Thursday, June 26, 2008

Boobies Earn Police Officer a Promotion*

Not sure what to make of this story. In China, some are protesting a police officer's promotion. Why was she promoted you ask? Because she breastfed nine (yes, NINE) orphaned victims after the earthquake. Protesters say, "an official position should not be used to promote a moral model." Huh?

Why are people really protesting this promotion? Maybe because boobies make some people uncomfortable... Maybe because this officer went above and beyond her call of duty and did something that no man could have. And something that although some women may have been able to, chose not to. I think that certainly does merit a promotion.

My only hesitation with this story is that since men are physically unable to breastfeed, is it fair to promote a woman for something that men cannot physiologically do? Not sure. In this case, i think yes because this officer saw a need that she could fill and went above and beyond to fill it. I think that shows altruism, compassion, and her ability to complete "tasks" outside those on her job description. Because of this, it warrants a promotion.

What are your thoughts?

Story found via Feministe where a commenter wrote:

The fact that she pulled out her breasts and not a gun should not lessen the value of her work for the community.
Haha, so true.

*please forgive me for the title, i was trying to be ironic and think of the most ridiculous headline that newspapers would write for this story :0)


Amelia said...

I think your analysis is strong. I think what she does indeed deserve the promotion, because, as you said, she "saw a need that she could fill" and she did go "above and beyond." This could hold true for people of any gender, in any situation, not only this particular one.

Caroline said...

I agree with Amelia... she went above and beyond in the best way she was capable of in that particular situation. And isn't that what people should be called heroes for?

Smirking Cat said...

I'm still stuck on "an official position should not be used to promote a moral model". How many people in official positions do NOT push their moral models onto others, even if they are actually lacking in morals?

Yes, this officer deserved a promotion. Going above and beyond your job description is generally what promotions are based upon, and I'd love to hear anyone argue that she did not.

professor what if said...

Actually, men can lactate. See for example the story and film clip "Milkmen: Men Who Breastfeed" at

Supposedly Dustin Hoffmen breastfed his grandchildren.

Black Thirteen said...

I don't think smething wholly unrelated to police work should be granted a police promotion.

Perhaps an award or decoration, but not an actual promotion. At least in the US, police promotions require a large amount of effort and qualifications. (Unless given posthumously.)

That said, if you think it's fair to praise and promote a woman based on something a man is physically incapable of, do you also agree with negative treatment towards women for things of the same nature?

Such as being the one who incubates offspring. Most feminists I've seen are against treating pregnant women any differently, and not wanting them to be held to the male standard of "not ever pregnant". If you're against such negative treatment, I think the only fair and equal thing is to be against elevating someone for the same reasons.

If your sex should never bring negative attention, it shouldn't be used to single you out for positive, either.

phd in yogurtry said...

Men have physiological advantages, too. Their upper body strength, for one. They have gotten jobs, promotions, recognition since the dawn of time for their contributions. A woman should too. Bravo to her. How wonderful that she was able to offer comfort to the babies.

Black Thirteen said...

Women can exercise and increase their upper body strength.

Not a distinctly "male" advantage.

Again, I state: If women should not be discriminated against for things unique to them, then they should not be promoted for them, either.

Besides, suckling babies isn't exactly police work.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if sucking babies isn't exactly police work, her job is to serve the public and to help those in need... why would she not aid the babies if she could? Her promotion is justified.