There’s nothing I love more than a solid night in and a good movie. As much as I enjoy a classic, though, a lot of them come from a time when “Bechdelling it” wasn’t a thing. Movies were (and in many unfortunate cases, still are) made to make money, not to make sure women get represented fairly in the entertainment industry. Or in any industry. Or in life. But I digress.
Wouldn’t it be so good if our favorite movies didn’t leave us with a weird taste in our mouth, or that twang of guilt we get in our feminist bone when we know something is sexist, but we watch it anyway? Writer Blythe Roberson over at McSweeneys was just thinking the same thing, and came up with a list of “Classic Movies Changed to Not Be Sexist.” These reimaginings brightened my day—enjoy!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Megan Fox is the main character of this film about giant robots discussing Susan Sontag.
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.
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.
(source: McSweeney's) Follow Blythe at