I was wondering what do you think about Sony Pictures intentionally exploiting feminism to promote the new Ghostbusters. Ignoring or outright removing any criticism towards the movie except for those few misogynistic voices, shaping the public opinion to make it seem like sexism is the only reason to criticize this movie. Are we supposed to fall for this and support this corporate product only because it stars women? I'm a feminist and I don't feel good about this whole thing.
Well you can’t really consume media that isn’t packaged and fed to you a certain way in order to make money. There isn’t such a thing. GOT is despicable and disgusting because they’ve learned that people buy shock value and the more blood they show, the more money HBO makes. Wes Anderson’s movies are cute and quirky and keep using the same famous actors, because that formula works for a certain audience and it will sell tickets. Everything is filtered through capitalism. Sure, maybe you can watch a small indie film that someone made for the pure love of the art, but even they had a target audience in mind when they made it. And, if Ghostbusters was that kind of movie and it genuinely celebrated feminism, it still wouldn’t be available to a wider audience. Kids don’t go see indie films. I probably never would have known about it.
Ghostbusters is a movie targeted primarily at me. I don’t get a lot of movies in a year for me, because capitalism and Sony Pictures knows that I, and the other millennial women in their twenties, are cynics without a lot of money. The bigger audiences are 14 year old boys (see: Marvel) and older married couples. So when capitalism decides to take it’s aim at me, and give me a movie that features four extremely talented female comedians, that ignores, pokes fun or sidelines male characters, that has the potential to really matter in some young girl’s life where she can can go grow up playing Ghostbusters - then I’LL TAKE IT. I will take that shit and I will run with it because even if Sony Pictures is a money grab and their interest is feminism is fake, the potential effect of the movie is very, very real.
Look at it this way. Mulan came out in 1998, when I was 7 years old, and it changed my life. I remember so vividly buying the VHS and watching the I’ll Make a Man out of you scene over and over and over again, watching Mulan make it to the top of that pole to throw down the arrow at Shang’s feet. My memory is pretty shit, but that I remember like it was yesterday. At the box office, Mulan made Disney about 300 million dollars, and that doesn’t account for all of the merchandise that they are still selling to this day. Disney has consistently used my emotional attachment to Mulan, and other characters, to sell me merchandise, DVDs, lunch boxes, Disney park tickets, tickets to other movies, etc, so I guess you could say that, when I buy a Mulan T-Shirt, I’m letting the corporate product win. But does that make my love for Mulan any less real? Didn’t that scene still shape who I am today? That might be fucked, but it’s true - I needed someone to look up to and Disney, even for money grab reasons, was able to give me that.
So Sony made money on Ghostbusters. So they don’t want us to notice the problems with the film (although! if you ask me! ghostbusters is supposed to be silly and not make that much sense so who the fuck cares) and to make this a ‘woman thing.’ But isn’t it kind of special that we are a strong enough market now that we can have a woman thing at all? Just ten years ago, it wouldn’t have been marketably viable to make a movie like Ghostbusters 2016 and yet here we are. We’re worth targeting. We get media made for us now. And, more then that, there are little girls in the world who want to grow up to be Jillian Holtzmann, who are checking out engineering books from the library and buying yellow tinted glasses and spending their afternoons hunting ghosts, and that, my friend, is pure and beautiful.