The new Ghostbusters film seems to get a lot of hate for a movie that is surprisingly good. Not only is it funny, it also commentates on the gender roles of American society. It’s hard to find the right words to discuss it, because there is so much packed into an hour and forty-seven minutes. You’ve probably heard men crying that this film is “anti-men” and “sexist”.
I decided to dedicate a blog post to that.
In reality, it’s doing to men exactly what comedic films always do to women- stereotyping them. This film completely reverses gender stereotypes, and it is fantastic. The women in this film are intelligent, aggressive scientists who end up saving the city, while Chris Hemsworth plays a dimwitted, extremely attractive secretary with little to no character development. He is a completely two-dimensional character, there to look good and act stupid. As a woman who has had to sit through countless films with one or two female characters that are treated as complete and utter bimbos, I thought it was hilarious.
The objectification of Chris Hemsworth in this film was not meant to represent the idea that women are better than men or hate men; it’s saying that women are tired of men acting in a condescending way towards women and need to acknowledge that the movie industry is sexist towards females. The way some men are reacting to this film, you’d think they’ve been underrepresented for decades. Calling Hemsworth’s character Kevin the “token male character” and “a dumb hot guy stereotype”, they clearly miss the entire point of the writers writing Kevin that way (those are actual comments I read, guys). The writers are aware he’s a hot guy stereotype. They’re aware he’s the token male character in this film.
Kevin is meant to point a finger at every film that has used the “sexy secretary” trope. He is written to say that women portrayed as beautiful but unintelligent used singularly for the purpose of objectification is absolutely not okay. What makes this even better is the fact that Hemsworth normally takes on completely different roles, such as Thor. Thor is traditionally masculine; aggressive, dominant, muscular, and powerful. Ghostbusters shows him as the exact opposite. Rather than Thor saving the day, it’s four women of different sizes and diversities. Kevin acts as a damsel in distress and they save his life. Hemsworth seemingly embraced this new character completely, willing to defy the gender norms of American cinema.
Imagine if the new Ghostbusters featured a male cast and, say, Megan Fox was playing a character like Kevin. Do you think the men would have a problem with a “token female character” or “a dumb hot girl stereotype”? That is what this film is trying to draw attention to. Kevin is meant to represent the idea that WE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH SEXISM IN THE FILM INDUSTRY. The reverse tropes send an extremely important message, and rather than listen to it, people jump on the internet to complain. It’s almost as if men finally know what it feels like to be a female viewer of the comedy genre.
Huh. Weird. It’s almost like that was the point of Hemsworth’s character in the first place…