Dear Gossips,

Sarah saw Ghostbusters last night. Her review will be posted later this morning. Coincidentally when she was texting me her immediate impressions, I happened to be reading an article over at Salon about critical response to the movie. Female critics are rating Ghostbusters higher than their male counterparts. And it’s not just in the case of Ghostbusters. According to the Salon piece, backed up by statistical analysis, female critics generally review female-driven films more favourably than male critics – especially Meryl Streep’s films.

Meryl Streep!

Why? According to Meryl it’s about perspective. Her theory is that movies about men and for men dominate cinema. So men are conditioned to mostly just watch stories they can relate to. When they’re put in a position where the story is not about the man but about the woman, and they can’t find themselves in the narrative, (it’s hypothesised that) men struggle to connect. “That affects not only the way that men interact with movies but also how they review them.”

Last year’s Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy, is cited as an example. Spy was unanimously praised by female critics. All the sh-tty reviews of Spy came from male critics. The same applies to television. Shows about women and their experiences generally come in with lower ratings from male critics than the female ones, bringing down their scores. “The problem is, thus, not just that men do not like female-driven movies and television shows as much as women do but that they have a disproportionate say in how such entertainment is received. According to the San Diego study, women account for just 20 percent of film reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. That means their opinions hold a lot of weight.”

So, if you are to believe this assertion, it then becomes a perpetual cycle. Hollywood gets criticised for its gender inequality but then Hollywood gets to make the excuse that female-driven projects aren’t as prestigious and/or lucrative and the status quo is preserved.

Do you believe this assertion?

Yours in gossip,