THIS WEEK [ITV/Rediffusion, 1956-68]: LESBIANS
A discussion about lesbianism, including interviews. No titles. CU of woman who answers a question about whether she feels exactly the same as everyone else apart from her sexuality. She replies that as there is no typical human being there is no typical lesbian and she prefers to be treated as a human being (00:30). Bryan Magee, the reporter, states that three weeks previously THIS WEEK discussed male homosexuality - but that this was only half the `problem'. Discusses the etymology of the word homosexuality meaning `same sex' and the word lesbian. He also mentions the fact that it is an easier subject to discuss since female homosexuality is not a crime (1:28). CU of secretary from the Midlands who wishes to love and be loved by another woman. She describes how she finds friends and rejects the myth whereby a lesbian can easily be recognised. She states that her feelings were not reciprocated until the age of 36. When asked about how she deals with advances from men, there is a long pause and some stuttering. She finally answers by saying that she would be calm and that she has had relationships with men. Although the love making was not repulsive it lacked an emotional aspect in that she did not love them. She also notes that she fell in love with the sister of one of her boyfriends (4:13). The first lesbian is asked about when she realised she was a lesbian. She recalls that it was a gradual awakening process from the age of sixteen. Again she had boyfriends but the relationships lacked emotion. She is asked how she reacted to the realisation that she was lesbian. She found it a great relief as she then knew what she was. Answering other questions; she does not find it unnatural; has no moral or religious doubts; her only guilt feelings have revolved around her ending relationships with men through lack of emotional commitment; she lives with a partner and they are both in love; she does not find sexual relations between two women disgusting - it is an expression of love between two people (7:27). The reporter states that, unlike the previous interviewees, most lesbians are not open in their lives (7:47). A mature woman, in silhouette, describes how she met, fell in love and began living with her partner of 20 years. She also dismisses allegations of promiscuity in the homosexual community. She personally feels strongly against it. When asked if her relationship is an imitation marriage she rejects the suggestion by stating it is a real marriage - a union, and a permanent association between two people (9:40). Reporter states there are around one million lesbians in Britain, in all classes of society and with a range of sexual experiences (10:02). A young woman, in silhouette, is interviewed about her sexual history. She has had a number of lesbian affairs including one with a married woman and a number of brief and longer affairs with men, one of whom was also married. She is asked if she considers herself perverted because she entertains both sexes. She states that she does not, and indeed finds it strange that people are exclusively attracted to one sex. She states that there is little difference between the sexual relations between her male and female lovers (11:03). The reporter notes that some lesbians can be easily recognised and interviews (in silhoutte) a 19-year-old who dresses as a tomboy. She describes how long she has worn boy's clothes; how she shops for them; and how she eventually had to wear a dress to her brother's wedding (13:28). Owing to the numbers of women in certain professions, there can be a concentration of lesbians in certain professions such as nursing and teaching (13:40). An interview with a teacher, in silhouette, about parents' fears regarding lesbians teaching children. She replies that there is no danger, if there were then men would not teach girls. She keeps her professional life completely separate from her personal life and has never had a sexual attraction to the girls she teaches (14:19). The reporter asks what is lesbian, what are its causes and can it be `cured'. He puts these questions to a female Harley St. doctor. She replies that 4-6% of the population are lesbian. She claims that lesbians are created and usually `damaged' at some time in their infancy. Sexual drive is genetic while, sexual orientation is `caused'. She thinks that lesbianism can be cured depending on how early the `damage' was caused, how extreme the feelings are, and if the woman is repulsed by those feelings. She also makes a plea for a better social understanding and tolerance of lesbians hoping lesbians with `incomplete lives' can be helped to achieve a fuller life (17:20). A printing press, pan to Miss Esme Langley typing, the typescript. Reporter states this is the office of the Minorities Research Group (MRG) founded in 1964 by and for lesbians with 4-500 members. (17:57). Miss Langley, secretary to the group, is interviewed about the group and its activities. It provides a counselling service; establishes centres for meetings, and offers a library and information service. Problems most frequently encountered are a feeling of isolation; finding understanding; fear of loss of employment; and the difficulties encountered living a double life. She is also surprised by the large number of letters from married women who are lesbians (19:17). Interview with a woman, in silhouette. She was married but felt there was something wrong. She describes how she experimented with other men, thinking the fault lay with her husband, but realised that what she needed was the love of a woman. She finally had a five-year relationship with a woman after leaving her husband. She found love-making with men perverted and horrific and when she discovered she was lesbian everything slotted into place. She also describes joining MRG (23.39). Interview with a mother of one of the interviewees. She describes her daughter telling her and her husband that she was a lesbian; her reactions and coming to terms with it (25:29). Main title and credits (26:10).
A series of interviews with lesbians.