Men in Blue: Autoeroticism in the Israel Police

Copthink: If what really turns women on is policemen with mustaches, then they are just making our fantasies come true.

Iris Leal
Iris Leal
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Israel Police at a crime scene.
Israel Police at a crime scene.Credit: Emil Salman
Iris Leal
Iris Leal

At the end of the 1970s, a new group of dancers started to appear in the United States. They were all men, and their trademark costume was a bow-tie and shirt cuffs worn on an otherwise bare torso. Chippendales troupes appeared in halls full of enthusiastic women and paved the way for two new American subcultural phenomena: bachelorette parties with a sexual emphasis, and the sweet illusion of men’s objectification by women.

In theory, we could relax, eat popcorn or lick the chocolate coating off the ice cream, so to speak, egg on the men to dance to our tune in their underwear, and feel gratified that the revolution was complete and we had fully realized our right to be as vulgar as the opposite sex.

But even in this case, when we thought we finally had the upper hand, the men succeeded in turning the tables. Men in uniform, equipped with clubs and handcuffs, began to troll the stages of Las Vegas, and were the main attractions on cruises as well as welcome guests in small apartments in Manhattan. Men, who always knew what was best for us, decided that the most prevalent female fantasy was to have sex with a man in uniform.

Well, it seems that the Israel Police internalized this message well. Maj. Gen. Nissim Mor, Maj. Gen. Kobi Cohen, Cmdr. Moshe Ivgi and Maj. Gen. Hagai Dotan are just a few on the growing list of senior police officers suspected of sexually harassing policewomen.

According to Brig. Gen. (ret.) Ziva Agami, the former head of the national fraud squad, the list of those who knew about the violations and kept silent is even longer.

One can’t help but ask, What were they thinking? Was the nature of their actions and their possible consequences not clear to them? The answer is yes and no. One can certainly say that of all professionals, policemen know best what happens to someone who breaks the law.

If so, did they think that to jump on a colleague, throw her down on a lawn in Eilat and sprawl over her were acts found somewhere in a legal or moral gray area? Yes and no. On the one hand, they or their colleagues had been involved in the investigations of convicted rapist and former President Moshe Katsav, or convicted harasser and former Justice Minister Haim Ramon, and were aware that even MKs and sitting presidents were prosecuted for similar acts.

On the other hand, if what really turns women on is firefighters in helmets and policemen with mustaches, then they are just making our fantasies come true.

Retired Maj. Gen. Arieh Amit shed a lot of light on this autoeroticism when he told the television program “Friday Studio” that when policemen wear their uniforms and look at themselves in the mirror, the mirror looks back at them in admiration. Apparently, suggestion is stronger stuff than logic.

Someone who walks through his kingdom with the feeling that his power is almost unlimited, who enjoys the complete obedience of his subordinates and the fear of the weak in the investigation rooms, can develop the sense that he’s wearing a bulletproof vest. A high rank and obedience, said Amit, can go to one’s head.

Ask the plantation owner who visits the straw mattress of his slave girl, the sultan with a harem, or the Victorian lord who has sex with the maid in the pantry. A woman is a treat, a candy, a small sin for the master to chew on. This type of thing has a long history. Perhaps now, at least in the Israel Police, it has no future.

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