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This blog page has been launched to promote femininity and female empowerment, and to raise visibility of Fascinating Womanhood: an international femininity movement and guide to help women make their marriage into a lifelong love affair in the bestselling book written by Helen B. Andelin.  

A Whole Different Sex

Richard Forsyth

By DAF   

This is a quote from a great movie made in 1959 called "Some Like it Hot."  It was produced by Ashton Brothers, Inc., and the original script is currently in the public domain.  It's one of my all time favorite comedies.  

   Today, this movie would be seen as quite politically incorrect, but I don't think it was made to offend anyone.  This is one of those interesting things about comedy: it so often makes us laugh when it dares to go where we don't, and that freedom feels refreshing sometimes.  I think that comedy may be something that helps keep a society honest and self-aware to a certain extent.  Chaucer is often paraphrased as having said that "Many a true word is spoken in jest," and James Joice coined the phrase "in risu veritas," which means "truth in laughter."  In fact, we often use the excuse of "just kidding" as a shield from the consequence of telling partial, and often piercing truths to each other.  

   Some Like it Hot is many parts silly humor, and some parts insightful satire.  For our purposes at Fascinating Womanhood, it offers profound observations of some of the great differences between the genders, the power of femininity, and the innate need men feel to be masculine, especially around what they perceive to be a feminine woman.  Only the threat of imminent death can convince them to suppress their masculinity just long enough to survive, and even that essential drive is tested in the presence of femininity.  

   Some Like it Hot tells the story of two regular guys from Chicago who get into trouble with the mob and disguise themselves as women in order to escape.  The mob is hunting them because they're the only living witnesses to a murder, so they join an all female band and travel to Florida.  

   It's a clever and funny movie, but I was reminded of the constant struggle the two men face as they try to convince people they are women. They are immediately dismayed in their first experience dressed as women when they encounter one they consider to be "ideal." This character is played by Marilyn Monroe.  After seeing her for the first time, the differences between men and women are brought in to stark contrast. She is beautiful and her femininity is very powerful, almost enough to make them forget their ruse in her presence.  She reminds them constantly that they are in fact men.  

   Humorously, the two convince a lot of people they are women throughout the story, though most retain a sense of suspicion.  But the two guys are never fully comfortable with their deception and they ultimately abandon it.  

   Below is an excerpt of the second act of the movie and contains the scene where they first encounter Marilyn Monroe.  She walks past them and they only observe her face, form, and gait.  She carries herself with great feminine confidence, and perhaps with an extra dose of seductiveness. 



[Two pairs of high-heeled shoes, unusually large in size, are hurrying along the platform.]

[CAMERA FOLLOWS them and PANS UP gradually, revealing rather hefty legs in rolled stockings, short dresses, coats with cheap fur pieces, and rakish cloche hats. One of the pair carries a saxophone case, the other a bull-fiddle case, and each has a Gladstone bag. A train, with steam up, is loading for departure. Redcaps, passengers, baggage carts.]


Florida Limited leaving on Track Seven for Washington, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville and Miami. All aboard! All aboard!

[Our two passengers accelerate their pace. But evidently they are not too adept at navigating in high heels. Suddenly the one with the bull-fiddle twists her ankle -- or we should say his ankle -- because it's Jerry. He stops and faces his 'girlfriend' -- Joe.]


(rubbing his ankle)

Ow! How do they walk on these things? Huh? How do they keep their balance?


Must be the way their weight is distributed, now come on!

[As they proceed along the platform, a gust of wind sends their skirts billowing. Jerry stops again and pulls his skirt down.]


It is so drafty! They must be catching cold all the time, huh?


(urging him on)

Will you quit stalling! We’re gonna miss the train!


I feel naked!  I feel like everybody's staring at me!


With those legs? Are you crazy? Now come on!

[They are now approaching the Pullman car reserved for the girls' orchestra. Girl musicians, with instruments and luggage, are boarding the car, supervised by "Sweet Sue" and "Bienstock," the band manager.] 


(stopping in his tracks)

Uh oh!

It's no use. We're not going to get away with it, Joe.


My name is Josephine, and this was your idea in the first place.

[Just then, a member of the girls' band comes hurrying past them, carrying a valise and ukulele case. Her name is SUGAR. What can we say about Sugar, except that she is the dream girl of every red-blooded American male who ever read College Humor? As she undulates past them, Jerry looks after her with dismay.]


Look at that!  Look how she moves!  That’s just like Jell-O on springs!  They must have some sort of a built-in motor or something… I tell you it's a whole different sex!


What are you afraid of? Nobody's asking you to have a baby. This is just to get out of town. The minute we hit Florida, we'll blow this set-up.


This time I'm not going to let you talk me into something that...


[A newsboy approaches along the platform, peddling his papers.]


Extra! Extra! Seven Slaughtered in North Side Garage! Feared Bloody Aftermath! Extra! Extra!


(to Joe, promptly)

You talked me into it! Come on Josephine!


Attagirl, Geraldine!