And still there's more...on Little Britain

Again I am attacked for my "overenthusiatic review of Little Britain"
Cheers to Lachlan Malloch (Write On, GLW #663) for debunking Dave Riley's over-enthusiastic review of Little Britain (GLW #662). Dave likes the show — good on him. It's on prime time TV, so we should all have decided for ourselves by now anyway. But we don't see why men in bad drag giggling “Ooooh, I'm a lady” is funny, let alone liberating. Or maybe we missed the progressive content in the Carry On movies too?

Ben Courtice, Ema Corro, Bianca Healy, Tony Iltis
Footscray, Vic SOURCE
I sat down and began to compose a response.But after I'd dealt with:
  • acting as a cross dressing profession historically in Britain until the 18th century when women were allowed on stage for the first time
  • gender role reversal in pantomine as a continuation of the old festival of Twelfth Night, a combination of Epiphany and midwinter feast, when it was customary for the natural order of things to be reversed. This tradition can be traced back to pre-Christian European festivals such as Samhain and Saturnalia .
  • the various cross dressing devices employed by Monty Python on television and in so many filmsandstage plays...many of which are hilarious..
I realised that before I could even address the Carry On movies and wonder at my critics sharp moralism (as I was thinking that they perhaps thought men depicting women was somewhow inherently mysogynist), I thought I'd allow Little Britain to speak for itself:

Matt Lucas and David Walliams as cross dressed Florence and Emily(dressed in full length frocks carrying parasols) see a group of young boys having a kickaround on the playing fields
EMILY: Oh Florence, regardez les enfants playing...footie.
FLORENCE: Oh, how enchanting. Of course you used to play football, didn’t you?
EMILY: (Girlishly embrarrassed). Oh no no.
FLORENCE: You did, you were Left Back for the QPR.
EMILY: Florence, please remember, I’m a lady.
BOY: Here, mate, can we have our ball back please?
FLORENCE: Leave it Emily.
Florence and Emily walk towards the football: Emily is clearly trying hard to resist the temptation to kick the ball.
EMILY: Florence, I can’t help it.
FLORENCE: Fight it Emily!
EMILY: I can’t, ooh!
Emily proceeds to take the ball and dribble round all the boys on the football pitch.
FLORENCE: Be strong Emily, think of ladies’ things. Oh!
Emily scores and wheels around in triumph, cheering like a bloke. The boys watch dumbfounded as Emily and Florence recover their composure and walk away.
EMILY: I think we got away with that. Au revoir.
They quicken their step and break into a run.
For earlier exchanges in this thread, go here.

Channels