Looks like someone has taken a page out of my middle school guidance counselor’s book.
Streetsblog reports that Jasmijn Rijcken, a bike enthusiast visiting from Amsterdam, was approached by an irate NYC cop not for breaking a law, but because he felt that the way she was dressed was dangerous. Yes. Literally. Noah Kazis writes:
Rijcken was in town for the New Amsterdam Bike Show on April 30. After she had dismounted on Broadway in SoHo, an NYPD officer stopped, berated, and threatened to ticket Rijcken for wearing a skirt while cycling, which, it must be noted, is entirely legal and common. Rijcken says the officer told her that her skirt was dangerous because she would distract drivers and potentially cause them to crash.
So, um, yeah. That’s called harassment, cop-guy. Like, you’re the one who should probably be ticketed, and maybe even worse. It’s as if you called up my aforementioned guidance counselor, and were like, “how do you deal with women or girls who are dressed inappropriately?” And she was all, “Are you talking about Jessica Ogilvie?” And he was like, “No.” And she was like, “Oh. Well regardless, tell them that what they’re wearing is too distracting for the men around them.” (That did happen to me in middle school. But I’m over it. Clearly.)
Not only that, but it sounds like the cop quite possibly would have ticketed Rijcken if he hadn’t found out that she was foreign (because, what…American women should know better?):
According to Rijcken, the cop’s words were not merely an empty threat. He took her ID and only began to back down when he saw that she was Dutch. She hurriedly explained that in Amsterdam, it’s common for women to bike in skirts. In the end, the officer told her she should change into pants and let her go.
Yeah…it’s fucking common for women in America, too. Oh, and legal. Meaning that no law enforcement officer should be talking to you about it, let alone telling you to go change. Ever. Unless it doesn’t cover up your lady bits, your clothes are never illegal.
Anyway, the worst part about this is how understandably frightening the situation was for Rijcken. She sums it up perfectly:
At the time, Rijcken said, she wasn’t sure that she hadn’t broken the law. “If you’re by yourself in a different country and a police guy comes really angrily at you, you get scared,” she said.
[image via Streetsblog]