Today, July 26, 2016, a woman was nominated for President of the United States of America. That has never happened before. Now, when it happens again, it won’t be that big of a deal. And that’s a pretty big deal.
Months ago, I didn’t expect to be as emotional about this as I am. Politics have worn me out this year. But my tears today had nothing to do with party platforms or policies.
I was never told as a kid that a woman couldn’t be the president. But it never happened, so my reality as an American for the past 35 years (and for the past 227 years) has been: A woman as our government’s leader? Our cultural guide? Our military chief? Our highest in command? A woman? In a respected top position of power? THE position of power? Nope. Never.
So, yeah. Today things CHANGED.
The embargo lifted on Ghostbusters reviews yesterday. (Here are a couple written by reviewers I like: Birth.Movies.Death & Screencrush.) For me, this movie’s existence has never been about whether or not we need a new Ghostbusters movie. It’s about whether or not we need women to be seen in a space that has always been dominated by men. More specifically, the space of the comedy hero. And we very much do!
I love Freaks and Geeks. Throughout the series (also created by Paul Feig), the three best friend “geeks” at the heart of the show often lean on their comedy heroes for support. The 1980 cast of Saturday Night Live and the movies of comics like Bill Murray and Steve Martin fill in for real life friends, offering them a safe, happy place to escape from the confusion and pain of being a teenager.
When I was growing up, comedy franchises were in their heyday. Beverly Hills Cop, Airplane, Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s whatever, and Police Academy set the standard for laughing at a bunch of silly people (read: men). Women rarely got to be funny or heroic, so to see a group of women being BOTH would have blown my young mind.
As a child, I never got to have a collection of hilarious lady stories on VHS to call upon in my low moments to cheer me up. So, I don’t care if Ghostbusters isn’t my new favorite movie. (Although I expect to laugh a lot and really like it.) I bought my ticket to Ghostbusters to cast a vote for a new generation of young women who get to have comedy heroes who look like them.