(Read our founding principles and code of conduct.)
#BerenaDeservedBetter is a forum for people to voice their opinions about the representation of lesbian and bisexual women in popular culture and to take action to make storytellers and producers more accountable.
We set up this space spurned by the depiction of the couple popularly known as Berena in the UK TV drama Holby City, which is produced by the BBC, played by Jemma Redgrave (Bernie Wolfe) and Catherine Russell (Serena Campbell).
We are a group of people from across countries and timezones, across occupations and cultures and ages, gay and straight. Berena brought us together and touched our lives in different ways. We were promised a respectful representation but, in the end, we were given a mish-mash of the worst stereotypes about lesbians and bisexuals, and about women, not to mention about older women. It was wrong, and we decided we
wouldn't be silent any more.
We invite you to join us in this campaign.
One Reply to “An Exercise in Catharsis Following the Berena Split”
Your post really engaged me and your points are spot on.
‘I didn’t recognize the true version of myself because in the world around me, it didn’t exist. Or rather, it did but it wasn’t visible to me.’ This is certainly the most valid reason for an accurate representation of all minorities and, in particular, the LBGTQ community. Most specifically, as a society, we need sensitive and non stereotypical representation of lesbians.
If we cannot recognize our experiences in all art forms, we have nothing to relate to,
nothing with which to make a comparison. You are so right when you say that the media leaves lesbians in isolation and it is this isolation which gives rise to deprived audience. It is only logical that someone who has experienced deprivation reacts enthusiastically when the deprivation is removed. The potential for harm is raised exponentially when the representation of w/w relationships are portrayed using hurtful and false stereotypes and tropes.
We are hurt by the representations and we feel ‘shame at our tears’. It is a lose/lose situation. We see ourselves, our lives, and our loves denigrated and we are embarrassed. We see ourselves devalued. We react with grief and inexplicably assume the guilt for our reaction. It is time to ascribe guilt its proper place. The responsibility for the inaccuracies in the Berena stroryline lies directly with Holby City. No one else is at fault.
You are absolutely accurate when you write, ‘…aspects of their characters and their relationship became so abruptly unrecognizable.’
The ending of Berena had nothing to do with the endlessly touted ‘sensitive’ representation. It had everything do do with a callous, harmful, and expedient choice.