Bad Ass Women’s Activist of the Week

by Cara on August 2, 2007

in bad ass women’s activist of the week, discrimination, gender, misogyny, patriarchy, sexism, sexual exploitation and harassment, work

Female police officer Ann McDermott has won a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department, after she became the only female officer on an undercover team and subsequently received hardcore pornography in her mailbox everyday for six months.

Yes. Everyday. For six months.

It’s great that she won her case. I hope that it will make male-centric institutions begin to rethink their policies. But you know what’s not so great? The fact that this happened in the first place. It’s not so great that her complaints within the department were dismissed, it’s not so great that she was transferred to another unit, not so great that the harassment still continued, that she became a pariah who was disliked for being “disloyal,” and that she spent over five years and $500,000 (which she will be awarded in addition to damages) fighting for her damn rights. It’s not so great that if you google this story, you’ll find a ton of articles referring to the harassment as a “prank.”

It’s downright shitty that she now has to return to work in the same police department, with so many fellow-officers feeling as though she has somehow betrayed them.

Personally, I don’t think that $150,000 is nearly enough for her trouble. And I’m not sure that $650,000 is enough to convince the Chicago Police Dept (and likely other police departments all over the country) to shape up and start respecting their female officers. But I say that Ann McDermott is still quite the bad ass.

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{ 1 comment }

1 dew August 4, 2007 at 12:25 pm

She is, and if it continues, I hope she sues for even more.

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