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Gender essentialism has been and still is a key organising principle in the HKP. Its content and expression has certainly broadened and diffused over the past 65 years, largely as a result of changes in the police organisation’s external environment. But gender essentialism, heterosexism and heterosexualism remain central to how the HKP organises its police officers and their work. We argue that the HKP as a gendered organisation has to be understood in terms of the nature of colonial policing and its relevance to the present day. The gender system is tenacious in the HKP because of its inherent systemic qualities and operations, as well as its elective affinity with policing. Policies aimed at narrowing gender differences (e.g. equal pay and arming of policewomen) do not result in real changes in how men and women are deployed and treated in police organisations. Given the tenacity of gender, a fundamental shift in the police organisation’s orientation needs to be in place before real changes can take place.
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Annie Hau-Nung Chan
Lawrence Ka-Ki Ho
- Palgrave Macmillan UK