|Buy the world you want: I'm being bossy and prescriptive again. Surprise!
||[Aug. 10th, 2016|05:04 pm]
Have you seen Ghostbusters yet? Do it. Actually, I don't care if you watch it or not. If you can fit it in your budget, buy a damn ticket and go do something else, I don't care. |
Here's the thing: we can talk about elections and politics all we want. And yes, they're important, and they shape the world we live in. But you know what else does? Where you put your dollars. When you buy the thing, you make it worthwhile for someone to keep making things like that. I buy local produce at my farmers market because I want to live in a place where farming is still a thing. If a local farmer can't make money, they're going to pack it up, sell the farm and do something more lucrative. I don't buy organic because I think it's better for me (except for strawberries...I don't know if you've noticed, but conventional strawberries don't get moldy in your refrigerator anymore...they just shrivel up and dehydrate. So, yeah, I'll pay double for organic to cut back on my fungicide intake). I buy organic (and humane, cage-free, grassfed, etc.) because if it's profitable, they'll keep doing it.
Oh, the Simply Enjoy jams at Giant/Stop & Shop are the bomb? I'm going to tell everyone I know about them, in the hopes that this will continue to be a line of products. Polar Seltzer's seasonal flavors? Yes, I proselytize and also buy cartloads of them. I'm going to do my best to drive demand for the things I like so that I can continue to get them.
I kickstart stuff because I think it should exist -- Gaming figurines of women dressed realistically as you would for an adventure -- not in boob armor and high heeled boots? YES. I haven't gamed in years, but by god, the girls starting to play D&D and Pathfinder and all of those other games should be able to have them. I also probably didn't need a feathered, fully articulated dinosaur figure, but yes, it should exist for all of those dino-crazy kids growing up now. I had to grow up with the image of lumbering, static stiff dinos -- so, yeah, maybe I needed the figure...
(Please note, I understand that I'm also exercising the privilege of having disposable income. Not everyone can do that. But I'm fortunate, finally, at this stage in my life to have a little extra...and also to have relatively cheap hobbies and obsessions. If you have a houseful of mouths to feed, you need to take care of that first, before you worry about someone else making a living.)
So, yeah, that's why Ghostbusters. The reboot, the one that a bunch of whiny manchildren downvoted and trashed before it even came out, trying to discourage people from going to see it because...sight unseen, it sucked because not only was it a reboot, but, gasp! also featured women. A bunch of them. Not making sandwiches or pining for a real man to sweep them off their feet but like, actually doing stuff.
Is it a great movie? No. It's fun. I was entertained for two hours. I lusted after Holtzman and after Kevin. It wasn't really until later that I realized: it wasn't just a bunch of women doing stuff. It was a bunch of MIDDLE AGED women. For two hours, they didn't talk about romantic relationships...they didn't fight over a guy...they had genuine friendships...they ate pizza and no one complained about calories or fitting into an article of clothing or dieting. They did superhero stuff in clothes that weren't skin tight, didn't involve cleavage or high heels.
I'm a 50+ year old woman and I have NEVER seen this before. NEVER. Not a single movie could possibly tick off all of those boxes. NOT ONE. In my entire lifetime. It sort of makes me tear up -- both pretty expletive outraged that it's taken this long and pretty excited for the girls and boys who saw this movie and (hopefully) will grow up thinking this is normal.
Don't get me wrong, I've got issues with it -- I'm sort of mad that once again, the role for the black woman was the sassy, undereducated, non-professional. I mean, it's an awesome character and I loved the way Jones played it and she did wind up being a strong and equal partner...but seriously, if we're blowing away paradigms, that would have been a good one to throw in the trash as well.
And, I've got mixed emotions about Kevin, and the reverse sexism of making him a dumb blonde. Those two things are problematic for me. But still -- progress, moving toward a world where women can have roles similar to what men get, hopefully without invoking reverse sexism, and featuring people of color in the same kinds of roles that white people get. I'll take progress - but I'm staring at you, Hollywood, squinting, tapping my foot and expecting you to do continue to do better.
But, they spent a ton of money making this movie and they're not going to recoup it. I think, I hope, that Hollywood realizes that it was stupid budgeting and keeps going. They're working on Ocean's 8, a reboot with all women, which would be awesome. Maybe some day they'll just do an original film with an ensemble cast of mostly women.
In the meantime, though, go see the movie. Buy a ticket and give it to someone who can't afford to go themselves or just as a treat. Buy the merchandise from the movie. Donate it this Christmas to a toy drive or drop it off at a battered women's shelter or homeless shelter so the kids have good role model toys to play with.
Send a message: WE WANT MORE OF THIS.