerk to lick.

After finding out that she is over two months pregnant and in need of doctor recommended light duty Patrolwoman Sonia Henriques requested a desk job. She made the request directly to Police Chief Antonio V. Amodio Jr. Although a number of desk jobs are available and often allocated to men who are suffering from physical injuries such as broken bones or sprain muscles and I am sure “mental” issues (wife left them and their egos are too wounded to function, or they are drunks and need time to “regroup”), Amodio only offered Henriques to remain on the road as a patrolwoman or to take unpaid leave of absence. It’s not as if a pregnant woman needs her pay or anything.

While rationalising his incompetent decision, Amodio claims he does not have the authority. Besides, he is trying to save the taxpayers some money. Or some other bullshit he tried to pass off as an excuse. If the police chief cannot decide where his or her police officers are assigned then who can? Unbelievably, Amodio said he was bound to follow the township’s administrative policy on the matter but said there is no policy for dealing with the matter. When in doubt, choose the abusive route.

Nevertheless, Henriques was forced to appear in front of the mayor and beg him to intercede. Apparently, Ocean Township has no policy when it comes to pregnant officers. The necessity to implement a policy has been mentioned a few times in the past but Amodio flicked it away in a we will cross that bridge when we come to it kind of way.

This whole situation just makes my blood boil. Of course we have the typical male commentaries who claim that if a woman wants to be equal she needs to behave equally, yet his definition of equal provides injured men with accommodations but leaves pregnant women subjected to potential risks out in the cold.

I have lost two fetuses. By the time I was pregnant with my nine year old (a pregnancy I very much wanted) I was considered a high-risk pregnancy. I was also branded a traitor for putting my family before the mission (HA!). I was still in the military and was treated badly. The military has policies in place, somewhat good policies if they are followed. However, the commanding officer is advised to take the doctor’s recommendation under consideration, he or she does not have to, or so they say. I suffered at the hands of a sadistic superior who thought women only become pregnant to get out of duty, even though nothing is gotten out of until seven months pregnant and even then, it is not a cakewalk. Each recommendation I brought in from my doctor was scrutinised, examined under a microscope, criticised, and it was documented and well known that I had already lost two fetuses around twelve weeks gestation. This is patrolwoman Sonia Henriques first pregnancy so I am quite sure the police chief is treating her as if she has a mere paper cut. Henriques is a decorated officer. There is no evidence that she is trying to get something for nothing, to get out of her duties, yet, she is being treated this way.

Regardless of the outcome, Henriques will suffer from repercussions. That is the way it works in a male-dominated and male-valued world. She will be hated for expecting light duty. And if the mayor overrides the police chief she will be mistreated and seen as someone who does not respect the chain of command. In other words, she should have taken the police chief’s direction and suffered in silence.

And we are post-sexism. All the rave.

3 Comments
  1. momo permalink
    May 8, 2008 9:19 pm

    This makes me so angry. I’m glad you celebrated your child’s birthday. I know from friends that the loss of a wanted pregnancy really hurts. I’m sorry.

  2. Anna permalink
    May 9, 2008 2:26 pm

    What a travesty – I’m so glad we are living in a post-feminist era – ha!

    Poor woman.

  3. Kitty Glendower permalink
    May 9, 2008 5:16 pm

    I think the mayor decided to override the police chief. And because it ends well people will forget all about it. But it should not be forgotten. She had to go before the mayor and the city council and beg for something that should be given to her out of common sense. There will be resentment. I’m sure she is hurt. I wouldn’t be surprise if she quits the police force all together. Maybe not, but I wouldn’t be surprise. How I was treated during my last pregnancy was definitely contributed to my decision to leave the military. I was asked to abort, I was insulted, I was told to put off my pregnancy (I was 36). Loads were asked of me but nothing was every given to me. Younger men were rewarded and awarded and hail as heroes, if they had the courage to step up and tell superiors that they had to leave every day to pick up their kids from day care. I kid you not, they were fucking heroes. Heroes because they were taking care of children some tramp ass woman left them with. They were heroes if they needed time off to go to court for custody hearings, heroes for standing in the delivery room, heroes for giving mama a girl’s night out. Good grief, I’ve done got my blood pressure up. But let’s put sexism last. Let’s ignore the sexism for now because there are other more important issues to address.

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