Friday, September 1, 2017

Police and Toxic Masculinity


You've likely already seen the video of the cop violently arresting a nurse for insisting that he not break the law by taking blood from an unconscious patient without consent and without a warrant. Be warned, if you haven't seen it, I found it a little triggering to see a woman violently arrested, screaming and sobbing "you're assaulting me." There's also ableist language in the video and at the link.

It's generally disturbing to see an innocent woman be arrested for doing her job. One thing I've yet to see pointed out in any of the articles I've read on this is that nursing is a very difficult job. It's physically and emotionally demanding, and for this woman, who is visibly uncomfortable and nervous before the arrest as she has her supervisor on speaker phone trying to defend her from this large male cop. Despite her fear, Nurse Alex Wubbels stands her ground to protect the rights of her patient. Basically, give this woman a raise and the nurse of the year award, because she is amazing at her job.

The details of this entire thing are confusing as hell. The patient was actually a truck driver who was the victim of a car crash caused by a suspect who had fled from police. The suspect died in the crash, and police claim they were trying to protect the truck driver by testing his blood for substances. Why? The suspect is dead, isn't that case closed? Who is going to accuse this victim of driving under the influence and why? And even if they did accuse him and it was too late to draw his blood for testing, wouldn't a lack of a positive test keep them from being able to successfully accuse him of that? And how could they know he wasn't? Given the conditions truck drivers are expected to work under, you know, you hear that they have to use stimulants to get through. And I don't fucking blame them. I blame capitalism and their bosses.

So I don't know what's really going on here or why this cop should be so eager to get blood from the victim. But regardless, the law was not on his side. It is explicitly illegal to draw blood from a person without consent, without a warrant, and if he's not under arrest. The fact that a nurse had to explain this to a cop is phenomenal. After the fact he claimed he thought there was implied consent, but implied consent in these cases was ruled Not A Thing last year. You'd think cops would keep up on what the fuck is and isn't legal but I dunno.

But I do know what is going on, at least partially, behind the cop's anger and sudden violent outburst. He's another entitled, power-hungry, toxic masculinity-fueled white male cop. Cops tend to become violently angry when defied, especially by those they consider to be below them. And you can bet he considered a nurse, even a head nurse, to be lesser. So when her supervisor warns him that he's making a mistake, he snaps. He grabs at her phone, and she pulls away, because what the fuck it's her phone not his. This makes him angrier, because how dare she not immediately submit to him and instead act like a human being!

Men who are most affected by toxic masculinity tend to go into policing. They loooove being given a gun and told that they're essentially above the law and get to bully people with impunity. Same thing with white supremacists. So this clearly unlawful and unnecessarily violent arrest was his toxic and fragile masculinity being triggered by a nurse telling him that he was wrong and he couldn't do the thing he wanted to do. So he punished her. That's what that arrest was. Punishing her for standing up to him.

She hasn't sued yet because she's hoping the cops will learn something from this, and I gotta tell you, Alex, they won't. Just sue them. Get yours.

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