Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Female Nipples in the Male Dominated Workplace

As some of you may know, I use to work in law enforcement. As such, many of my friends and family members are in law enforcement. I recently got this question from my friend Debra who was, at the time we worked together, the secretary to the captain of our patrol station, making her very in-the-know:

"Hey, did I ever tell you about the sergeant who complained about your nipples?"

Uh, no, but I was already laughing at the absurdity of it all.

She went on to recount the following interaction, from her perspective but about my offending body part, in all its absurd glory:

One day, the captain said to me, "Hey, mija, come in my office and shut the door." He then proceeded to tell me that we had a problem. He said one of the sergeants complained to him about your nipples always being hard.

I keep staring at him, in shock, listening to him, thinking, "Am I really hearing what I'm hearing???"

He went on about how they are distracting to the men at the station and that we needed to do something about it. So, I sat there for a minute before I lost it and said, "WE?? What the fuck? You gotta mouse in your pocket?"

Then he dropped this bomb before I really unleashed my fury at him, "Well, you. You gotta go tell her she cant walk around the station with hard nipples."

That was it! I said, "Let me get this straight, because the two of you idiots and whoever else you're saying is "bothered" by her nipples, you want me to go tell her to stop making her nipples hard? Are you FUCKING HIGH AND OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MINDS?????"

He kind of started laughing and I said, "I know your laughing because you think I just simply don't want to tell her or because I would be uncomfortable but that couldn't be further from the truth."

He responded, "Well, we as men can't tell her that."

I should've been surprised by all this, but nothing surprises me here anymore. I said, "Let me tell you something and then I want you to go tell that moron sergeant the same thing. I BEG you to go tell her. Please, right now, go talk to her because when you do and she sues you, him and this department, I am going to sit back and laugh my silly little fat ass off and hope she shares her kazillions with me."

I continued before he could respond, "Do either of you jackasses even have a remote idea about how the female anatomy works??"

Clearly he did not, but said, "Well, yeah, but what do you mean?

Oh lord. Now, I had to teach my boss an anatomy and biology lesson. "If you think for one second women control whether or not our nipples get hard, your dumber than you look."

He was stunned (and not, as you might imagine, because his subordinate was talking to him that way - this is law enforcement and this was me...it's all standard operating procedure). He seriously thought we could turn them on and off at will.

I said, "Let me tell you something, every single time I sit down to pee, my nipples get hard. Do you think I want hard nipples when I pee??? And wait a minute, if you believe we have control over this, are you telling me that you believe she is deliberately making her nipples hard to....taunt YOU fuckers????"

He sais sheepishly, "Well, I don't know, mija, I'm just telling you and I thought women can control this."

"UHHHH NOOOOOOO! Listen to me, if you and that bald-headed moron want to keep your jobs, I suggest both of you keep your traps shut. By the way, why are guys even looking at her tits to notice her nipples are hard???"

Of course, he said, "Well you cant help but notice!"

"Jesus Christ, it's not like they're so big they're gonna dot your eyes!!!! Stop looking at her tits, you know, look at her face or don't look at her at all and guess what - PROBLEM SOLVED!"

End scene.

Yep. That happened. And if I were a different person with different experiences or if I had heard this earlier in life, I might be completely mortified, humiliated, self-conscious, or flipped-out livid, but I'm me now and more than anything I laughed.

I'm still laughing. I'm not laughing because it's such good-natured humor, but because you can't make this shit up. That conversation actually occurred in all seriousness. People don't believe this stuff goes on all the time. People think women are making this up. We're not! It's real!

So, let's talk about it.

Up until just a few years ago, I was always self-conscious about my breasts. In fifth grade, I was already sporting a full-sized bra and in high school I was an E-cup. I wore unlined bras only, as I didn't wish to add any bulk to my already massive chest. As such, my nipples showed through as often as they decided to do so (I don't know...the wind blew, I sneezed, I was aroused, it was cold, or any number of other reasons a woman's nipples stand erect). This embarrassed me to no end. I would poke them in, if I noticed. (Of course, that certainly didn't help the issue.) I had been mocked and teased my whole life when they got hard and that, on top of my self-consciousness about my breast size, made me a head-case when it came to my entire upper-half.

If Debbie had told me then that this conversation had taken place, I would've been mortified. I was only 18 when I began working at the sheriff's department and was a very young 20 year old when I got to that particular patrol station. I had not developed a real sense of self and had no overcome the years of sexual head-noises that roamed freely in my brain. I wanted to be liked, accepted, and respected. Had she not stood up for me, I would not have sued, I would not have complained, I would've hid my head and my breasts and further sunk into the depths of self-consciousness.

It's worth noting that when I first got to the station, I was overweight. This conversation did not take place then. Presumably, my nipples got erect when I was overweight. The conversation about them being so overwhelmingly distracting didn't take place until I lost a lot of weight through diet and exercise. All of a sudden, the nipples that had been functioning normally on my body all the years before became too distracting for the male deputies at the station. Hmmm.....

My husband's first reaction when he read this was to say, "How are these guys suppose to protect and serve if they can't even get beyond the distraction of a nipple?" Good question. They are trained observers, this is true. I would imagine they would notice my nipples just as I might if theirs were erect before they put on their bullet-proof vests. Ok. So? So, according to the sergeant and captain, these men (not the female deputies, many of whom were lesbians...no, no, they weren't considered) can do their jobs only if able to completely focus on one thing at a time. Bogus. By that logic, they'd all get into accidents if a woman in a short skirt walked by while they were driving code 3 to bank robbery. In that case, they'd all run smack into brick wall instead of scaling it as a clown riding a unicycle rode beside as they were in foot pursuit of a suspect. Oh, no, wait...THAT wouldn't happen, because they're only distracted by what they see as sexual.

Newsflash, my nipples are not, in and of themselves, sexual. In fact, my nipples, in particular, bring me no sexual pleasure at all. They're not one of my hot buttons, no pun intended. Even if they were, the fact that they happened to be erect one moment would not necessarily be an indicator that I was aroused. Truly, my nipples get erect every time I sneeze. I have gnarly allergies. I could've just let fly a flurry of forceful sneezes. Ya, somebody better talk to me about that. Shame on me.

There is so much more that needs to be said about this topic, but, quite frankly, I'm tired and I can't imagine I'll ever get to all of it no matter how long I write. I'll leave you with one last absurd laugh. The dude genuinely believed I could control my nipples and was doing it on purpose. What in the hell? Learn some biology, for one. Further, more importantly, are women really just people set on the earth to do nothing but tempt men? That sounds like some ass-backwards biblical b.s. to me and I'm not buying it. Never, not once, did I think then or have I thought since, "I think I'll harden my nipples to distract and tempt that passer-by" proceeded, then, to plug my nose, close my mouth, and breath hard so as to cause them to protrude.

[insert eye roll here]

Like I said, there's ever-so-much more to be talked about here. Your turn now. You go in the comments. I'm off to laugh at the inanity of it all one more time. (shuckle - that's a combo sigh/chuckle and yes, I made it up, but you can use it if you want to)

2 comments:

  1. Law enforcement seems absolutely horrid to women sometimes. In my experience, you either gotta ignore your sex and act the man, or 'work dispatch'. My degree is Criminal Justice, would absolutely love to use it. However, sexual harassment in law enforcement and sometimes even in the courtroom seems prevalent. I LOVE your friend's comments. F-ing hilarious.

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    1. In truth, it is absolutely horrid to women sometimes. That being said, I absolutely loved my time there and still miss it. I wouldn't discourage women from entering the field, because it won't change unless and until women get in there and change it. It's definitely a catch-22, that's for sure. And ya, Debbie is forever the amusing one.

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