In 2016, a reboot of the popular movie Ghostbusters hit the big screen. Instead of just a redo of the original 1984 feature, this version was an all-female main cast.
The initial reaction to the trailer, critics’ actual reviews, and the box office receipts all pointed to one thing: utter disaster.
Of course, the real reason for this version’s failure to thrive was all the misogyny not only floating around Tinseltown but Main Street, USA.
Or so they say.
In this #MeToo world, female versions of movies are seemingly force-fed to a waiting public with an often lukewarm response. And when the reaction is not as exuberant as previously hoped, the conclusion is that sexism is to blame.
Take for instance the movie Ocean’s 8 which came out on Friday, June 8. The movie is more of a spin-off than an actual reboot, but it follows closely in line with the Ocean’s franchise which had a decent box office run in the early 2000s. The thing about this one is that it has an all-female main cast. And magically, we’re supposed to like it.
The existence of Ocean’s 8 itself leads to further speculation as to what Hollywood can do next to make sure the girls feel like they belong.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) June 9, 2018
Is it now a must that any beloved movie of decades past be given the female treatment, repackaged with much more estrogen, then presented as a wonderful, new offering to audiences? Sorry, that’s both sexist and patronizing.
The article from The Wrap even suggests a few movies that should get the “all-female” reboot treatment. They include such favorites as Home Alone, 12 Angry Men, and Back to the Future.
I suppose that now, more than ever, Hollywood feels that it owes something to women. As we well know, Hollywood is the epicenter of the #MeToo movement. That movement exploded after allegations against movie king, and heinous predator, Harvey Weinstein, came to light in October 2017.
So are all-female reboots the answer, in any sort of way, to the need for better treatment of women, especially among the stars of Hollywood? No.
Answering the issue of sexual predation with something so flimsy as a movie is a slap in the face to victims and the worth and dignity of women as a whole. If this is part of Hollywood’s attempt to make things right, it is lazy and insulting.
But it goes beyond all of that.
The idea that a male version of some form of entertainment must automatically be met with a similar, all-female version is to suggest that men and women are equal.
I hate to break it to you, feminists and handmaids, but we’re actually not.
Men and woman alike have strengths and weaknesses, physical, mental, emotional, that blend together to create the very fabric that society is built on. This is why maligning one in order to prop up the other side is a loser all day long. We need men. We need women. Neither gender group can lay claim to dominance in the inherent sense. We need fathers. We need mothers. More than anything, we need role models in each group to train up the next generation and right some of these cultural wrongs that have become commonplace. That need is greater than any sort of equal display on movie screens nationwide.
When I see something like Ocean’s 8 being paraded around, all I can do is roll my eyes. I view it as a sad attempt to include us chicks in something that doesn’t necessarily require our involvement in the first place. I saw most of the previous Ocean’s movies. They were fine, but nothing to write home about.
If anything, I prefer completely fresh storylines – with men and women – and not this constant stream of reboots and sequels. What we have offered to us now is, quite frankly, becoming rather boring.
Beyond that, I prefer treating men and women as they are, with all the positives and negatives that follow. The automatic knee-jerk reaction that says everything must be equal is not only foolishly sexist on its own, but impossible.
So when that next all-female movie comes out, I’ll have to see if the story is new and not a repackaged version of a previous hit. If so, I’ll decide whether to see it based on content and plot, not on the fact that my biology matches the stars on screen.
There is absolutely no other way to navigate this gender-obsessed culture.