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How to Explain the "Ghostbusters" Controversy to Your Child

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One of the biggest movies on the horizon is the much buzzed about "Ghostbusters" reboot, with funny women in the leads instead of funny men. This change has enraged the sad subset of baby-men who take to the Internet to complain bitterly whenever women occupy any roles or positions traditionally held by men. All of this online mantruming may leave some children confused.

With that in mind, I bring you a theoretical dialogue between a Gen-X dad and his three-year-old son about this matter of life and death importance. Please feel free to borrow the father's answers when explaining this strange situation to your own child.

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Son: Daddy, why are so many people mad about the new movie with the funny ladies fighting the ghosts?

Father: Well, son, it's because there was a movie with the same name and the same basic story that came out about 32 years ago, and in that movie the funny people who were fighting the ghosts were men. People liked that movie very much, and when people like something, a lot of times they don't want it to change. So I guess some fans of the original movie are angry because it's women instead of men fighting the ghosts in this version.

Son: Why does it matter whether boys or girls are the ones fighting the ghosts?

Father: It really doesn't matter, son, but people can be very protective about the things that they love, and sometimes that instinct can play out in ugly and childish ways.

They feel threatened when something they feel should belong to them, and only them, is given to other people—particularly women.

Son: But Dad, it seems like most movies are about boys. Isn't it okay for girls to have some stuff too?

Father: You're right, my bright young boy. Most movies and television shows and books and commercials and just about everything else is pitched primarily to boys, but there are some very insecure men out there who feel like if women get something, whether it's a "Ghostbusters" movie or a presidency, they are somehow losing something valuable. They feel threatened when something they feel should belong to them, and only them, is given to other people—particularly women.

Son: That's silly, Dad. Wait, so are these people upset because there's never been a "Ghostbusters" movie since the first one, and if it's not good then they're worried it'll ruin the franchise?

Father: No, actually son they made a sequel about five years after the first one.

Son: Was it good?

Father: No, pretty much everyone agreed that it was bad.

Son: So were people angry about it the way they are about the new movie with the lady ghostbusters?

Father: Nope, they were mostly just disappointed. Nobody threw a giant temper tantrum that they made another "Ghostbusters" movie because this second movie was all about boys, and from boys, and pitched to boys.

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Son: I still don't understand. It just doesn't make sense to me. Why are these adult men acting like spoiled little babies? Why do they think "different" is automatically bad?

Father: Well, think of it this way. How would you feel if they remade something you liked and changed around the genders? How would you feel if they made another "Cars" movie and all the cars were girls this time?

Son: I wouldn't mind at all. It's just a movie. That might be a nice change.

Father: That's right. It sounds like maybe you should be explaining this situation to the people complaining about the new "Ghostbusters" instead of having me explain the situation to you. Cry babies my age could learn a lot from your generation when it comes to maturity and embracing, rather than fearing, change and progress.

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