Posted 06 January 2011 - 04:52 PM
It wasn't even serious, it was just that the word 'chick' came to mind as a single word that she had objected to, but that was used in the periodz (mid-60s), and sometimes you still hear it, I imagine. I didn't care if she objected to it enough to make her not like it or even think it's a bad movie; I just think her objection makes sense in terms of 'not liking it', but not that it 'made it a bad movie'. Sure, they're lots of people that don't want to see 'Cabin in the Sky' and all those Hollywood usages of blacks and 'step 'n' fetch it' syndrome.
I probably just didn't see 'Blow-up' as obviously sexist as 'Rififi', which doesn't seem to me to be as obviously sexist as 'Birth of a Nation' is racist. It's difficult primarily with the latter, because we are both saying the Huckleberry Finn is not racist, despite the use of the N-word, whereas 'Birth of a Nation' clearly is (it just occurs to me that you definitely don't see the N-word printed in the subtitles to that film), and yet we know it's a great film, even those who hate it (usually, I'll add; this particular film is perhaps one of those that is deemed so ideologically untenable that it is, among libertarian thinkers, the one that they will just say is worthless, and at bottom, not to be seen as anything worth considering beyond its ideology). I'd say 'Birth of a Nation' is like 'Triumph of the Will', obviously Nazi, but considered even by Jews like Susan Sontag to be the 'greatest propaganda film ever made'. You could be right in the second paragraph, and the professor clearly is not someone of bad will, at least in any obvious way. I don't know if it's credible that they will seek out the original; probably some will, some won't. Unfortunately or not, I'll concede that doing things like this was 'bound to happen'. Probably my only real point (for myself, that is) in this discussion, in regard to Huckleberry Finn, is that if that word means that it can't be taught, then they just oughtn't to teach it. 'Vanity Fair' is full of racism, and the matter doesn't come across very strongly because the words aren't racist in the literal sense. And all sorts of English classics can be read as sexist and racist both. I consider all of it pretty much under the same umbrella Quiggin said with the clever phrase 'neutering history'.
Oh yes, right now, I'm working on some new writing based on one of the old 70s biker films, 'Angels Die Hard'. There is all sorts of class divide between the Angels and the townspeople of Kernville, but although the Angels are made out to have 'hearts of gold', they are quite overtly sexist in their treatment of the girls in the gang. It's even more explicit than the tough guys of Rififi. As you might expect, my fascination with the film is all about the bikes zooming through the mountains in the SoCal light, but I just put this in here because I'd recently been hearing discussions of class in which those in the underclasses are often spoken of by Marxists in particular as 'not guilty' of any of these bigotries, that it's all systemic with the ruling classes' model. This is off-topic, but the specific locus of this is some remarks made by Zizek after the business of the Roma/Gypsies in Frabce upon their expulsion--but that's too far afield. Maybe something can be done with this sanitized Mark Twain, I'm just by nature very suspicious of such things, I guess, and believe classic literature oughtn't to be tampered with.