Peaches Prattlings

{April 1, 2021}   Why can’t a woman be more like a man? HA HA

Before you start crowing, I was listending to Pandora radio and one of my favorite stations is Broadway Musicals. As I’m working, Why can’t a woman be more like a man? from My Fair Lady came on, sung by Rex Harrison.

The musical, which originated on Broadway and then was made into a motion picture staring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn, sigh, one of my alltime favorite actresses, yes I know, I know, I have many, but she was…well, that’s another post for another day. And another post…the fact that Julie Andrews made that role on Broadway, but was denied the role because the producer, Jack L Warner didn’t think she was well known enough as a screen actor, humph I say! Don’t get me wrong, Audrey Hepburn was fabulous in the role, but c’mon on!

The tagline from IMDB: Snobbish phonetics Professor Henry Higgins agrees to a wager that he can make flower girl Eliza Doolittle presentable in high society. That about sums it up. She’s poor and uneducated, he’s rich and possibly over educated. She doesn’t think she’s better than anyone, meaning, she is who she is, but she would like to improve her station and be a little more polished, she has a great song Wouldn’t it be loverly, truth be told, that was where I heard and first started using the word loverly, it’s a simple song of the simple things she wants in life. On the opposite end, he thinks he’s better than everyone, there’s no filter when he opens his mouth and his mother just shakes her head when he comes around.

Eliza overhears Henry Higgins identifying different individuals accents while outside of the theater one night, even claiming he could make her a proper lady. Eliza goes to his house the next morning wanting to hire him to give her elocution lessons, she wants to ‘talk better’.

Digression here…one of my favorite lines from Working Girl, starring Melanie Griffith, who is having a conversation with Joan Cusack about taking speech classes. “What do you need speech classes for? Ya tawk fine!” Classic! Back to our regularly scheduled program…

Higgins agrees to take her on and “class her up”, he’s going to work with his house guest, Colonel Pickering, played by Wilfrid Hyde-White, to do it. The goal…the Embassy Ball, to see who they can fool. They work day and night, Eliza suffering through the torture he puts her through, while he suffers through the tireless effort he’s putting in, interesting take on things, different viewpoints. She manages to make it through, imagining all the ways to kill him! Just you wait. And for some reason he can’t understand why he can’t get along with women…

All of a sudden, she gets it “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain“, try saying that through a mouth full of marbles…and there is much joy and praise in the house, but…not for Eliza, it’s all for Henry Higgins, for all the work he’s done…The first test…take Eliza to the races to meet her mother and see how she fits in with the upper crust, she passes, mostly. She only says what she’s told, sort of, until the first races starts, then the gutter snipe comes out, for a moment, it’s priceless, and she actually charms a few people with it, especially one young man, but that’s another story for another day. Well, wait, here’s a man who falls in love with her, who just wants to be On the street where you live, but who does Eliza eventually fall in love with? Yup…

Back to the purpose of the post. After the races, which was a success, we are off to the Embassy Ball, where she is stunning, and stuns. She is regal and refined, and any other r words? She’s polished and proper, and a thing of beauty, she charms everyone and the Queen of Transylvania asks her to dance with the prince. She is now what she wanted to be, polished and proper, she could do anything, get a job in a flower shop, she could run the flower shop, she could probably marry well, who knows. Keep in mind, the story is set in London 1912, none of this would be considered wrong, unheard of, out of the ordinary.

Well, what happens when they get home from the ball, Higgins and Pickering are so very proud of themselves, the household staff have been treating him like he’s all that and the bag o’ chips, they don’t pay Eliza much mind and no one says anything of what she’s done for herself, she put in the hard work, but does anyone notice, nope and Eliza finally realizes she doesn’t have to take that shite anymore and leaves, good on ya!

In the morning, when Higgins realizes she’s gone, he’s put out and out of sorts and doesn’t understand why. He can’t understand, after the triumph of the ball, why would she leave. Dense… and he goes into the reason we’re here, Why can’t a woman be more like a man? It’s a sort of conversation with Colonel Pickering, but more the musings of obnoxious, self-centered, misogynistic, need I go on?

If you actually listen to the lyrics, you have to laugh, and to hear it as a song, and if you never really paid attention, but then all of a sudden it hits you, wow. “Why can’t a woman be more like a man? Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;Eternally noble, historically fair.” really? “Why can’t a woman take after a man? Men are so pleasant, so easy to please. Whenever you’re with them, you’re always at ease.” seriously? “Why is thinking something women never do? And why is logic never even tried?
Straightening up their hair is all they ever do. Why don’t they straighten up the mess that’s inside?” Are you kidding me? Seriously, you just have to laugh. Just take a listen, something about it set to music…Now…I have a feeling there are some people who still feel this way, who am I to judge?

And what happens in the end? Eliza goes to Henry’s mother’s house, where he finds Eliza and she tells him she doesn’t need him any longer and walks out. What happens to Henry Higgins? What do you think he realizes? I’ve grown acustomed to her face. At home later, he’s mooning over her and she appears, you don’t see it, but you know she puts him in his place, she’s put up with him and he realizes he can’t or doesn’t want to live without him.

And all the things he moaned about…why can’t a woman be like him? All the reasons he fell in love with her. Go figure…


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