One of the things that pissed me off about the response to the backlash on the Ghostbusters remake is being automatically labelled sexist because I thought it looked like a bad or meh movie at best. Now it’s come out, and it seems that many people support my instincts, but because the studio span it as a ‘feminist’ movie, some are still entrenched in the view that any criticism is misogynist.
It’s sad to see people accepting a lazy remake as some sort of strike for feminism, whereas recycling IP with slight changes is just poor movie-making, as Comic Book Girl 19 points out above. It’s like you can’t criticise this movie at all because unless you are a woman it makes you ‘sexist’ and ‘not wanting movies with women in them’ – sorry, I can list so many movies I love with female leads – from Alien to Thelma & Louise. But those are GOOD movies, this looks to be not so great, and remakes suck anyway…And it seems like the criticism about Leslie Jones’s character has borne fruit too. Can I get an apology then?
The funny thing is, the best comeback these people can say is ‘Have you seen it then?’ – no I am not going to spend money on such a bad-looking remake. I’ll try and see it for free at some point, but in arguments like this the studio wins, because both sides go to see the movie and KERCHING! – I’d rather there were less shitty remakes and more original movies, tbh. And better treatment of minority (non-white, queer etc.) characters, just because it passes the Bechdel Test does not make it either a great movie or good for minorities.
Really the response makes me understand more why some men just give up on feminism as an idea or label. I AM a feminist, or try to be…but I’m wary of such appropriation like this by the capitalist system, because standing in front of a sign saying FEMINIST nor claiming you are then undermining other female artists in private (hey, T-Swift?) nor is lazily gender-swapping roles but it’s still mostly made, co-written, co-produced, funded and directed by men. That’s just (not)pink-washing, it’s not real structural changes.
It happens quite often in the LGBTQ, selling to us that X artist or Y film is about ‘our empowerment’, when in fact it’s only on the surface. I call shenanigans on that…real revolution would be like all of Black Lives Matter boycotting say, Pokemon Go, Apple, NBA, Nike and McD’s, like a modern bus boycott, until those companies who happily (ab)use black people push for their rights…It’s like nearly everyone has accepted that capitalism is the default mode, not realising that wage-slave consumer culture and big corporates are all linked into the erosion of all of our rights as minorities. You can’t really separate it into single-issues, not any more. The attack is too big, too connected now from Trump to Europe to immigration to TTIP.
It might wear a smiley ‘We Love You!’ face, but look behind the curtain and it’s the same old white old men pushing the buttons. They don’t care about us, trust me on that. They would care if they actually changed their mostly white but almost always straight cis patriarchal structure, involved minority communities and women in their decisions and make-up, but even Silicon Valley can’t manage that, even though the first programmers and analysts were women like my mother was!
But they sell the rebellion down the river with placebo surface dreck to placate the masses when they get a bit feisty, but there isn’t any real change. Real change would have real bite, you’ll know it when you see it and it won’t look like a Hollywood remake, and it won’t be accepting second-best for a few scraps thrown your way.
But nowadays it seem too much to expect REAL revolution, people laugh at it and diminish it like Corbyn as some old-fashioned Trot thing or ‘entryists’, but the generation ignores the elders and then takes 10-15 years to relearn the same old shit.
BTW you know how some groups recently have come on stream? That’s not that suddenly everyone learned to love them, it’s that they eventually learned how to get stuff done, political strategy by trial and error – in the 90’s those groups were a complete political infighting mess, shouting at people, disunity. Partly generational shift, but partly learning your shit. Sadly they’ve found as the original people get in their 30’s-40’s then the new generation comes along and undercuts them or ignores how they did, the lessons they learned.
The cycle continues, and thus change is really slow. Humanity would advance at much greater speed if one generation didn’t just shun/tear down what was the previous, to kick over the traces. It’s a romantic narrative like punk, but romantic narratives are Hollywood and again are another way of keeping you in your place. Alas it’s easier to call people racist, sexist, etc. rather than listen to them!