Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gender equality policy vs practice on Bristol City Council

…a striptease by burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese…celebrity stripper performed a 10-minute routine…ended with her wearing nipple tassels and a thong at the Bristol Art Gallery and Museum…with her white skin, large breasts and tiny waist, she conforms to the mainstream stereotype of the sexual woman, the dominant cultural image that leaves ordinary women with low self esteem and anxiety, reaching for the cosmetic surgeon’s knife…

The city council has said it “carefully considered the nature of this private launch party” and is “satisfied” that it was appropriate for this event. Julie Finch, director of the council’s museums and archives, and council chief executive Jan Ormondroyd, were both at last night’s event.

‘In order to contextualise the promotion of equality between women and men, we plan to deepen and broaden awareness of gender stereotyping and gender equality and develop understanding of the historical basis of discrimination against women.’

‘We will do this by running a seminar series for our employees.’

Bristol City Council, Gender Equality Scheme And Action Plan, 2007 – 2010, page 19

So, should we expect to see several very senior council employees along with senior councillors in Bristol's Cabinet attending a seminar or two on gender stereotyping? Or alternatively will they be abandoning their Gender Equality Scheme and Action Plan?

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