Now, does this mean we're all going to hold hands and sing Kum Ba Ya? Not on your life! Police work is a tough world, people say ignorant things to us all the time; and yes, we often say stupid, offensive things to each other. But as two of the premier male/female communication experts, Barbara and Allen Pease, say being offended is a choice. Men and women are very different when it comes to using humor, engaging in personal discussions, and arguing with each other. Men sometimes need to think twice before they open their mouths in front of women, but there are plenty of women who need to stop looking to be offended and just deal head-on with a statement or a joke or a gesture they don't like. If pulling a fellow officer aside and saying "that was a really stupid thing you just said to me and I don't appreciate it; don't do it again" doesn't work, take it to the next level, but first try to resolve it on your own if at all possible.
As the Pease's say, sometimes "choosing offence tells the world we are unable to come to terms the problem addressed by the comment." As I continue to train and write about gender-specific issues in law enforcement, I always have a few men and a few women who are angry, upset, or offended about something I have to say. To those folks I say this: do your research, look at the science, and lighten the heck up, life is too short. Law enforcement is a family; we are brothers and sisters in this profession and we’re all trying to do a difficult, dangerous job. Spend a little less time looking to be offended and a little more time looking in the mirror asking yourself "what can I do to make this job, and this situation, better?"