Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Ghostbusters, and Why It Represents What I Want to See in Books and Movies

I'm an unabashedly loud fan of the all-female remake of the Ghostbusters movie. I have the toys to prove it - including the Lego set with Ecto-1.

This article from Bust magazine was listing out the reasons why it's so important for women. The writer did have a very important quote from Kate McKinnon, who played the kooky and charismatic Holtzmann in the movie, and I think it also captured why I loved the movie so much:

In short, maybe McKinnon put it best when she said, “But his [director Paul Feig] most revolutionary act has not been in casting women as scientists and badasses. We’ve seen that before. Ish.

“No, his true subversion lies in creating female protagonists who are striving for the universal goals of friendship, connectedness, justice, and personal growth. These golden fleeces have always been the sole province of male protagonists. They don’t call it an Everyman for nothing. By building stories around female protagonists who are striving not for romance, but simply to become their best selves, he has permanently changed the game for us all.”

I would like to see more good movies made, where the women characters are not there to be the wives, the girlfriends, the desperate single female pining for a man to love her. This is also one of my pet peeves about some of the Young Adult novels I read recently - why does it seem like the romance is the most important part of the story? Can we just have female characters that are interested in friendship, in personal growth, and of course, occasionally, in saving the world? The Hunger Games would be so much better without the love triangle. Take out the romance, and The Hunger Games would be about a brave young teenager who would sacrifice herself to save her sister, and end up becoming a symbol of something larger than her, and overthrowing a flawed government in the process. Well, it still is that, but the love triangle part of the story dragged it down for me.

As a woman, I would like to see more stories where women help lift each other up, instead of backstabbing and jealous in-fighting - especially over another male. I want to see more stories of women being themselves, unabashedly, confidently, but with compassion and good-humour.

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