Monday, 16 January 2012

The worm that turned

I wish my followers a Happy New Year. I promise that I will post drawings again this year, but in the meantime would like to share a dire prediction for 2012.

Fans of role reversal femdom will know that there is very little material, whether fiction, art, TV or film, that depicts a role reversed world. I remember looking forward to an episode of Sliders, the show whose characters travel between alternative universes, called ‘The Weaker Sex’. In this episode women were dominant, yet the programme makers didn’t have the nerve to swap the clothes too.

One noteable exception could be seen on British television in about 1979-80, when comedians The Two Ronnies produced an eight-part comedy serial called The Worm That Turned.

The worm that turnedThis little show within a show was set in an England of 2012 in which feminism has led to women becoming the dominant sex. The country is run by a kind of female junta in uniform (their commander a splendid Diana Dors). While women police march through the streets in black PVC, men are forced to wear dresses, do the housework and lead ‘feminine’ lives.

One of our two heroes runs a secret club that shows banned, male chauvinist films – we see the men roar in approval as they watch John Wayne spank a woman over his knee – but the club is busted by a spy and our protagonists go on the run. Their only hope is to escape this dystopia of humiliation to find sanctuary in Wales, where men are still real men.

The silly, sub-Carry On humour doesn’t show this respected duo at their best and is very dated. The show’s incredibly sexist and scoffs at feminism.

Yet The Worm That Turned was extraordinary in its way. A world in which women have become the dominant sex? Where boys and men are forced to wear dresses and do housework? If you hadn’t heard of this series, I feel it’s time you did. (It’s about all we’ve got.) Even without intending to, it raises questions: if treating men like this is so dreadful, why is it OK for women? And it is very clear about the power relationship embodied in ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ symbols such as clothing and names.

Some thoughtful person has posted the serial on YouTube. Here is the first episode. You can find the others there too.

I hope you enjoy this rare foray into gender role reversal.