How to make classic movies not sexist: McSweeney’s

This was one of the top ten columns on McSweeney's often hilarious Internet Tendencies site in 2014.

Classic Movies changed to not be sexist

My faves:

Gone With The Wind

Rhett kisses and grabs at Scarlett against her will. Scarlett informs Rhett that though they are married, she still has autonomy over her body and has the right to refuse sex. The pair ascend the staircase in thoughtful conversation, and Rhett wakes up the next morning glowing with newfound feminist awareness.


A Streetcar Named Desire

Stanley has spent the film waging psychological warfare against Blanche, who has called him a brute and an animal. In the film’s climax, he tells her how insulted and objectified he has felt and firmly asks her to leave his house.

As the comedians often say — it's funny because it's true! How could classic movies deal with romance if we didn't see men who violently kiss women, and women who respond? Hard to imagine, isn't it? 

Speaking of…earlier this year, the New York Review of Books published a mediation on The Outsider Art of Tennessee Williams that included a darling picture of him and Marlon Brando: It's too good to forget.


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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