Do you find these female police officers attractive? The Chinese Government wants you to. In what might be a response to criticism about their police force’s brutality, they’ve been hiring “attractive” female police officers between the ages of 18 and 26. Retirement is mandatory at age 26. Officials claim that the job is simply too strenuous for women over 25, but we think it’s probably because of the way we all turn into hag-beasts the morning of our 26th birthday.
In addition to the age requirements, women are expected to be “slim” and have “the five facial features in proper order.” For a moment I thought that meant that their eyeballs, should not, for instance, fall below their lips – because they wanted to rule out mutants – but it’s just an Chinese measure for facial symmetry. The officers should also be above-average height — which means they’re taller 5 feet, 2 ½ inches.
According to the New York Times:
“Their image is the important thing,” one unnamed district official told Rednet.com, a quasi-governmental Web site. “First, the candidates’ external qualities will determine if they make the cut, such as height, weight, facial features, etc.” Next comes temperament and “inner qualities.”
Female chengguan are like flower vases, he said, adding, “Besides being vases, they will have other responsibilities.”
We find all of this a little archaic by Western standards – even in the 60’s the mandatory retirement age for stewardesses was 32. However, the female police officers don’t find it sexist. One remarks, ““Do you think I look sexy in this uniform? Our job is to present the city’s image. I can be sexy for you.”
Which sort of drives home the point that I just find this weird. I understand that, say, cocktail waitresses, are chosen for looking sexy in costumes. But law enforcement officers? It’s a job where I think maybe inner qualities are the ones people should focus on first. I don’t want the looking sexy for me so much as I want them enforcing laws effectively. But then again, my eyeballs are located way below my lips, so I might just be pushing for too much tolerance.