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McSweeney’s : Classic Movies Changed To Not Be Sexist

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.

Vertigo

Scottie asks his girlfriend Judy to change her clothes and hair to resemble the deceased “Madeleine.” Judy tells Scottie that she dresses for herself and not for him. She realizes she has better things to do than be in a relationship with a controlling old man who isn’t actually hot and who has a weird dumb accent.

Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi

Luke and Leia plan to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hut. Leia is captured by Jabba, and is forced to wear a normal, full-coverage prison jumpsuit.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Nurse Ratched, representing the concept of powerful women, is a kind and competent nurse. Everyone in the film is happy and there is no conflict.

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.

A Clockwork Orange

The male protagonist of this film spends his evenings having consensual sex with various women. Everyone respects one another.

12 Angry Men

This is a movie about 12 rational female jurors.

Saving Private Ryan

A group of women who now run the governments of all major countries work out a diplomatic agreement and avoid the anguish inherent in a world war.

The Sound Of Music

The original Mrs. von Trapp had access to birth control and chose to stop having children after Liesl.

Rear Window

Socialite/fashion plate Lisa drops in to dote on her injured boyfriend Jeff, not because she is forced into this domestic role by gender norms, but out of genuine affection. Jeff thanks Lisa and asks about her fascinating job instead of talking about boring bullshit he saw his neighbors do.

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins is a man.

Beauty and the Beast

The second Belle sees a chance to escape from the Beast, she runs and gets help from the police, who do not question her right to accuse a wealthy man of a crime. Later, Gaston politely asks Belle on a date and does not pressure her when she declines.

Grease

Sandy, still wearing the sock-hop attire that makes her feel most comfortable, tells Danny that she wants to be with him despite the high-school antics he has been pulling. They do a fun, sexy dance and no one feels like they had to compromise their sense of self.

Transformers

Megan Fox is the main character of this film about giant robots discussing Susan Sontag.

Snow White

Snow White, who happens to have a real name (Theresa), tells the dwarves about being stifled by the expectations placed on her by the patriarchal structure of the kingdom’s monarchy. She earns her keep by working alongside the dwarves in the mine.

King Kong

A strong female character exercises her desire and drags a man to the top of the Empire State Building. The citizens of New York applaud a woman for being aggressive in a relationship.

- McSweeney’s

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soul, mate

How do you tell the story of a soulmate?


You cannot encompass the sense of the person.

The way he unfolded beneath your skin. The way he became the mirror of everything you never knew to mourn in yourself. The way you knew he would be the ghost twin forever attached to your heart, even after you were both long gone.


You can spread your fingers and place them on the keyboard. You can think of words that drift away on unconvincing currents.

You can try to sort through the data and find the moments where you and he come alive. You can survey head and heart, a statistically insignificant N of two. You can never control for all the factors.

You can wade again through the anger and the madness, the bittersweet knowing and the ill-placed fears. You can hear yourselves laughing, but too often with restraint. You can feel like a dizzy spell how desperately you wanted him, and how desperately you wanted him never to know.

You remember finally learning how it felt to have a never-ceasing hunger for another person’s body, and how that uncontrollable need to devour one another can hold tight together two people who truly should keep themselves very far apart.


This is how you tell the story of a soulmate.


You look for the in-betweens.

In between two tropical anxiety storms bashing into each other, they come to rest to create a rainbow.

In between each hopeful hello and unconvincing goodbye, there is dialogue, if only you will hear one other.

In between not knowing and knowing, there is sight and sound, touch taste and feel.

In between then and now, you realize loving someone and being with someone are plot points that do not always connect.

— Leah Reich is killing me.