This weekend, my husband and I, home alone without children, did something extraordinary. We went to the movies.
Specifically, we want to see the new Ghostbusters which was hilarious. Scary. And inspiring.
There is a lot of vitriol and controversy around the movie. I, like many, love the original movie and didn’t think it needed a reboot. But reboots is what Hollywood does, so a reboot is what we got. But that being said, I had absolutely no problem, and no understanding why it was such a big deal, that the new Ghostbusters were going to be women.
And then I saw the movie.
There is a moment during the film, and I don’t think I’m giving anything away here, when all four women step up with proton packs charged and drawn, ready to defend New York City that took my breath away. This trope, of the team heading into the final battle, is a familiar one, but the norm is for that to be a group of men with maybe one or two women included.
Think about it.
- Avengers – Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye . . . Black Widow
- Fantastic Four – Reed, Johnny, Ben. . . Susan
- Justice League – Superman, Flash, Batman, Green Lantern, Marian Manhunter, Aquaman . . . Wonder Woman
- Suicide Squad – Deadshot, Joker, Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc . . . Harley Quinn & Enchantress (ooh! We got 2!)
And then there are the movies where the woman are supporters, loved ones at home telling/begging their men to come home safely – Armageddon, Independence Day . . . need I list more? Probably not.
But this movie – this silly, fun, scary movie – did something special. It flipped the script and showed us four women taking on the bad guys (or ghosts). Kicking ass. Taking names. And giving girls of all ages women they can look to that are smart, funny, strong, unique and courageous.
Maybe that seems silly at a time when we have women like Michelle Obama, Malala, Maya Angelou (the list goes on) breaking down barriers and standing up for women’s rights.
But we need role models in our pop culture too. We need our girls to see they can be, and do, anything – including busting ghosts.
This moment, the Ghostbusters taking a final stand, hit me hard and made me happy. The movie is a bit scary for our daughter to see, and while I’m really looking forward to watching it with her one day, I’m hoping by that time the idea of a team of women heroes won’t seem so earth shattering.
Can you do me a favor? Go see Ghostbusters. Because we need more movies like it (and a sequel).