Ladies, Go See Ghostbusters and Take Your Daughters

Ghostbusters

I live in a house full of nerdy men which means over the years I’ve had quite the education in all things superhero, science fiction, and fantasy. It wasn’t something I was exposed to growing up since my mum thought science fiction was stupid – I think that’s a direct quote – and my dad never seemed to watch anything but news, boxing, and Police Academy movies.

As I’ve raised my boys I have begun to realize that maybe there was a nerd inside me all along just waiting to get out. Wonder Woman? LOVED HER!! We would run around the school yard mimicking Linda Carter’s moves with her magic bracelets and lasso. Star Trek? Who didn’t grow up watching it in reruns every single day and crushing a bit on Captain Kirk?

Then, in my teens, there was Ghostbusters. I didn’t really think of it as a nerd movie at the time. It was a huge summer blockbuster and everybody went to see it. There were special effects and familiar actors and a funny premise. And truthfully, I had no idea that it had become an iconic nerd film where people went to conventions dressed up and made their own proton packs.

My kids saw the original Ghostbusters about 4 years ago and Monkey went on a big kick with it, even insisting on a homemade costume for Halloween a few years ago. I’m not really sure I saw the appeal of the movie… until now. Because when you replace the snarky, chain-smoking balding guys with strong, funny, competent women, magic happens.

I was fully expecting to be mildly disappointed by the movie. Remakes are always sketchy and the reviews had been so mixed. I wasn’t expecting to come out of it excited and eagerly anticipating a sequel but that’s exactly what happened, and here’s why:

Ghostbusters licking gunGhostbusters gives us the imperfect female superheroes so many of us have been craving. They’re tall and short and thin and curvy, they wear glasses, and don’t fit in. They have unique ideas and interests that are frowned upon by those around them but they persevere. Their uniform is a baggy jumpsuit, not skin hugging spandex. They are genius level smart and bitingly funny and a bit crazy. They are tough, determined, and loyal to each other. They take on evil and absolutely kick its ass. What on earth is there not to love?

They are the kind of female superheroes that I wish I could have grown up with. The kind of female superheroes I wish my boys could grow up with. Instead, I grew up with spandex and low-cut tops, big boobs and high-heeled boots and secondary characters. Guess what? Not much has changed.

Nerd culture is still a man’s domain, although that is slowly changing. The nerds in my life are feminists, because I would have nothing to do with them if they weren’t, but there’s still a lot of misogyny out there in nerd land. And if you have any doubts, the Washington Post just published a break-down of the reviews for Ghostbusters.

 

“A closer look revealed men rated the film, on average, a 3.6 out of 10. Women, on the other hand, rated it 7.7 out of 10. Additionally, nearly five times as many men had rated the movie — 7,547 men as opposed to 1,564 women.”

Those numbers are enough to piss me off. What is it that men aren’t liking about the movie? Are they so completely unused to seeing female heroes unless they look like Katniss or Black Widow that they just can’t wrap their heads around realistic looking women getting the job done? And what a sad reflection is that on how our society views women?

So ladies, go see Ghostbusters. Do it for the little girl in you who never got a chance to see a hero on the screen who looked like you or liked science like you did or wasn’t afraid of goo and dirt. And take the girls in your life so they can experience it too.

 

How Big Did You THINK It Was Gonna Be?

For those of you who haven’t read any of my previous blog posts, you may not know that when I’m not being a mum or trying to be fabulous, or (recently) tracing my family tree, I run an adult toy website. Yes, my life is varied and strange.

Before you go getting ideas in your heads about all kinds of sordid stuff, it’s really a very classy site and the idea is that we need to reduce the stigma and shame about needing or wanting a little bit of help (or more fun!) in the bedroom. We sell kegel exercisers that help women get their lady parts back in working order after having kids, and lovely lotions and lubes to ease the way between couples. There are wonderful products that truly help women suffering from low libido or inability to orgasm, and that can help men with erectile difficulties. I love to educate people about all the possibilities out there. But, where there are sex toys, there is inevitably going to be some giggles too. I both love and dread those scenarios.

One of the things I quickly learned in the adult toy business is that a lot of toys are made waaay bigger than the average male anatomy. There are size queens and kings out there who like a bit of a challenge. And that’s great – for them. Then there are those folks who just don’t seem to understand what they’re getting into. I don’t know if it’s a case of “it seemed like a good idea at the time” or if they truly have no concept of how to measure stuff. Because all of the toys come with very specific and detailed measurements – for good reason.

For a while there, I would cringe whenever we would get an order for something that was… shall we say, substantial. Why? Because we also had a run on people who eagerly opened up their packages, delivered to their door by the unsuspecting postman, and then proceeded to freak out. Then they would email or call me and freak out and ask for a return or exchange for something more manageable. (Hopefully it will come as a relief to you all out there that returns are not an accepted policy in the online adult toy store industry.)

I  hate being the bad guy. I really do. But seriously, if the very TITLE of the product includes the words 12 inches, how big did you think it was gonna be? Because, let me tell you, 12 inches is the length of my forearm – and I’m a tall gall at 5’8″. And don’t even get me started on circumference because we’re talking pop cans – or bigger. I actually got a sample to use as an educational demo so that I can help people realize what they’re getting into and I love opening up my samples cupboard where it sits, still in the box, and showing my friends. Their jaws drop in collective wonder and then they laugh. Because really, it could be used as an effective weapon against burglars. I could either knock them unconscious or they would flee in terror at the mere sight of it.

I wonder if these customers have just lost perspective from watching too much bad porn or if they need to retake grade three math. Or is it kind of like how big boobs seem like a good idea until you’re faced with actually having them attached to your own body, weighing you down and making your back ache.

Whatever the cause of these misunderstandings I am trying to save others from the same fate by adding a size guide to each product page in the hopes that others will not suffer the same fate.  And for those who got exactly what they were hoping for, I tip my hat to you while at the same time cringing and crossing my legs.