Contact: The Power of Feminist Representation (for Bitch Flicks)


I got to write about my childhood heroine, Ellie Arroway, for’s Women Scientists week! I take a personal look at how she affected my career track as well as the inherent sexism she experiences in a male-dominated professional field, and how the film treats her character overall as an example of much-needed female representation.

That’s what girls need to see: the normalization of women as protagonists, as professionals, as figureheads of heroism. Viable, easily seen examples that women belong in the worlds of science and technology, that the fields aren’t exclusive boys’ clubs. A woman can achieve breakthroughs in math and physics. A woman can raise her voice and fight for her beliefs. A woman can serve as representative for the best of humanity.

More than anything, she can succeed in the face of overwhelming societal pressures trying to undermine her choices — just like social norms dictate what young women can and can’t do. Pink is for girls, blue is for boys; you play with dolls, not trucks. It’s impractical to be a scientist, or an engineer, or a radio astronomer.

Check it ouuuuuut!

The New Ghostbusters Is Great. Suck It.

(Plus other thoughts on reboots, fandom gatekeeping culture, and what qualifies as feminist representation.)

I can’t remember the last time so much controversy surrounded a movie sight-unseen prior to the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters — most of it from appalling misogynistic chucklefarts that don’t deserve a word more devoted to them. For those of you concerned about the actual quality of the film, have no fear: it’s a winner. Funny as hell, rollickingly good fun, feminist in a way that’s sorely needed, and something that, while inviting inevitable comparisons to the 1984 classic, can and should be judged on its own merits.

Continue reading “The New Ghostbusters Is Great. Suck It.”