State: Massachusetts

Going Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness?

This October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, all of the officers at the Greenfield Police Department changed their collar pins to pink and white pins that read “ARREST BREAST CANCER – UNLOCK THE CURE” surrounded by pink ribbon and pink handcuffs. Some officers also replaced their silver, on-duty handcuffs with pink handcuffs, to be used throughout the workday. Do you see any contradictions between a police department trying to demonstrate concern for women’s health while using tools, such as handcuffs, associated with the carceral state? Ryan Trowbridge, “ Greenfield police officers going pink for breast cancer awareness ,” Western Mass News (October 1, 2015; updated November 12, 2015).

Massachusetts Statewide Harm Reduction Coalition

Statewide Harm Reduction Coalition (SHaRC) demonstration in Chicopee, MA (2006). A demonstrator holds a sign that reads, “feminists for cages,” which is an ironic reference to arguments that building women-specific jails would benefit women. The construction of women-specific jails and prisons has been supported by three main arguments: issues of overcrowding, proximity to family and support, and the need to provide women with “a place of their own.” In 2005, Sheriff Michael Ashe said that the facility in Chicopee would “serve the women’s population better.” SHaRC responded saying that women would be best served by remaining in their communities and having access to affordable housing, food, job opportunities, childcare, quality education, and health care. They argued that building healthy communities...