Quick Hit: The effects of stop + frisk on women

*Trigger warning* The linked article contains descriptions of harassment and unwanted touching.

Laws don’t always affect all people equally. People of color and LBGTQ people, for example, are disproportionately targeted by laws that criminalize carrying condoms as an (ineffective) way to prevent sex work. And we’ve documented how stop and frisk is executed along racial lines, and is way too harsh on people of color, including and especially LGBTQ blacks and Latinos (80 percent of those stopped by police and frisked for weapons have been black or Latino, and 90 percent were found to have done nothing wrong). But just because a law most heavily affects a certain population doesn’t mean that it only affects those people, or doesn’t affect another group differently. This excellent article — and by excellent I mean troubling — documents the experience of some of the 46,784 women who were stopped and 16,000 who were frisked in New York alone last year (guns were found in only 59 cases). In most cases, the people carrying out these stops and frisks were men, as more than 80 percent of officers on patrol are men in New York. From the article:

“When officers conduct stops upon shaky or baseless legal foundations, people of both sexes often say they felt violated. Yet stops of women by male officers can often involve an additional element of embarrassment and perhaps sexual intimidation, according to women who provided their accounts of being stopped by the police. And many incorrectly believe that the police, like Transportation Security Administration officers, are required to have female officers frisk women.”

Go read the whole thing. And join the movement against Stop+Frisk in New York. (hint: it’s working!).

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to serving as an Executive Director at Feministing, Lori is the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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