December 5th, 2017

I Hate Men

No, I don’t hate men. I’m talking about the song from “Kiss Me Kate” by Cole Porter, sung by the actress playing Kate (the Shrew) and Lilli (the actress) in the musical-within-a-musical version of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.”

Porter was a clever lyricist and he knew how to make the song an amalgam of wit, charm, and rage—just enough rage to make it spunky and just enough tongue-in-cheek charm to make it funny.

The song’s stage originator was Patricia Morison (I wrote about her here and included a video of Morison still alive and kicking at 100).

Here, she’s singing this except on some TV special or other. Morison is a perfect blend of sultry and charming, angry and graceful, all at the same time. And boy, does she pound on that table with conviction!

When I first watched that, something about Morison fascinated me, and I realized afterwards that it was because of the way she moved and stood—that’s what gave her performance its combination of gravitas and sexiness. It reminded me of something—but what?

Suddenly it hit me: modern dance pioneer Martha Graham. Morison is performing some moves reminiscent of a kinder, gentler version of a Graham contraction, which takes place mostly in the torso. And sure enough, when I looked it up, I discovered this: “[Morison] also studied dance under Martha Graham.” Bingo!

Before I watched that Morison video the only version I’d seen of “I Hate Men” was Kathryn Grayson in the 1953 movie. You may notice that the Grayson version is light and airy, and sports some cleaned-up lyrics for those delicate 50s sensibilities (“maiden” for “virgin,” for example, and “deigned to marry” for “had to marry”):

The original “Kiss Me Kate” production with the classy Morison was in the 1940s. The movie version and Grayson reflected the lightness and sexual restraint of the 1950s. Fast forward to recent versions, and what do you get?

Coarse, charmless, harsh, yelling, mugging. To me they seem repellent, and they make me sad. These women really do seem to hate men (not the song’s original intent or tone), and what’s more I don’t see why the audience should like the singers, either.

Same shtick here. This woman has the requisite looks, but spoils the picture with the same broad and heavy touch:

Notice also the body language of those last two—heavy-footed, slumpy, awkward. Contrast that with Morison, who got the force across while managing to keep the charm.

I wanted to find a video that showed the torso contractions of Graham technique that I think are key to what Morison’s doing in her clip. But I was surprised to discover I couldn’t find any video that quite illustrated what I wanted. This is the closest I could come:

And I’ll throw this last one in, too, although it has nothing to do with lightness and nothing to do with “Kiss Me Kate.” It’s a video of one of the most frightening dances I’ve ever seen, by a character who certainly Hates Men (she’s a woman scorned, after all). The dance shows a Medea-esque figure whipping herself up to a psychopathic rage in order to murder. I’ve never seen anything quite like this level of sheer destructive craziness in a dance. How the dancer manages to convey this I’m not sure, but torso contractions are part of it:

28 Responses to “I Hate Men”

  1. Frog Says:

    “I hate men” is in fact a true and major theme of our times.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    That’s why I started looking up the song in the first place. And I think that the more recent renditions do convey the thought (hatred of men) without much (or any) humorous leavening. The older versions are very different.

  3. Artfldgr Says:

    next post…
    they got it coming
    and
    Cellophane man…

  4. Steve57 Says:

    I for one is glad men went extinct. I would hate to think women would lower themselves as to breed with them.

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    Cell Block Tango – YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrrz54UtkCc

    Mr Cellophane – YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKHzTtr_lNk

    Good thing your not on Facebook, who is banning women who say they hate men, etc…

    if you want more fun with man hating songs, try
    https://www.xojane.com/entertainment/man-hating-songs

    “Goodbye Earl” dixie chicks

    “You Oughta Know” alanis morrisette [very disturbingly normal about lots of women, unlike Adele “never find someone like you” which i think is a sad but way more normal but rare female attitude]

    “Dead Men Don’t Rape” – 7 Year Bitch

    “Hit ‘Em Up Style,” Blu Cantrell “I will accept my misandry in the form of taking a man for every dollar he’s worth.” – another norm that isn’t illegal, eh

    And just think, before 1968, we had love songs and songs about piece and more.. but today? naw… nasty stuff all about anger and alone and disconnection and blaming others and so on…

    And while women are hating men to be loved by women, the men write the most interesting love songs for the undeserved that declared war – even women before the war loved their men…

    yeah.. just think of the oppressive hits like this…
    Time in a bottle
    Baby Love
    Save the last dance for me
    unchained melody
    I’ll make love to you
    Up where we belong
    when a man loves a woman

    you know your in trouble when a woman tells you she just LOVES billy Joel’s just like a woman to me!!!! why? read the lyrics and understand them… then ask: Who would want to live with a person like that?

  6. Artfldgr Says:

    for Frog:
    I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them. Robin Morgan, Ms. Magazine Editor

    The institution of sexual intercourse is anti-feminist. Ti-Grace Atkinson

    Politically, I call it rape whenever a woman has sex and feels violated. Catherine MacKinnon

    The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race. Sally Miller Gearhart, in The Future – If There Is One – Is Female

    and last for you frog:
    Man-hating is everywhere, but everywhere it is twisted and transformed, disguised, tranquilized, and qualified. It coexists, never peacefully, with the love, desire, respect, and need women also feel for men. Always man-hating is shadowed by its milder, more diplomatic and doubtful twin, ambivalence. Judith Levine

    [dont worry frog they are fixing the problem, they just asked feminist white women to not have children and basically outright openly self exterminate, not like they have been doing effectively by following policy… ergo, they are going nuts over immigration because if you slow that, people will notice they been democided… and then what? nothing has ever worked in any country to change the outcome and you can look it up as its so open the comments are in wiki on the subject! but don’t tell them, they wont listen till they look up and think WTF… – sign me one of the founders of MGTOW… ]

    for Steve57:

    “Every white woman raises a detriment to society when they raise a son,” the since-deleted post read. “Someone with the HIGHEST propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, and domestic violence all star. Historically every son you had should be sacrificed to the wolves B-tch.” –

    Leaving sex to the feminists is like letting your dog vacation at the taxidermist. Camille Paglia…

    now if you think they do hate men, here let them explain that this is love, not hate…
    Feminists don’t hate men. But it wouldn’t matter if we did
    The Myth Of The Man-Hating Feminist | HuffPost
    “Feminism” & “Man-Hating” are Not the Same Thing
    I’m Sick of Having to Reassure Men That Feminism Isn’t About Hating
    Yes, I Am A Feminist, And I Hate Men – (slipped by)
    Man Hating And The Angry Woman

    Suzanne Moore: Why I was wrong about men
    You can’t hate them all, can you? Actually, I can
    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2016/09/suzanne-moore-why-i-was-wrong-about-men
    Men. You can’t live with them. You can’t shoot them. Well, you can, but this is the New Statesman. And modern feminism spends most of its life not just bending over backwards, but in the doggy position, saying how much it likes men. “I’m a feminist but . . . I love men.” Obviously I’m being a bit binary here, and when I write “men”, I mean women, blokes, anyone fluid enough basically to be in charge.

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    Sadly we will forget how it ends, as the shrew is tamed…

    compared to the women of the past, today’s women are shadows. Robots that think what their leaders tell them to think and do, even over family cause their movement and leaders requires and end to families openly. much more unhappy than whence they started.

    as the most loved traditions of the past dissolve away into horrid transitory fashions invented to placate and replace, wont.

    or as the bible says “It is better to live in a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”
    -=-=-
    “A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike”

    Fie, fie, unknit that threat’ning unkind brow
    And dart not scornful glances from those eyes
    To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor.
    It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads,
    Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds,
    And in no sense is meet or amiable.
    A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,
    Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty,
    And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
    Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.
    Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
    Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee
    And for thy maintenance; commits his body
    To painful labor both by sea and land,
    To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
    Whilst thou li’st warm at home, secure and safe;
    And craves no other tribute at thy hands
    But love, fair looks, and true obedience–
    Too little payment for so great a debt.
    -a whole lot more cut out-

    The Straight Men Who Want Nothing to Do With Women
    https://melmagazine.com/the-straight-men-who-want-nothing-to-do-with-women-2653920a42e8
    [we never thought our bs would really be a multinational movement / philosophy that has caught on and only we have the first writings from it over at Mancoat forums… ]

  8. Steve57 Says:

    for Steve57:

    “Every white woman raises a detriment to society when they raise a son,” the since-deleted post read. “Someone with the HIGHEST propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, and domestic violence all star. Historically every son you had should be sacrificed to the wolves B-tch.” –

    neo, can you please find if I ever made such a comment. Let alone deleted it. I can honestly tell you I’ve never been that drunk.

    How can you delete a comment on this site? Do I have those kind of privileges?

  9. Steve57 Says:

    Nice touch, removing the “i” in the term for female wolf.

  10. Steve57 Says:

    OK, that was a joke.

  11. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Speaking of hating men:
    https://youtu.be/XmS5yHpPxCw

  12. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Neo, I am impressed at your perspicacity in noticing the influence of Graham on Morison.

  13. AesopFan Says:

    Morison’s was definitely the best – not least because she had the better voice.
    I remember “Shrew” most from the Taylor-Burton movie.
    The musical, of course, was a satire on the play, especially the contemporary references, but Morison definitely captured the essence of Shakespeare’s Kate.
    * *
    Frog Says:
    December 5th, 2017 at 5:18 pm
    “I hate men” is in fact a true and major theme of our times.
    * *
    “We are all Kate now” —
    But did Porter start it, or just play off of it?

  14. Steve57 Says:

    Given that we’re only two days away from the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, I can highly recommend “All The Gallant Men.”

    https://www.amazon.com/All-Gallant-Men-American-Firsthand/dp/0062645358

    pps 184-186

    “…Before we headed out to battle in the Pacific Theater, we sailed into Pearl Harbor, stopping to refuel and ressupply. As you can imagine, I had mixed feelings about returning there, unsure how it would hit me. Most on the ship knew I had served on the Arizona, They had seen my scars, asked about my experiences.

    As we made our way slowly into the harbor, we passed the Arizona. I had not seen it since the morning of the attack. I could not believe my eyes. All the superstructure had been cut away. – for scrap no doubt. Where once a great ship was moored, there remained only its ghostly visage, hovering eeriliy beneath the water’s surface

    Every emotion within me started rising, quietly pooling in my eyes.

    Then something happened I wasn’t expecting, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for. A call came over the public address system, mustering all hands to the fantail. When everyone was there the captain called out, “Is Stratton here?”

    I raised my hand, “Here, sir.”

    He waived me over. Then without fanfare of any kind he presented me with a medal. The Purple Heart. The entire crew applauded. The Captain didn’t give a speech, and he didn’t ask me to give one. He just handed me the medal and that was it – a simple gesture of respect and reccognition.

    I was relieved. I hadn’t been asked to speak – if I had opened my mouth , I doubt I would have been able to control my emotions. Even so, it was an extremely difficult moment for me. It would take me years to find my voice where the Arizona was concerned, but that display of unity and honor shown by my shipmates on the Stack as we glided past the remains of the Arizona was a moment of healing, any hospital treatment had been. Though I may have left Pearl Harbor on a stretcher, I had returned on a destroyer. I had recovered my strength, as had my country. pps 184-186

    “…Before we headed out to battle in the Pacific Theater, we sailed into Pearl Harbor, stopping to refuel and ressupply. As you can imagine, I had mixed feelings about returning there, unsure how it would hit me. Most on the ship knew I had served on the Arizona, They had seen my scars, asked about my experiences.

    As we made our way slowly into the harbor, we passed the Arizona. I had not seen it since the morning of the attack. I could not believe my eyes. All the superstructure had been cut away. – for scrap no doubt. Where once a great ship was moored, there remained only its ghostly visage, hovering eeriliy beneath the water’s surface

    Every emotion within me started rising, quietly pooling in my eyes.

    Then something happened I wasn’t expecting, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for. A call came over the public address system, mustering all hands to the fantail. When everyone was there the captain called out, “Is Stratton here?”

    I raised my hand, “Here, sir.”

    He waived me over. Then without fanfare of any kind he presented me with a medal. The Purple Heart. The entire crew applauded. The Captain didn’t give a speech, and he didn’t ask me to give one. He just handed me the medal and that was it – a simple gesture of respect and reccognition.

    I was relieved. I hadn’t been asked to speak – if I had opened my mouth , I doubt I would have been able to control my emotions. Even so, it was an extremely difficult moment for me. It would take me years to find my voice where the Arizona was concerned, but that display of unity and honor shown by my shipmates on the Stack as we glided past the remains of the Arizona was a moment of healing, any hospital treatment had been. Though I may have left Pearl Harbor on a stretcher, I had returned on a destroyer. I had recovered my strength, as had my country. pps 184-186

    “…Before we headed out to battle in the Pacific Theater, we sailed into Pearl Harbor, stopping to refuel and ressupply. As you can imagine, I had mixed feelings about returning there, unsure how it would hit me. Most on the ship knew I had served on the Arizona, They had seen my scars, asked about my experiences.

    As we made our way slowly into the harbor, we passed the Arizona. I had not seen it since the morning of the attack. I could not believe my eyes. All the superstructure had been cut away. – for scrap no doubt. Where once a great ship was moored, there remained only its ghostly visage, hovering eeriliy beneath the water’s surface

    Every emotion within me started rising, quietly pooling in my eyes.

    Then something happened I wasn’t expecting, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for. A call came over the public address system, mustering all hands to the fantail. When everyone was there the captain called out, “Is Stratton here?”

    I raised my hand, “Here, sir.”

    He waived me over. Then without fanfare of any kind he presented me with a medal. The Purple Heart. The entire crew applauded. The Captain didn’t give a speech, and he didn’t ask me to give one. He just handed me the medal and that was it – a simple gesture of respect and reccognition.

    I was relieved. I hadn’t been asked to speak – if I had opened my mouth , I doubt I would have been able to control my emotions. Even so, it was an extremely difficult moment for me. It would take me years to find my voice where the Arizona was concerned, but that display of unity and honor shown by my shipmates on the Stack as we glided past the remains of the Arizona was a moment of healing, any hospital treatment had been. Though I may have left Pearl Harbor on a stretcher, I had returned on a destroyer. I had recovered my strength, as had my country. I was ready to meet what was coming – and I was bringing a boatload of reinforcements with me…

  15. Steve57 Says:

    I can’t even cut and paste correctly.

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    Steve57:

    I was away all day and just got home and I checked on your question about whether that quote was yours.

    I believe that Artfl was drawing your attention to it for some reason, but he wasn’t saying it was something YOU had ever said, or that you had ever deleted. I believe (if I read his comment correctly) that he was trying to say it had been written by someone named Taiyesha Baker (at Indiana University), and that she (or someone) had since deleted it.

    Hope that clears it up.

  17. Steve57 Says:

    Thanks, neo. Do I have the privileges to delete my comments from your site? Because in retrospect maybe I should.

  18. n.n Says:

    To pluck or preen, that is the question.

    I wonder if this is what forced the Dodo Dynasty progression.

  19. DNW Says:

    Neo,

    Since you like challenges and movie stuff: Here’s a little challenge for you which I’m prompted to pose in place of an abortive remark to everyone’s favorite commenter, the amiable “Miklosrozsa”, about “his” film scoring.

    What do the following Robert Siodmak movies, the latter two of which Rozsa scored, all have in surprising common as an element of the plot or as a feature of their construction? The films are: The almost comical, ‘Phantom Lady’; ‘The Killers’; and, ‘Criss Cross’. No, not the director nor “black and white” nor the “introduction of so and so” nor uncredited appearances by Tony Curtis doing the Rumba.

    I noticed it only after repeat and widely spaced viewings. I think it is pretty unusual to see such a thing in three consecutive films by the same director.

    No need to reply.

    Answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbkE7c-YAFU&feature=youtu.be&t=24

  20. arfldgrs Says:

    I believe that Artfl was drawing your attention to it for some reason, but he wasn’t saying it was something YOU had ever said, or that you had ever deleted.

    right.. i even said she was one of the few who were fired for it… unlike the professor who wanted to make a law like the nazi laws tht prohibited jews from working and another female in the same state

  21. neo-neocon Says:

    DNW:

    I haven’t a clue.

    And now you’ve piqued my curiosity. So, what is it??

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    Steve57:

    You’re welcome.

    No, commenters can’t delete.

    If there were some extraordinary circumstances (or a double post), a commenter could request that I remove something. But ordinarily I won’t do that, although I’m willing to remove one of double posts if I happen to see the request.

  23. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Steve57:
    That was worth saying twice.

  24. DNW Says:

    Your spam filter trapped the proof links I left.

    The song was the jazz standard linked in the first post. Not the modern performers, of course.

    Phantom Lady: Intro credits and juke box

    The Killers: Soon after Lancaster enters restaurant to see Ava Gardner

    Criss Cross: Shortly after Lancaster runs across old flame Yvonne DeCarlo on the street, (she has married a hood) she plinks it on a piano as the two quarrel in an apartment.

  25. n.n Says:

    I hate men. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The father, the husband, and the son. Let us paint… with broad, sweeping strokes. What a weird religion these people follow.

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    n.n.:

    What people?

  27. Ben David Says:

    Yay – a post with Broadway shows AND dancing!

    What possessed the regulars here to append such a crazy comments thread to such a great post?

    Do we need constant reminding of our culture’s fallen state? Can we give it a break?

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    Ben David:

    I would have loved to have given it a break on this thread. For me, the thread is about music, humor, performances, and dancing.

    But the thread also opened the door for the political because the more modern renditions of the song are so different from the earlier, so strident and coarse and truly angry rather than pretend and charming angry.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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