Last night I made the mistake of falling asleep with the TV tuned to the Misogyny Classic Movies channel, and when I awoke it was to the jolting horror of pervy old Rex Harrison rapping “Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man,” his woman-hating anthem from the highly insulting “My Fair Lady.”
A few of the heartwarming lyrics:
“Women are irrational, that’s all there is to that!
Their heads are full of cotton, hay, and rags!
They’re nothing but exasperating, irritating,
vacillating, calculating, agitating,
Maddening and infuriating hags! ”
Audrey Hepburn is supposed to be some sort of goddess or something, but I can’t stand this fucking movie. Henry Higgins is the biggest asshole on film, and Eliza Doolittle, though Henry has patronized and humiliated her to a degree scarcely imaginable even by today’s romantic comedy standards (two words: “Shallow Hal”), goes crawling back to him at the end and hands him his fucking slippers like a trained chimp. This I-heart-male-privilege theme–i.e. churlish (can we resist that word now?) mad scientist creates sexbot dishrag out of previously fully-realized human woman–is among literature’s most popular and most repellent.
And, yeah, fuck “The Taming of the Shrew,” too.