At the time of writing this post, I have not seen the new Ghostbusters film and I am going out of my way to avoid any criticism of it. There are lots of things we can learn from this movie and the controversy surrounding it, and that is how we need to learn to talk about things without screaming at each other. There should always be a push for discussion because nothing is ever gained from screaming at each other over social media. You won’t change someone’s mind by name calling or sending death threats on Twitter. Ghostbusters has been unique to watch.
There are plenty of people that are not excited for the movie because the trailers aren’t looking good, or they don’t like the cast, but those people cannot get mad at people for assuming they are misogynists for not wanting to see Ghostbusters. First of all getting mad at someone isn’t going to help anyone, but realize that some of the loudest voices in the room are rooted in sexism. When the vile Return of Kings (a site I will not link to but know that they are “women hating” to a frightening degree) are making a lot of noise, you cannot get mad at people for seeing that and assuming that is the majority. It’s not right because it certainly isn’t but lashing out isn’t going to help anyone.
You also cannot blame people for coming to this assumption when the outcry against remakes of other classics were not nearly as loud or as hateful. If you think about it from the other point of view the Robocop re-make didn’t have this kind of vitriol thrown at it but this re-make does, and it is because the gender of the cast that has changed. The conclusion that sexism is involved is not that hard of a conclusion to come to. You might not be seeing Ghostbusters for whatever reason but getting mad at someone who thinks your dislike is rooted in sexism isn’t going to fix anything. In fact, there is a good chance that you lashing out is going to prove the point to the person you’re arguing with.
All of that being said the assumption that everyone that doesn’t want to see Ghostbusters and attacking them for it isn’t helping anyone either. A persecuted minority, in this case women, can often only see large mobs as speaking for everyone in the group. When you are getting called feminist trash on social media and receiving death threats you develop hyper vigilance. It makes you very guarded and you’re quick to see threats where there aren’t. This isn’t wrong but it is reality. There is also the reality that the trailers for Ghostbusters have not been very good; some people just don’t like remakes or for whatever reason not everyone out there who decides not to see this movie is sexist.
The hyper vigilance is something that is prevalent in all form of persecuted people from race to sex to even nerd and geek culture. The idea of being a victim is part of the identity of being a nerd but, as nerds, while as the bullied we should be the most welcoming we have been just as elitist as the bullies that beat us up. We are all very defensive because that was what we had to be when we were younger. If you liked cartoons or video games twenty years ago that was grounds for a black eye on the playground. That is not the modern day, though and we nerds and geeks need to get over this tendency to lash out at each other for differing opinions.
The point is that all sides need to understand where the other is coming from. We need to stop for a moment and think before we type that comment, send that tweet or make that video. There is nothing to be gained by anyone screaming on social media. We can agree to disagree on the quality of the movie when the time comes, but what we need to agree on is that we need to do better. The assumptions on both sides aren’t helping anyone and just perpetuate harmful stereotypes all around.