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California women’s caucus celebrates ‘strong, smart, bold women’ of ‘Ghostbusters’

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Thirty years after the original film took the world by storm, Ghostbusters is back and fully rebooted for a new generation. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth star in the film out in theaters July 15,
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Thirty years after the original film took the world by storm, Ghostbusters is back and fully rebooted for a new generation. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth star in the film out in theaters July 15,

California lawmakers ain’t afraid of no female stars.

A Ghostbusters reboot featuring four women as leads fomented anger and criticism among some male fans of the original franchise. For the California Legislative Women's Caucus, it supplied cause for celebration.

Taking a break from legislative priorities such as expanding family leave, members of the caucus attended a free screening at the Crest Theater on Monday night. The event was hosted by Women in California Leadership, a foundation that promotes education.

“It is so wonderful when there’s a film out there that has a bunch of strong, smart, bold women,” caucus chair Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, said in opening remarks. “It does speak volumes about how far women have come yet how much farther we still have to go for gender equality.”

Jackson decried the “misogynistic rants” that accompanied the film’s announcement and then read a sampling of reactions. In response to a tweet calling the film “the final nail in the coffin” of the tweeter’s childhood, she suggested that “if this movie ruins your childhood, your adulthood ain’t going so good anyway.”

More than one lawmaker noted the screening came days after Hillary Clinton made history in accepting the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, reflected on a more subtle sign of social change as she described planning her daughter’s 8th birthday.

“The idea now that it’s going to be a cast of all women – that was the deciding factor for her birthday party,” Eggman said. “She wanted to have it with fairies, but then what would the boys do? But now Ghostbusters are for everybody.”

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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