Culture & Entertainment

Why the Ghostbusters reboot matters for women

Ghostbusters Kristen Wiig Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot Author: Andrea Karr Credits: Ghostbusters.com

Culture & Entertainment

Why the Ghostbusters reboot matters for women

"I can't believe that I've never seen a major motion picture where women acted totally badass without being sexualized."

I went to the movie theatre this weekend with my good friend, Stephanie, to see Ghostbusters, the 2016 all-female reboot of the classic 1984 film. It's received all kinds of mixed reviews, but we both love the actors involved (Kristen Wiig, obviously, and Melissa McCarthy, because Steph is going through a Gillmore Girls binge on Netflix right now), so we wanted to see it regardless of the haters.

For a long time, I dated a big Ghostbusters lover, so I feel like my standards were sufficiently high, even if I may not have a special place in my heart for the original.

And I didn’t just like the reboot; I was blown away.

The film was high energy, full of big laughs and Kate McKinnon (whom, I’m ashamed to admit, I’d never even heard of before even though she’s apparently an SNL breakout star) was one of the coolest weirdos I’d ever seen onscreen.

But there was something else that grabbed me—and Steph, too. It was the first thing we talked about when we left the theatre and Steph even pulled up a whole post about it that a friend of hers had written on Facebook that same day.

It came during the epic fight scene that happens at the climax of any big summer blockbuster, when the superheroes (in this case, four women in baggy jumpsuits and rubber boots) fight the villain and mayhem ensues. The fights themselves were pretty ordinary, like anything you would have seen in the original Ghostbusters, but I felt a physical jolt in my body because there was something utterly unique: the women weren’t sexualized… at all. They were larger than life, brilliant, funny and strong, but they didn’t have any cleavage, their hair was a mess, they wore weird glasses and their faces were scrunched because they were working their asses off.  

I can't believe that I've never seen a major motion picture where women acted totally badass without being sexualized.

I actually feel kind of ashamed. I mean, how is it even possible that it’s 2016 and, despite all of the new female superheroes that have sprung up over the years, all of them have required an element of sex appeal? And I honestly thought that, culturally, we had made vast strides.

It’s time to bring your daughters, girlfriends, moms and sisters to this movie and show them that it’s 100 percent possible to be fun, cool, interesting and ridiculously awesome and not give a sh** what other people think about the way you look or act. In fact, it’s pretty much necessary.

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Why the Ghostbusters reboot matters for women

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