By Natalie Issa
Even before the new Ghostbusters film premiered, it received a dizzying amount of backlash. Like, a crazy amount. All you have to do is scroll on the trailers comments to see how much people really hated the idea of this movie.
Here are a few of my personal favorites:
To be fair, not all of the backlash for the film came from a place of sexism. Many of its critics claimed that a Ghostbusters reboot “ruined” their childhood by “trashing” a perfectly good movie franchise (which is a dramatic claim, to say the least).
To all those 40+ adults who lived through the premiere of a Ghostbusters movie and who literally will not stop complaining: stop. Seriously. Please stop.
This new Ghostbusters movie is not for you. It wasn’t written for you, it wasn’t marketed to your generation, and it wasn’t created with you in mind.
You know who it was created for? The younger generation who didn’t have the opportunity to live during a Ghostbusters movie premiere. This is a generation who has a different sense of humor, a different point of view, and a completely different pop culture than when the first Ghostbusters movies came out.
But even more, it was written for girls. That’s right: young girls. In a world full of predominately male and testosterone-fueled hero teams who save the world, the new Ghostbusters movie gave us something we haven’t seen before.
They gave us a team of imperfect, intelligent, normal looking women scientists. Who save the world.
Do you realize how important this is for young girls to see?
Think of all the female characters in stories that involve saving the world, and you’ll notice a pattern. There’s usually just one girl in an otherwise male dominated cast. They’re usually kind of sexy. And their skill set typically revolves around the physical, as opposed to the scientific field.
This isn’t the type of representation young girls need to see. And sadly, the lack of scientific female representation in the entertainment world mirrors female representation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, women make up only 39 percent of chemists and material scientists. Only 39 percent. Here are the rest of their statistics:
With such a lack of women in STEM, can’t you see how important it is for young girls to see successful women scientists on the big screen?
And while I don’t want to blame sexism for all of the problems women face in the workforce, it does play a factor for women working in science. In fact, this is something that the new Ghostbusters touches on.
One of their teaser trailers reveals that while testing out new ghost-fighting weaponry a male passerby makes a sexist and degrading comment, comparing the Ghostbuster’s work to a cutesy science project.
Does this blatant sexist behavior seem unrealistic, or something that the filmmakers used to promote their “feminist agenda”?
Let me remind you of Tim Hunt, the English biochemist who famously made this sexist comment regarding female scientists last year: “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls… three things happen when they are in the lab… You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry.”
Sadly, sexism is alive and well. Ghostbusters doesn’t shy away from this. In fact, it shows young, aspiring, female scientists how to deal with it—listen to what your sexist critics have to say and prove them wrong.
To those saying that any other movie could accomplish all of these things without rebooting a “beloved classic”: why don’t you pitch an action/adventure movie with an all female cast to some big Hollywood producer? Let me know how that goes.
And if you find yourself still unconvinced that the new Ghostbusters movie is actually a good thing, here’s an idea. Don’t watch it, don’t say anything mean about it, and don’t ruin a young girl’s opportunity to see a group of strong women on the big screen.
Because if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.