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Why the new Ghostbusters shouldn’t be ridiculed for its female roles

The controversy over the Ghostbusters female cast has been brewing for some time now, so when a new trailer hit the Internet, no one was surprised when sexist reactions flooded their social media feeds. Ghostbusters cast and crew members responded to the negativity and defended the film, including Leslie Jones, who plays the only character of color.

The director of the film, Paul Feig, refused to let his cast face the unnecessary ridicule over the idea that women can’t do the film justice. He spoke out to show support for his kick-ass female cast and challenge haters to bring their complaints directly to him.

But sadly, people haven’t stopped sharing their negative opinions about women having a prominent presence in the film.

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Where’s all this hate coming from? Apparently — and I can’t say that I am surprised — the outrage stems from the belief that women aren’t capable of protecting a city or living up to the original line of male scientists.

Maybe the idea of strong, funny and powerful women leading a film is a newer concept to grasp, but why? Our society is rampant with women who take charge of their careers, families, dreams and lives every day. They protect their loved ones, they fight for what they believe in and they seek out answers to questions many others don’t want to ask.

Not only are leading women a very real thing, but the concern that female scientists could never destroy ghosts is ridiculous. First of all, the whole movie is unrealistic: ghosts aren’t real — at least not the type of ghosts featured in the film. Even more, the story is fictional; not every detail is rooted in truth. Yet the film presents a subtle realness that yes, women could and would defend their cities (and cities is metaphorical) when needed. It already happens every day: Lena Dunham fights for a woman’s right to control her own body; Nikki Reed empowers everyone to take care of the world and all of its inhabitants; normal, everyday college girls fight to be heard and respected when it comes to campus rape in The Hunting Ground. Women are just as capable as men (dare I say more capable, since we can multitask?) in every single way.

So, I pose to you the real question: What are the differences between a woman and a man busting a ghost? Is there a specific way you’re supposed to stand? Are you supposed to be a certain height? Are you supposed to look a certain way? I don’t believe there are concrete criteria that one must fall under to properly defend against paranormal activity.

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Having four women in the lead roles is something to celebrate. It’s another step toward breaking the ceiling and stereotypes females face. Parents who bring their kids to view this film will see a comedy that doesn’t make women the punch line — it shows women leading the joke.

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I can only hope that people will open their minds and understand that the female cast is not what will make or break this film. Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon are a group of successful comedic geniuses who should get recognition just as much as their male counterparts do. We live in a world where women are on the cusp of equality, and while it’s an ongoing battle for acceptance, this cast has made waves by proving that four women are just as good as four men. Face it: The trailer is funny, despite the genders you see.

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