Tag Archives: sexism

Ghostbusters: No room for fence-sitting

Ghostbusters. I’ve left off saying anything before now, because why add my voice to the cacophony? Besides, I genuinely didn’t care as much as other people seemed to, or pretended to, despite loving the original. The IMDB score has risen to a cruel 4.1 by now, and the RT score is a proud 76%. It’s the polar opposite of Batman v Superman. Who should you trust? Neither. They are both as biased as shit.
 
WIll I go see the film? Maybe not, or at least not for a while. It doesn’t much interest me; recent reboots, remakes and sequels of old franchises have a really bad track record, and there’s something that seems particularly shameless about this one. The practice of keeping the same exact name as the original has always been an obnoxious one, as though you could wallpaper over the original (and I don’t think it’s realised just how significant this was to people’s ire over this film). It also didn’t look like I’d find it that funny. I’m not big on Paul Feig’s movies, nor Melissa McCarthy. Meh.
 
Finally, and perhaps I’m wrong here, but what I read about its triumphs as a piece of feminist entertainment, was that its definition of feminism seemed to at least include point-scoring against men, which, while it doesn’t really annoy me, isn’t the same as being a stellar example of feminism. Ghostbusters can be perfectly decent entertainment, perhaps, but it’s hardly something to hold up in tearful pride.
 
It was unlikely to be a great movie – though possible. But also, crucially, and whatever the baying hordes said, it didn’t look abysmal. It seemed neither a great film (and I don’t have time for mere ‘good’ films), nor did it make my eyes and ears bleed and make me rage in foaming, apoplectic spittle, like it did many others.
 
It is sad that there is no room for moderate voices anymore in the world, no fence-sitting. Or, at least, moderate voices will be drowned out in screeches and screams. You have to love or hate something. What do you mean it’s just okay, or that you have reservations? LOVE IT OR HATE IT!
 
Of course there was sexism surrounding the film. There were many people who wouldn’t have hated it anywhere near as much (or maybe not at all) if not for the completely deliberate gender swap. Many, many people let whatever their criticisms of the film be riled up by other, louder voices, into this mass howl of dumb, impotent protest.
 
In return, the liberal media did what they always do: focused on the most hateful, sensationalised it even more, and painted everyone who had the mildest criticism of the film with the same insulting brush.
 
This, in turn, enraged its detractors all the more (and no doubt converted some of the almost-moderates) – and before you knew it, both sides were flinging mud, and all the countless moderate voices were drowned out. Even the more legitimate criticism like the possible racial stereotyping of Patty was buried, because it didn’t fit the narrative – you either love or hate the film! You’re on the right side or you’re PURE EVIL!
 
There was one very telling subheading to a professional review. “It’s very good. It had to be.” IT HAD TO BE. Of course it did. There was too much at stake. The media had thrown all its eggs in this basket that they were beating the public with, who were beating them back, that they couldn’t afford to say anything less than it was a triumph.
 
So whose ratings are less biased, the public or the critics? Well, as said, the critics were desperate to be right. But they at least watched the damn thing, before contemplating just how to spin it. Most of the ratings on IMDB (no doubt a string of 1s) came before it was even released, by people who believed it essential to make their point known.
 
When something is this contentious – a contention forcibly and unnaturally escalated by both sides – you really can’t get a good measure of something’s worth. It’s the goddamn EU referendum of films. Except in this it really shouldn’t matter that much if you do or don’t like the film, if your reasons are decent.
 
In short, just stop shouting and please try and be fair.