Why Supporting ‘Ghostbusters’ In The Face Of Sexism Is So Crucial For Parents
The much-anticipated Ghostbusters reboot is headed to theaters Friday, and even though it's expected to kill at the box office, it has also notably received plenty of criticism and controversy along the way. A lot of that, of course, has revolved around the fact that the film features four female actresses — Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon — in the iconic lead roles originally played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. In fact, the disdain for the female-centric reboot has become so strong on social media (particularly in the comments section on YouTube), that the trailer for the film has becoming the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history, according to Entertainment Weekly. But that backlash is also exactly why supporting Ghostbusters in the face of sexism is crucial for parents — and why, watching it with your kids is a really great idea.
Even though it's 2016 (and you'd really think it would be far past time to get over this by now) a quick scroll through the YouTube comments unearths plenty of tired, sexist commentary about the actresses leading the film, including the usual topics of their looks, weight, and (sigh) whether it's even possible for women to be funny in the first place.
Misogynistic commentary from internet trolls is not even sort of new, and thanks to their specific penchant for being outspoken about their backwards beliefs, it's something that women, and feminist men, are subjected to hearing about on the regular. Often, all a woman needs to do is express some kind of thought or opinion in a public online space in order to have an onslaught of critical tweets sent her way. (I'm speaking from experience.) So when a movie that is anticipated to be a big, female-leading hit happens to also be one that those very same sexist trolls hold dear to their nostalgic dude-hearts? Well, you get a whole lot of angry men leaving nasty comments, and egging other people on to help get the Ghostbusters trailer to one million dislikes.
Judging by the mostly-good reviews ahead of the film's release, it's reasonably-high rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the much more significant number of people who viewed the trailer on YouTube and either liked it, or didn't bother to do anything, the good news is that this unsavory group of trolls is the minority. But, as Screen Crush aptly noted,
The YouTube comments seem particularly vitriolic, with users calling the film (which the overwhelming majority of them haven't even seen yet, don't forget) unfunny, BS-filled, feminist propaganda:
Although, as usual, it seems like there really isn't any winning when it comes to arguing with haters, Leslie Jones finally hit back against the deluge of Twitter trolls in a series of her own tweets Monday, according to Entertainment Weekly. Although Jones called out the comments as a whole, she also specifically criticized the awful sexist and racist messages sent her way by men who are themselves fathers of daughters:
Some people are just sick! They will say fucked up stuff then when you go to their feed they have kids. Daughters even.— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 11, 2016
What will you tell your daughter when she wants to dress like a GB for Halloween.You gonna tell them they can't be one? I liked to see that— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 11, 2016
Matter of fact what will say to her if she came home crying about the same thing being said 2 her.People don't think about what they put out— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 11, 2016
As upsetting as it is that Jones even needs to say any of this, she is entirely spot on. After all, reviews of the film have called Ghostbusters fun and funny, with a solid cast of talented women. Which means that the kids going to see this movie will get to see four successful comedic female actors take on a summer blockbuster, portraying bada*s scientists/ghost hunters at that. Not only do I hope my own daughter thinks that is pretty freaking cool, I also hope, thanks to this film, that she and her friends will grow up never even realizing that when her mother was a kid, Ghostbusters was apparently a "boy thing."
(Sorry, not sorry, misogynist Twitter haters.)