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Who You Gonna Call?

On July 15, 2016, the 3d Ghostbusters reboot will hit theaters. Directed by Paul Feig and written by Katie Dippold (writer of The Heat, writer/producer of Parks and Recreation), the film will star Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones as our main characters in this all-female ghostbuster cast.  Chris Hemsworth will take on the role of their receptionist and we will see cameos by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver.

The film will follow Erin Gilbert (Wiig) and Abby Yates (McCarthy) as authors of a book about the reality of ghosts in our world. After the book is published, Gilbert begins teaching at Columbia University, but is ridiculed when her book is discovered. Soon after, ghosts take over the city of Manhattan, pushing Gilbert to reach out to her writing partner. The pair team up with Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon), a nuclear engineer, and Patty Tolan (Jones), a subway employee to save the city and the world from evil.

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As you can imagine, the backlash for this movie has been brutal, and the general consensus is that it is because this is an all-female cast. I admit, I was surprised to hear that they were going in this direction, and I imagine that just about everyone else was surprised too. Of course there are going to be negative opinions when you change well-known main characters. Do you recall the outrage against casting Michael B. Jordan in the Fantastic Four reboot? How dare they cast a black person! Hell, even in 50 Shades of Grey, a terrible story about a terrible excuse for BDSM, people went apeshit over Charlie Hunnam being chosen for their twisted male sex symbol because he wasn’t the right Christian Grey. Don’t get me started on Batfleck.

The point is, people hate casting choices no matter how good the casting is. People also hate when their vision is changed, especially in a dramatic fashion. Making all four Ghostbusters into female characters and then making Thor become the receptionist is a pretty drastic departure from what we were used to. It’s bizarre, it’s out there, and it’s bold. I’m not hyped for this movie simply because the trailer didn’t appeal to me, though the newer trailer does feature some pretty creepy looking ghosts and some funnier moments. What bothers me the most about this new franchise is that I, as a female, am allowed to say that Ghostbusters looks terrible. My husband, as a male, can’t say a damn thing.

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Thanks to the collective stupidity of the masses, any man who utters a negative word about Ghostbusters is a sexist asshole who wants women to fail, who doesn’t think females are strong enough to be anything other than a supporting character, who thinks women are weak and incapable of being funny or doing anything that is “meant” for a man. Nevermind the fact that pretty much every guy I know is a fan of Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, if they utter a negative thought about this movie, they are a sexist pig. And that isn’t fair.

We’re living in such a sensitive time right now when it comes to gender roles, which may have something to do with this. The transgender issues are always a hot topic, to the point where President Obama has addressed the situation as it applies to children in schools in order to protect their safety and well-being and was then criticized relentlessly for acting on something so “trivial.” The human race is forever evolving; what worked for men and women in the 1970s doesn’t work for us in 2016. Gender reassignment is a thing. A female is running for President of this country. Either sex can wear whatever the fuck they want. “Boy” and “Girl” toys at fast food restaurants are now called by the toy type rather than the gender so kids can pick whatever they want without feeling restricted. The equipment between one’s legs no longer defines them as a person. In theory anyway.

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With all the steps we’ve made towards equality, we’re still stuck in the stone ages in many different ways. Because of that, the men who are speaking negatively about Ghostbusters are catching crap for unjust reasons. Obviously if you have a guy saying “these chicks don’t deserve to star in this movie,” you can probably call him a sexist dick. But for the guys saying it doesn’t look funny? Or saying they have no interest in seeing it? Why are they not allowed to express this opinion without being accused of harboring resentment towards an entire gender? Why are we automatically assuming that all men think women are the lesser sex and will automatically fail at anything “meant for” a man?

Ladies, we are allowing ourselves to become part of the problem every time we attack a guy for an opinion that we personally view as sexist. Yes, guys can be horrible, but it’s completely unfair and sexist in itself to go on the offense when a man pops on Twitter to announce that he will not be buying a ticket to this movie in July. Just because we have a female taking a leap doesn’t mean that the leap will be successful, and people are allowed to have an opinion about that. I absolutely adore Melissa McCarthy and I think Kristen Wiig is a comedic genius, and I also think that this movie is going to be MEH at best. Is that sexist? Of course not. It’s a movie. Some are great, some are awful, and right now all we have to go off of is a few minutes of a trailer on YouTube that unfortunately fails to impress.

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Not everything is an attack. We don’t need to bring out the guns and protect our fellow women any time a creature with a penis doesn’t immediately fall in love with something a women does or says. Learn the difference between an attack on our gender and an opinion on a movie/project/political stance/etc. If we want equality between genders, we have to stop playing the victim about trivial nonsense like the negative comments about this movie and focus on things that actually matter. The next time you run across a Facebook post trashing this movie for being unfunny or a bad remake, take a deep breath, step away from the keyboard, and go read a damn book or something. It’s not as serious as you’re making it.

 

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About Jamie C. Baker

“Long time no see. I only pray the caliber of your questions has improved.” - Kevin Smith

Posted on May 19, 2016, in TV/Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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