Why the new ‘all female’ Ghostbusters is contrived

Whether you, or anybody else thinks, that the new Ghostbusters is either shit, or totally amazing, or just a fair enough effort – I think that consciously setting out to make it an all female affair is nothing more than contrived, and it is this that ultimately weakens its premise.

Now this is not a review of the film. Its also not a sexist thing about how I don’t think that a woman could be a Ghostbuster, on the contrary… In our house – any spiders, or wasps, or bees, or flies, or overly bothersome pieces of fluff caught on the slightest of breezes, fall entirely with in my wife’s jurisdiction. I have no doubt whatsoever, that if we had a ghost throwing shit around in here, then that would be entirely up to her to deal with too whilst I ran out of the building and legged it as quickly as Venkman and the boys from the New York City Public Library.

It is true that big budget movies have been fairly male dominated throughout the history of cinema, but that’s partly down to the fact that in the history of real life, most of the cool action packed and dangerous stuff has been done by groups of men. Yes its maybe also down to a fair bit of sexism, but the fact of the matter is that sexism has existed with in our society, and so any reflection of this on screen is simply a true and honest reflection of society at that given time.

To try to condemn sexism to our past and promote gender equality on screen, and try to portray the fair and diverse society we hope we are moving towards is obviously a good thing – However, this does not mean simply throwing a load of women together into one movie that is traditionally a male dominated genre in any way serves that purpose.

Having a disability myself and working with in the entertainment industry, I have had many meetings over the years with producers and broadcasters about increasing the representation of disabled actors and performers on screen. It is amazing how often it seems to be considered that simply grouping a load of us together in to one show, somehow achieves this and allows then to conveniently tick a load of boxes in one go and clear their conscience of this for a little while so that they can get back on with the way TV shows should be made. I see this new Ghostbusters reboot as nothing more than a higher profile, higher budget, gender specific form of this to be honest – which in my opinion is in its own way just as sexist through its use of segregation and positive discrimination.

True diversity and representation should not be trying to make up for the shortcomings of the past, the past is simply the past, that’s the way things were, and although not entirely fine, it is in a way because that’s just the way it was.

We should be focussing now on working towards equality and diversity of representation for gender, ethnicities, age, disability, and sexuality in an inclusive way that represents the make up of society and not just lumps a historically underrepresented or overlooked group of people together for the sake of proving a point or appeasing misguided pressure.

When I was growing up my Dad was a fireman, and this was back when being a fireman meant that you were a man. If you weren’t a man then you were working in the kitchen cooking the lunches and brewing the tea. Since he left the Service however, women have become a feature of all our Fire Services due to diversity and equality pushes aimed at making our Fire Services a truer reflection of society. That is representation. There isn’t an all female fire station because that would be contrived to make a point.

The new Ghostbusters would have been a greater step towards representation for women in big budget action comedies if the cast was a 50/50 split, rather than consciously contriving this big bloody hoo-ha of “Hey everybody, look what we’ve done, aren’t we cool and groovy for respecting women” bullshit that they have ended up doing.

Its a pro woman sentiment that I am expressing here so I hope that this comes across – Just go easy on me if it doesn’t eh.

Arghh – A piece of fluff!! 😱

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About me...

I am a stand-up comedian from Liverpool. I am blind, and I live with my wife and young daughter in South West London.

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