More Cho (and some other stuff)

// 27 August 2006

Head on over to Feministing to read an interview with the fabulous Margaret Cho about her new burlesque show.

It\x92s a show that really kind of incorporates a lot of things, but mostly it celebrates women\x92s bodies and is a place where we can be comfortable. You don\x92t really see real women\x92s bodies in movies at all. You just see teenagers, like really young ones, and we don\x92t have any other experience of women\x92s bodies other than that. I think it\x92s very revolutionary.

Meanwhile, here in the UK a senior judge has called for the divorce laws to be reformed. When I read The Independent’s headline ‘Divorce laws “are destroying marriage”‘, I thought this would be a post about out of date and out of touch judges trying to force unwilling couples to stay together.

But, no. Lord Justice Wall is calling for an end to fault-based divorces. Under the current set up, couples are egged into blaming each other for wrecking the marriage, making the whole divorce process that much worse, the judge says.

In fact the Government did have plans to change the law to encourage more mediation-led divorces, but scrapped the idea in 2001.

“People who divorce often simply don’t know what they are letting themselves in for and the family courts are not well geared-up for dealing with the bitter battles which follow, particularly over children,” he [Wall] said. “I am only sorry that the Government did not pursue non-fault-based divorce when the seeds had been sown for a change to the post-separation consequences of divorce.”

Let’s hope Labour doesn’t throw out its latest sensible proposal for a “workplace revolution”.

Harriet Harman is behind this package of proposals, which would finally see companies forced to undertake pay audits to tackle the pay gap between women and men, would raise the minimum wage and would give parents a legal right to work part time and set their own working hours.

It sounds so good I can’t really believe they’ll go ahead with it, but lets hope they win strong support at the party’s conference where the policy package will be debated.

“We are really upping the stakes. We need to have a robust and rigorous approach to public policy on the family. We need to have mandatory pay audits because we can’t tackle inequality when it is hidden,” Ms Harman said.

“The Tories have been forced to accept Labour’s agenda of maternity pay and leave. It is now essential for Labour to make further progress. The Tories are eager to talk about families but not prepared to take the action families need. The choice for families will be between Tory sentiment and Labour action.”

Meanwhile, Sichuan Airlines is looking to hire women proficient in martial arts to be flight attendents on its flights between Chengdu in western China and Seoul. So far, so interesting.

But not only must the flight attendents be able to kick arse and multi-lingual, they must also be a) female, b) between 18 and 24, c) able to sing and dance (I can only imagine), and d) of “nice appearance”.

Now if only the Independent was running a story on a British airline with these hiring criteria, I imagine it going something like this:

“British airline in sexist hiring practice scandal”

Instead, it treats it as a “kooky foreign news” story.

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