The Wedding March: Is the Honeymoon Over?
Now that the confetti has settled, the media is starting to move on from the modern fairytale. But there are some people for whom the royal wedding was an experience they’ll never forget, in all the wrong ways. Whilst the camera lingered on Elton John and his partner in Westminster Abbey, the fact that they were there to celebrate a ceremony that they are legally prevented from taking part in was overlooked. But when the LGBTQ community made their presence felt at a protest in Soho, they were met with a hostile police force. Claiming that “royalists would be offended,” the protestors were evicted, and some were arrested.
Bear in mind that this was nowhere near Westminster, at the heart of London’s gay scene. The protestors weren’t threatening anyone or anything—they were simply stating their opinions whilst dressed as zombies.
The lack of media coverage of both the protest and the appalling behavior of the Metropolitan Police proves once and for all that this wedding was never going to bring the country together as we were told. There may have been parties, crowds in fancy dress lining the streets, and viewing figures that any network exec would kill for, but the legitimate complaints about the money and media attention lavished on the wedding of two attractive rich people have been effectively ignored.
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised—this came after 50 political Facebook groups were removed, despite no obvious ties to the wedding, and the mainstream media all but ignored it.
The question on everyone’s lips this week has been, "Did you see the wedding?" As Britain heads to the polls for a referendum that could overhaul our voting system, all people can talk about is That Wedding. The celebrities coming out for or against the Alternative Vote can’t hold a candle to Wills and Kate, the nation’s latest golden couple. We’re so easily distracted from what’s important that it’s difficult not to believe that this was the intention all along. Forget the cuts that will lay waste to the National Health Service and force universities to charge staggering fees with no system in place to help bright students who can’t afford to pay—did you see Kate’s dress?
As I come to the end of my guest-blogger stint here at Bitch, I wonder if the time I spent pondering the wedding's significance was worth it. I don't regret calling out the mainstream media for their egregious sexist and classist behavior, and it's forced me to look at my country's monarchy in a fresh light. But the one lesson I'm taking away from the whole hullaballoo is that it's frighteningly easy to have our priorities swayed. I want my country to come together in the kind of numbers we saw celebrating the wedding, but I want it to be for something worthwhile. I'm moving forward with a heightened awareness of just how little it takes to take a whole nation's attention away from an assault on civil liberties.
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