On CBB, supporting any woman above reason and my feminism…
They put all women into the house to mark 100 years of voting for women. It’s not 100 years of voting for women like me. It’s 90. So personally I don’t give a shit about it. If they repeat the format in 2028 ask me then and I’ll have watched it. Now I don’t like Ann Widecombe. From what I have heard of this show she has behaved how she normally does. Judgemental and disdainful of her fellow women. Her vagina doesn’t make me want to cheer for her. I would have opposed India Willoughby because their personality is worse than Ann’s it would seem. I have no issue with Shane (sometimes performing as Courtney) winning even though I’m not a big fan of drag. 1918 was a year of gains for working class men and middle class women so if this year isn’t all about “women winning the vote 100 years ago” I don’t care. It was a step. Worth marking but also continually painful because of which kind of women always get to take the first step. As is the way today.
But back to Ann. I grew up under the spectre of section 28 which she opposed the repeal of. I was educated in a church school where it was actually illegal, in effect, for teachers to talk about homosexuality. There was such fear from adults! It was terrible. Truly.
As a feminist I have learnt about complusory heterosexuality and about female socialisation and I recognise how, where and when they’ve most harmed me. I look on women like Ann who wanted women like me to be celibate and silent or closeted and reproducing with a man I had married and I think fuck you. I’m a bisexual woman with a child born “out of wedlock”. Many of my friends are lesbian. During my teen years I asked repeatedly about gay relationships as I was utterly confused, there were so few visible women who were not heterosexual. I was stonewalled at school. God I remember once a physics teacher actually saying “I have to stop this conversation as potentially I could be breaking the law”. Can you imagine hearing that as a child? Thinking that the thoughts and questions about who you are, are so bad they could get your teacher put in prison for taking to you? And of course I saw gender non conforming girls (who I know went on to be out lesbians) punished by our peers. When I was sectioned at 13 the one person I asked for to come to the hospital to see me was the only adult lesbian I knew and a woman I felt safe with. Though once I was “better” or rather quiet enough to be released I threw myself into performing femininity (and soon after heterosexuality) even harder than before. Until I lived with another (at the time) bisexual young woman and I realised there was another way. She’s still a dear friend and has been openly lesbian for at least a decade. Whereas I am bisexual still. In spite of currently loving a man of course I look at how things could have been had I not gone through that time with such rampant homophobia woven into the very fabric of our society by laws like section 28 and attitudes like Ann Widecombe’s.
This is before you even consider her views on reproductive justice.
Tl,dr. Ann Widecombe’s homophobia isn’t just a problem for men and no I won’t overlook it so “a woman, any woman” triumphs over a man. She also opposes bodily autonomy for women so that her bearded man in the sky can see unwanted babies born to unwilling mothers. Miss me with that shit.