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Thread: Lesbian Schoolgirl Drama

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    Default Lesbian Schoolgirl Drama

    I am certainly no prude and I don't usually judge something until I have seen it, but the BBC seem to be stretching the bounds of appropriateness with its new drama "True Love", to be shown on Sunday at 10.25pm.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz...e-student.html

    The plot is a sexual relationship between a 29 year old teacher, played by Billie Piper, and her 16 year old pupil. It doesn't bother me that the story involves lesbianism. It is more to do with the fact that the impression I get (at least from the Daily Mail's review) is that this relationship is being portrayed as a tragic and romantic love story.

    The reality behind such relationships couldn't be further from the truth. As a teaching professional myself, I can honestly say that there could be no greater breach of a sacred trust than an abusive teacher who takes sexual advantage of his/her pupil. A male teacher in Billie Piper's position would almost certainly be facing a lengthy jail term, and would certainly never teach again. The damage to a pupil involved in such a relationship could be considerable. Having not seen the play yet, I may be wrong, but it doesn't seem to be an appropriate topic for the BBC to be glamorising or romanticising for, lets face it, the titillation of mostly male viewers.

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    I'm sure this drama deals with the issue of lesbianism in a sensitive and emotional way, and I'm sure lesbians all over the world will consider this will be a true reflection of the difficulties homosexual relationships face in day-to-day society. However, the choice of Billy Piper, who is not a lesbian (as far as I'm aware) as the dominant lead would not have been my first choice. I would perhaps have relegated her to the role of the school scrubber, and only occasionally would we see her character cleaning the school and executing other duties that would reflect that job title; a role I consider would stretch her acting talents and so reflect Broadcast's opinion of her as "no. 6 in its "Hot 100" list of influential on-screen performers".

    This is the classic idealistic representation of lesbians, and not that of, hmm, how do I say this politically-correctly? Rather than the more mainstream image of lesbianism, of real working people who do not fit into the lesbian stereotype of painted and beautified women.

    Instead of the male ideal lesbian, such as this:


    The reality is much more like this:


    Oh, sorry, I don't know how on earth that got in there. The real is more like this:


    But would anyone, other than homosexuals, watch the drama if the latter couple were the lead roles? Do I really want to see "sex"-scenes where a Bella Emberg lookalike is making out with a David Bowie lookalike? I suppose this is what is wrong with televisual sex. Regardless of gender, such scenes just never seem real to me and even today it has the capacity to make me squirm and feel remarkably uncomfortable; probably for the actors sake rather than any undefined hang-up abour sex. Indeed, sex has moved on from the slow camera pan down the bodies, and romantic music spinning in the background. But still, a few moments of humping and grunting, never really hits the spot if you can disengage the image from the reality. I agree, that it will be great stuff for your average teenager, but still, why have cotton when you can have silk?

    There are plenty of sites on the internet where you can gratify these sexual frustrations, because let's face it, about 99% of the male audience is only hanging on until Piper gets it on with 20 year oid Kaya Scodelario. I remember watching Oranges are not the Only Fruit and it was perhaps my first experience with homosexuality. I found this drama more reflective of social and cultural issues affecting a person who themselves were facing emotional crises, and although lesbianism was a dominant theme of the story, it was nonetheless an effect of the social and religious problems Jess was having to deal with. I can only consider this drama will shove lesbianism in your face, while treating other issues, such as family reaction, institutional reaction, societal reaction in a more than stylised way. Will there be that spinning newspaper once the media grabs the limelight?

    Indeed the teacher is abusing a position of trust, but so too are they abusing the emotional problems a young girl is experiencing in the understanding of doubt and frustration in normal sexual relations. I don't mind if the "love" story is hijacked by social and institutional questions, but only if they are as sensitively addressed. I just imagine it is going to be a rushed and sensationalised drama, and the two characters will be more and more pushed into the background once the interminable sex-scenes have concluded.

    Having not seen the play yet.... it doesn't seem to be an appropriate topic for the BBC to be glamorising or romanticising for, lets face it, the titillation of mostly male viewers
    I will ask Northumbrian, I did find your post mainly sympathetic and interested in the issues this programme will seemingly address; despite you formulating them from the Daily Heil. However, do you think you would be as interested and sympathetic if the drama reflected two male roles in a similar way? Because I don't understand your point that a male teacher would, in contrast to a female teacher, be facing a jail term? Not only is that sexist, it is prejudiced towards the liberty of a male homosexual if they work in a shcool or college.

    C'mon and go free, all my sisters be united in Solidarity; that's the perversion I want to see in society.
    Last edited by eatmywords; 06-16-2012 at 07:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatmywords View Post
    I'm sure this drama deals with the issue of lesbianism in a sensitive and emotional way, and I'm sure lesbians all over the world will consider this will be a true reflection of the difficulties homosexual relationships face in day-to-day society.
    I think the lesbianism is something of a side-issue as far as this play is concerned, other than the fact that two very pretty and feminine actresses have been cast which would seem to be a blatant attempt to hook male viewers, as they conform to a male fantasy of lesbianism which (as you correctly point out) isn't always entirely realistic!

    The problem is that story seems not to be about the difficulties faced by a couple in a homosexual relationship, but rather the difficulties faced by a couple in a paedosexual relationship (or at least something very close to that). I don't know about you, but I welcome the fact that such relationships face both social and legal difficulties. Should such a relationship be romanticised and we be made to sympathise with the adult involved in the relationship? Teenage girls can certainly be very pretty and attractive, and it is not unheard of them to be flirty and have crushes on older people, including teachers. However, when you are put in a position of trust and authority by society and parents, you must have a strength of character not to be tempted by lustful instincts.

    Quote Originally Posted by eatmywords View Post
    I will ask Northumbrian, I did find your post mainly sympathetic and interested in the issues this programme will seemingly address; despite you formulating them from the Daily Heil. However, do you think you would be as interested and sympathetic if the drama reflected two male roles in a similar way? Because I don't understand your point that a male teacher would, in contrast to a female teacher, be facing a jail term? Not only is that sexist, it is prejudiced towards the liberty of a male homosexual if they work in a shcool or college.
    Just to point out I don't often read the Daily Mail. I have one of those news feeders on my Google Desktop sidebar which flashes up random headlines, including this one!

    To answer your point, I don't think they could have made this play with a male teacher and either a male or female student, and expect the audience to feel sympathy with the teacher (if indeed this is intended with the Billie Piper character). The general (and not unreasonable) public perception of older men who have sex with young girls or boys is that they are dirty old men, paedophiles, child molesters, etc. With women it seems that we are more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I mean how can a woman be a sexual predator? Aren't they supposed to be caring and nurturing? Surely they must have been "led on"? I don't have any statistics so I may be wrong, but there is an impression that the courts go softer on women for these crimes. I seem to remember a case last year of a female teacher who had sex with a male pupil (14 years old). She avoided jail, which I think would be unlikely for a man in the same situation.

    In any case, I will watch the play. Hopefully, my suspicions from the Daily Mail review will be unfounded. Billie Piper will end up in jail and we wont feel sorry for her. I'll let you know!

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    That article isn't a review by any stretch of the imagination. There's no evidence the hack writing it has seen any part of the show. It seems that all they've done is lifted some quotes from a Mirror article, thrown in some pictures (probably stolen from the same Mirror article) and tacked on some irrelevant gossip about Bille Piper.

    I've no idea how you gathered any impression about how the play will depict the relationship from this article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HonestJoe View Post
    I've no idea how you gathered any impression about how the play will depict the relationship from this article.
    I did say Joe that I would reserve final judgement until I had seen the play (which wasn't on last night incidently, I think it is on some night this week) and you are absolutely right that the Mail is hardly a good source of information.

    However, I have seen a trailer for it on the BBC and it is about a sexual relationship between a teacher and a schoolgirl. If this relationship is portrayed in a sympathetic or romantic manner (as the trailer seems to suggest) without considering the breach of trust the teacher has committed, and the damage such a relationship can do to the young girl, then I'm afraid the BBC have behaved in a morally irresponsible manner. I'm speaking here as a teaching professional who has had quite a bit of training in child protection matters. I'm sure any other teacher would say the same thing.
    Last edited by Northumbrian; 06-18-2012 at 06:15 PM.

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    Banning depictions of or references to romantic/sexual liaisons between teachers and pupils in drama because it is against some code or another, seems as unsupportable as banning dramatisations of illicit associations between clergy and choir boys, or doctors and patients.

    Such stuff happens in real life. But even if it didn't, it might still make a bloody compulsive story line...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    Banning depictions of or references to romantic/sexual liaisons between teachers and pupils in drama because it is against some code or another, seems as unsupportable as banning dramatisations of illicit associations between clergy and choir boys, or doctors and patients.

    Such stuff happens in real life. But even if it didn't, it might still make a bloody compulsive story line...
    It isn't just against a code. Any relationship between a teacher and a person under the age of 19 is a criminal offence (even if the child is not their pupil!). I am not saying depictions of such relationships should be banned, only that they are placed in their proper context, as child abuse or at least a criminal abuse of power - rather than soft-focus romantic/erotic entertainment for titillated males.

    How would you feel if a play was made about the Stephen Lawrence murder which portrayed his killers in a sympathic and positive light?

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    I am sure there will be one, someday especially as the dead cannot be libelled. It's a playwright's choice, and there would be a ready audience judging by the number of supporters Dobson and Norris have on various sites.

    But I wasn't aware that the TV drama under discussion was anything more than fiction...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northumbrian View Post
    I am certainly no prude and I don't usually judge something until I have seen it, but the BBC seem to be stretching the bounds of appropriateness with its new drama "True Love", to be shown on Sunday at 10.25pm.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz...e-student.html

    The plot is a sexual relationship between a 29 year old teacher, played by Billie Piper, and her 16 year old pupil. It doesn't bother me that the story involves lesbianism. It is more to do with the fact that the impression I get (at least from the Daily Mail's review) is that this relationship is being portrayed as a tragic and romantic love story.

    The reality behind such relationships couldn't be further from the truth. As a teaching professional myself, I can honestly say that there could be no greater breach of a sacred trust than an abusive teacher who takes sexual advantage of his/her pupil. A male teacher in Billie Piper's position would almost certainly be facing a lengthy jail term, and would certainly never teach again. The damage to a pupil involved in such a relationship could be considerable. Having not seen the play yet, I may be wrong, but it doesn't seem to be an appropriate topic for the BBC to be glamorising or romanticising for, lets face it, the titillation of mostly male viewers.
    When did you say its on? That popcorn smiley is so much funnier when it's animated.
    Last edited by Ollyof39; 09-18-2013 at 09:48 AM.

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