“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
-- Anais Nin
When American dramedy “Ally McBeal” first hit the screens, it was all the rage until one particular episode – the female protagonist has a dream about kissing her colleague who is of the same gender. It sparked such an outrage that the then Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS) went as far as to scrub the episode off prime time completely. Their defense? “As a responsible broadcaster, we are very careful to monitor and take action against overtly sexy or alternative themes.”
In a country that deems homosexuality as a genetic variation or idiosyncracy that goes against the supposed moral majority, it’s no surprise that something as mundane as a fleeting fantasy would provoke such an extreme measure. But as feminist philosopher, Judith Butler, once optimistically declared, the existence of the unspeakable ‘other’ isn’t pure exteriority, rather, it stands as a notion of futurity – the ‘not yet’. In other words, it potentially “constitutes the limit that actively contests what we already comprehend and already are…”
Women Who Loves Women may not have brought anything new to the table in terms of the issues and struggles that the gay community has dealt with hitherto. But it reinforces the very real existence of these issues and extends the rainbow coloured spectrum to include the most often absent lesbian perspective. Homosexuality for a long time has been mainly a ‘male’ point of contention, that even within this alternative space, it is defined conceptually on a patriarchal level.
Women Who Loves Women is no dramatized or histrionic flight of fancy. It has enough balls to dish the dirt and like any woman, derives strength from her own vulnerability. It takes responsibility in acknowledging that decriminalization begins when we stop policing ourselves.
A much-needed dialogue that elevates self-reconciliation above social acceptance, it is first and foremost a coming out that steers away from guilty confession to instead a human portrayal of three women’s evolutionary process and the renewed hope of what could be.