Why I hope Theresa May will prove the men in her party wrong.
Like every drag performance you hope there is a glimmer of excellence from the UK’s Prime Minister but who is making the threatening comments in secret?
Recently a comment to a YouTube post of the late Opera Singer Montserrat Caballé singing O Mio Babbino Caro. It focused on her control and style and was quite technical until the last sentence:
Yas Queen…come thru?!?
It is a truly melancholic performance of the Puccini song and yes, she did come thru’.
If this phrase is about the ‘fierceness’ of her performance, why do I keep replaying it in my mind when I see Theresa May? Why do I want her to come thru, and with what?
Maybe it is because she has not lost her awkwardness but being told to try. Her dance to the stage at the UK Conservative party conference was either one of those practiced moments when she showed her advisors her moves prior to the stage; they sighed, looked at the floor off she went. Or that person who was taught more formal dancing but is cajouled at the last minute to enter a dance floor with the latest moves, while people part for Eastbourne’s answer to Ginger Rogers.
Because for me there is something about women achieving something through adversity and in structures still dominated by Male rhetoric. It was her choice to become Prime Minister when all the men who were the key players were leaving. She was a Remainer who now has to solve this shit show shift away from the EU, but not build a wall between us and the rest of Europe.
The Prime Minister is not alone among women who have to seemingly prove themselves. Take Dianne Abbott and all she had to endure prior to the last UK election; the racism, the questioning of her status as Shadow Home Secretary and her capability to be affective. On the night, she came thru’ with an increased majority in her constituency. She proved those critics and haters wrong. At what cost because for some people it opens up an attitude to politicians that can be hard to dismiss.
This last week Prime Minster May criticism focused on saying there may…may…be an exit extension from the EU to ensure no hard border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland who will be in the EU and us out. The political criticism focused on this:
“Bring her own noose”
“…knives get heated, stuck in her front and twisted”
There is clearly no shade being thrown here…just Bullingdon boy talk!
The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, condemed the remarks on Twitter stating that, ‘…language like this debases politics”. And that is exactly right. There was a time in the later 1990’s and2000 when voting turnout was down; there was apathy. Whether we agree or not on the current state of politics throughout the 2010’s it has been much more real, turbulant and has engaged a lot of people on both sides and middle of the political spectrum.
In another push back on political language Anna Soubry, the MP for Broxtowe on Radio 4;s Any Questions this week said that politics still had a foundation of adversial use of language, but what the Prime Minister has received had no place in the public Parliamentary sphere. I agree and I would be curious to know the gender balance from whom the comments come from. It might be predictable but it can feel like it is male politicians who fall back on this language more than women in an attempt to undermine their standpoint. Perhaps it offers them power when they feel they don’t have any.
The language and attitude of knowing better or using fighting talk to bring someone down extends to some news programmes too. I am a regular listener of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, but cringe at the pseudo boxing/fighting talk they use. I think comedian and writer Jo Brand, speaking to The Pool, summed up their style of talk, which I see more in the men than the women (although not exlusively). For Jo Brand the interviewers start and continue with long complicated questions, but rarely give the politician the chance to respond, prefering the sound of their own Digitally enhanced voice.
For Theresa May and all that she has to achieve, if she can, I sort of want her to pull through because I have little confidence in anyone else in politics. Some probably could not manage putting a white washing on without inadvertently adding a red sock. Whether it is a good Brexit deal or putting it to a people’s vote only she can come thru’ because the others who think they can make Britain great again aren’t pulling thru’.