My partner says I make everything about gender. If I’m honest, he’s probably right. As a women’s health and rights specialist, I tend to interpret the world around me through a gender lens. And, as the past year has elicited a painful amount of footage of police brutality, I’ve been applying it to the nature of American law enforcement more than I ever have before. It’s how I came to wonder if sexism gives police brutality its teeth.

Police in the United States have a toxic masculinity problem. I’m not saying that police don’t also have an institutional racism problem – that would be tone deaf, malicious and straight-up factually wrong – just that toxic, masculine conduct contributes to the problematic decisions and behaviors behind disproportionate arrests of people of color, racial profiling, excessive use of force and the reluctance to reform.

About the writer: Kyoko Thompson ( is a gender, health and rights specialist with experience writing and researching for organizations such as UNICEF, UNFPA, Marie Stopes International, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Currently, she serves as content lead for Nivi Inc., a tech startup that delivers sexual and reproductive health information and services to India, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. This column originally appeared in the Baltimore Sun. Distributed by the Tribune Content Agency LLC.

(3) comments


Yet another leftist out for a troll.


Written by a man hating mean gay woman....your opinion is such a surprise


Literally says her partner is a man

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