This morning, I stumbled across a story about the new Ghostbusters, because someone had retweeted someone else who was complaining that they didn’t hate it because of sexism, but because it’s going to be terrible.
Let me be upfront. I’m not planning on seeing the new Ghostbusters movie at the theater. I’ll catch it when it’s on cable or makes it to Netflix. Or maybe not. If you’re not planning to see the new Ghostbusters movie either, I truly don’t give a shit.
But man, do I not believe people who feel the need to announce to the world that they’re not seeing the new Ghostbusters, but not because of the all-female cast. Okay there, bucky, sure, sure. There has been no clearer signal since “it’s about ethics in gamer journalism” that a person does not have their shit together and in really tedious ways that could easily turn on anyone engaging with them.
Like, seriously, folks, if you’re not going to see a movie, but you’re spending a bunch of time trying to make the internet believe you that you’re not not going to see it because of the women in it, I have no choice but to believe that you’re lying. Possibly to yourself, even.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this post Chuck Wendig wrote in the wake of Orlando, where he talks about the festering damaging stew we raise our boys in.
We force them to understand that they are MEN. They are MASCULINE. They are aggressive, dominant, alpha. They must be or they are weak. Big dick. Big muscles. Hot girlfriend. Prove your manhood. Wear it as an emblem. Just in case, we can make sure it’s driven home in the toy aisle, too. Make sure they play with guns and weapons of war (while at the same time limiting a young girl’s social ability to do so). Do not let them be nurturers. No dolls for the men. Men are soldiers, generals, builders, leaders. Trucks and cars. Guns and swords. But they also learn by limitation — the girls have their own aisles. They have not only dolls, but stuffed animals. They have little toy shopping carts and hair salons. They cook. They clean. They are soft like the stuffed animals. Not hard like guns. No Black Widow toys for the girls or for the boys. Even if the world gives us Ghostbusters who are women, let’s make sure that the packaging shows boys — lest they be made to believe they aren’t special, they aren’t the best, they aren’t chosen.
Not to jump tracks too much but I remember feeling really pissed off when I was getting ready to graduate from college and I couldn’t figure out how to get a job and all the help my university implied they would give didn’t really mean shit.
You do shit because you’re told these are the things you need to do to get the life you want and you do them and the life you want isn’t there, damn straight you’re pissed.
That’s a really common feeling. And really fucking hard.
The joy of the internet is that it can bring you into contact with people who are also going through what you’re going through and who can give you the strength to pick up and move forward.
But it feels like the Big Suck of this situation is that these guys band together to validate their feelings (fine) and then coordinate their resentment (not fine) rather than helping each other find healthy ways forward.
And one of the resentments seems to be that they can’t just do this shit without us figuring out that it tells us something about them. They want to dislike Ghostbusters because it stars women now, but they don’t want anyone to notice.
But I have to notice in order to keep floundering, stuck, angry folks out of my life.