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Authors:Ann Kroon: Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Sweden
Publication title:När byxan blev var (polis)kvinnas egendom
Conference:Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11–13 June 2007
Publication type: Abstract and Fulltext
Article No.:036
Abstract:This article concerns the gendered history of women’s police uniforms. Tracing the historic symbolism of “phallic trousers” as belonging only to men, and how they slowly become introduced as a garment also for women, it is argued that trousers can be used as a material and visual point of reference, through which it is possible to analyse some important social changes regarding gender throughout the 20th century. Overall, the article purports the idea that when trousers were introduced as an item of clothing to (most) women, this was implicitly accompanied by an increased attention to the body as marker of gender. In Sweden, the first police women “on the beat” in the 1950s had to wear culottes instead of proper trousers, while today all police uniforms are gender neutral. The article suggests that the resilient discussions of the presumed incompetence of the female body for some police work, serves the overriding purpose of maintaining naturalized gender differences in light of “trousers belonging to all”. Policing is still maintained as a profession where men can be both caretaking and violent, while women are construed as non-violent and thus only as caretaking, leading to an asymmetrical logic, here captured as “the man contains the woman”, but “the woman does not contain the man”, profoundly affecting the range of possibilities in the two gendered positions.
No. of pages:10
Series:Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):1650-3686
ISSN (online):1650-3740
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet

Ann Kroon (2007). När byxan blev var (polis)kvinnas egendom, Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11–13 June 2007;article=036 (accessed 9/18/2014)