I left the following paragraph as a comment over on Instapundit the other day, and I think it is worth sharing here and expanding on:
The real problem with the reboot is that it was the stereotypical dreary feminist message. Feminism sells just fine, but the new Ghostbusters was straight from the ministry of feminist entertainment. It was the movie version of the soviet fashion show Wendy’s parodied in their famous commercial. Very few women (and fewer men) want to watch a group of dumpy women in ill fitting ugly jumpsuits and combat boots. It is that simple. Hollywood can sell feminism all day long, and has been doing so with no problem for decades. But even Hollywood can’t sell the dumpy lesbian feminism that Ghostbusters was selling.
For those who aren’t familiar with the Wendy’s commercial I referenced above:
For an example of Hollywood successfully selling feminist characters, see the far more successful Suicide Squad. Suicide Squad proves that you can sell feminism to both men and women at the movies, so long as the women are sexy. In fact, crazy is fine so long as it is hot and crazy.
But to the party faithful feminism must be dreary or they won’t be happy. It isn’t enough to have a group of kick ass women, they have to be wearing sensible shoes.
Male feminist Scott Hansen at Sheboygan Press explains in ‘Suicide Squad’ perpetuates Hollywood sexism:
As portrayed by Margot Robbie, Harley Quinn is physically strong and able to outwit most of the “Suicide Squad” male characters, but unfortunately has to do so in a glorified bikini while being leered at by most of the male cast.
Hansen describes three other kick ass women in the movie, but all of them suffer the same fate of being sexually desired.
What Hansen doesn’t understand is that it is even more important to the women in the audience that the women on the screen be hot than it is to the men. A good rule of thumb for women is would they want to dress up like the character for Halloween? Even with a slightly sexed up version of the Ghostbusters costume, I don’t think they will have trouble keeping up with demand. Even the ugliest feminist doesn’t want to be seen as ugly. Costume vendors understand this, which is why they have created “sexy” versions (here and here) that look nothing like the outfits in the movie. Those will surely sell far better than the more accurate reproduction, but I still suspect they won’t be top sellers. On the other hand, there is a whole page full of options for Harley Quinn costumes, and if you want one I would suggest that you order well in advance.