The BBC is celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage in the UK with an eight-episode special featuring 15-minute monologues by eight different women; each monologue was inspired by different events that took place since women won the right to vote. Snatches: Moments From Women’s Lives stars Shirley Henderson, Rachel De-Lahay, Romola Garai, Liv Hill, Siobhan Finneran, Corinne Skinner-Carter, Kiran Sonia Sawar, and Jodie Comer in segments written and directed by women; the subjects of the monologues range from spousal rape (which was not considered a crime in the UK up until 1991) to abusive men in power (particularly those in the film industry) to various points in between.
In the third episode of Snatches, Killing Eve star Jodie Comer plays a typist in 1961 Liverpool. Comer’s character, whose name we don’t know, is unexpectedly paired with a new lunch partner, Pam, a girl from the typing pool with whom she is not too pleased to share a meal. Comer begins to tell the audience her story while sitting at her desk; the sound of animated typing surrounds her.
Pam, who sounds like the best wing woman of all time, tells all about an encounter with Vera, the new girl at work who has recently given Pam her very first orgasm. This shocks our protagonist, but it piques her interest enough to approach Vera herself.
Comer, a true gift to Sapphic entertainment, narrates her encounter with Vera as if she were reliving it from beginning to end. From their initial contact and her hesitant but obvious curiosity to the act itself, it might be something she’s new to, but definitely not something she’s afraid of.
She tells of the eagerness of first kisses and removal of clothing. It’s light and fun, and no one is married or afraid of getting caught.
“I wanted to see her body. And I wanted her to see mine,” Comer tells the camera, her face a perfect canvas for her returning memories. She relishes in her reminiscing, as she speaks of being touched with patience and attentiveness, her breathing gradually quickening as she describes what happened in detail, her voice trembling sporadically. Squirming in her seat as her story approaches its climax, she exclaims, “It was black and white, and purple and gold, and stunning and glittering, and rude and funny and thrilling, and mine. All mine.”
She collapses on her typewriter, recovering from the radioactive waves of her storytelling, sated and happy to keep the incident to herself for a little while.
While Snatches tells of some of the horrors of being a woman in a patriarchal society, Comer’s installment surprises with its humor and its embrace of queer female sexuality in a way that isn’t titillating for the sake of the male gaze. Yes, it’s sexy and playful, at times funny, but it is also real, and it presents the joy of taking charge of one’s pleasure, pleasure given by another woman, the results of which bring no regret.