Keep your eyes on your own papers, ladies.
I have never been impressed with re-boots, and Hollywood lately, has confused gimmick with social progress. They have dusted off dead franchises made iconic by men, and switched genders!
Ocean's 8 is yet another gendered re-boot of a franchise, no matter what the publicist tells us to think. Gender-swapping implies that women, in fact, have no original ideas and must ride on the coattails of men to succeed.
And worse, the re-boots are not from quirky little movies, but of iconic films, meaning that the ladies need a serious leg-up to stay viable.
Gender is not a mere construct. It is a real thing. Women and men are equal, but they are biologically wired differently. You can reach the same destination two different ways, and there is nothing to say you can't get there one way first before using a different route and lose nothing in the bargain.
But you will favour one mode over another for a reason.
The problem with Ocean's 8 is that it is not original and not originally created with the atom of female sensibilities. It is a simple Patriarchal story. This movie offers nothing that can be construed as original or progressive. An all-female cast of A-list actresses is playing it safe. A racially diverse cast is also nothing new, and there is nothing to applaud here because that's how it should be -- it is akin to applauding a husband for not slapping his wife. You are not progressive when you do that -- you have merely reached the absolute minimum threshold for rudimentary normalcy.
But the re-boot has misogynistic stink all over it: a woman can only succeed if the men paved the path for her. It would be one thing it every once in a while, we have a remake of a film that swaps character types to put forth an old message with modern realities. The original Karate Kid and its remake shared the same soul, but its change in protagonist offered something more to say. It didn't play to be some trendy gimmick.
It was the same thing that annoyed me comic books -- Superman, Supergirl. Batman, Batgirl, and Batwoman. The Adam's Rib hypothesis of a woman's place annoyed me more as time went on.
And for all the talk of progress in that genre, I do not recall a woman-created comic book company with the same awareness, cultural influence, vision, or gravitas.
Which brings us back to Ocean's 8.
The original movie had our anti-hero Oceanman, and here is his sister, Oceangirl. No different than the funny pages of decades ago.
Do not try to spin this as progress for women. You have a Patriarchal story created by men, and now let's squeeze a little more milage by having women in the cast this time.
That we do not have a mainstream bounty of female-created epic stories is the real problem. We do not have Matriarchal stories -- and when we do, they too, are firmly based in Patriarchal franchises that want to expand, with Star Wars and Marvel flicks being on the top of that list.
When I began A Dangerous Woman Story Studio in 2013, I went in with that intent of creating Matriarchal stories that spanned centuries and went all around the world -- and even the afterlife. The flagship character is a woman, and the concepts were not the girl version of a manly concept.
Sure you have The Hughes Boys and their granddaughters The Hughes Girls -- but only if you choose to ignore that their father Hammond Hughes was close to his own brothers -- and were referred to as The Hughes Brothers...and their mother Verity was close to her own baby sister Holly and were referred to as The Lake Sisters...and their own grandmother and her sisters were referred to as The Love Sisters.
Matriarchal stories are generational by nature.
There is no original "male" version of The World's Most Dangerous Woman: Magnus Lyme is a global consultant for the world's most powerful players, but that's just the current era of her life. She also was the hacktivist detective known as Chaser before that, and infiltrated two Illuminati groups in order to write exposés about them all while solving murders as a newspaper journalist.
Magnus is a truly unique character. She is not an Adam's Rib, but neither are any of the other characters I write -- from advice cartoonist Holly Lake to steamy romance novelist and assassin Bo Hollingberry to amnesiac journalist detective Jane Doe to Dream Detective Lexine Lark and afterlife murder victim activists The Women of Orchid.
That's what Hollywood should have been doing all along: expanding the base to include a variety of stories instead of just spewing out the same re-runs over and over again.
And then, when they veer one grain off, try to pretend this is a big change and revolution. Don't kid yourselves.
Ocean's 8 is about a group of women who steal stuff -- and apparently that includes being in an movie that has been done before.