What’s happened to you? Why do you care about the feelings of a lizard? Do lizards even have feelings? These are all questions I asked myself when I felt the first twinge of sympathy as I watched an exhausted Theresa May deliver a feeble victory speech after the election in June.
Poor Theresa hadn’t slept, and looked suspiciously uncertain when she said ‘what the country needs more than ever is certainty’. I honestly wondered whether she was about to break down as I pictured what a night she must have had. I couldn’t help but imagine her ugly-crying and wailing ‘for FUCK’S SAKE’ as the election results came in, and even releasing her husband from his chains for the night because she REALLY needed a hug. She’d called up everyone she knows, and no one wanted to form a government with her apart from the DUP. Imagine that?? And then after zipping up her human costume, she had to step out in front of number 10 to tell everyone ‘haha no really it’s fine’ when it clearly wasn’t.
Since then, things have only gotten worse for the poor lizard queen. She is at the forefront of Brexit negotiations, which divides her party, and must navigate her way through one of the toughest periods in British politics. I cannot imagine the stress and humiliation she must feel. I felt for her when she was handed a fake P45 while she struggled, voice-wavering through a personal speech at the Tory party conference. Rachel Sylvester wrote in The Times that one visitor recently left a reportedly catatonic May in her office after the Prime Minister ‘sat in silence for ten minutes’. Though maybe her batteries had run out and she needed to be put on charge for a while, it is also possible that she actually feels real emotions (!?) and is on the brink of mental breakdown.
I started to think about Theresa and how hard it must be to be in her position, while maintaining her human disguise at the same time. May faces constant bullying from the press, those within her own party and from the opposition. Whilst any Prime Minister is fair game for scrutiny – it goes with the job – this is starting to feel like sexism. We used to hear mainly about her shoes and legs. Now it’s about how often she cries, whether not having children of her own makes her fit to lead, whether she can really lead, at all. She also gets yelled at everywhere she goes, and her appearance and character are under constant scrutiny. I don’t agree with a lot of what she says, but I can’t help but want to tell her I understand how she feels when she has no clue how to talk to people. Or walk properly.
Though I have problems with Theresa May (like her previous views about LGBT+ rights, her failure to harshly condemn Donald Trump, support for fox hunting and the ‘Go Home’ anti-immigration campaign which was introduced when she was Home Secretary to name a few), she also has her good points. Her appointment as Prime Minister is a refreshing departure from the Eton-Harrow male dominated world of politics, and the current manifesto is actually one of the most liberal Tory manifestos we’ve seen for a while. She now supports same-sex marriage, and co-founded Women2Win, a Conservative campaign to elect more women in parliament. She introduced a law during her time as Home Secretary which ensures that emotional abusers are punished to the same degree as physical domestic abusers. She also criticised the racist behaviour of police in 2014, and was the only Tory to turn up to a celebration of 90 years of women having the vote. If anything, at least she isn’t Boris Johnson.
I, like Theresa, struggle with human interaction, looking like I know what I’m doing and walking like a normal person. When I watch her flailing through everyday life and publically embarrassing herself on a regular basis I can really relate, and want to give her the most awkward hug of all time.