NY Post Critic: ‘Women Are Not Capable Of Understanding GoodFellas’

A New York Post movie critic set off a firestorm Wednesday by writing an article about how “women are not capable of understanding” Martin Scorsese’s American crime drama “GoodFellas.”

Kyle Smith, a NY Post critic and columnist, wrote about the virtues of “GoodFellas,” a “male fantasy picture,” and said women just “don’t get” the movie.

“Women sense that they are irrelevant to this fantasy, and it bothers them,” Smith wrote.

With a heavy reliance on describing the “ball-busting” that he said prevails throughout the film, Smith described the appeal for male viewers.

“The wiseguys never have to work … which frees them up to spend the days and nights doing what guys love above all else: sitting around with the gang, busting each other’s balls,” Smith wrote. “Ball-busting means cheerfully insulting one another, preferably in the presence of lots of drinks and cigars and card games.”

Smith said women couldn’t appreciate the ball-busting.

“Women (except silent floozies) cannot be present for ball-busting because women are the sensitivity police: They get offended, protest that someone’s not being fair, refuse to laugh at vicious put-downs,” Smith wrote. “In the male fantasy, all of this is unforgivable — too serious, too boring. Deal another hand, pour another drink.”

Smith also made the distinction that while men see the “GoodFellas” as “heroes,” women view them as “lowlifes.”

While enumerating the reasons women couldn’t appreciate the crime movie, Smith insisted on the importance of “ball-busting.”

“As ‘GoodFellas’ shows us, guys hanging out together don’t really like to talk about the women in their lives because that’s too real,” Smith continued. “What we’d much rather do than discuss problems and ‘be supportive’ is to keep the laughs coming — to endlessly bust each other’s balls. … At its core, ‘GoodFellas’ is a story of ball-busting etiquette.”

Smith’s final attempt to prove women were incapable of “understanding” the movie involved his version of what the film would look like “if it were told by a woman.”

Meet an at-risk youth called Henry Hill. Victimized by horrific physical abuse from an early age, and traumatized by the responsibilities of caring for a handicapped brother, he fell prey to criminal elements in his rough East New York neighborhood in a time when social-services agencies were sadly lacking. At an impressionable age, he became desensitized to violence when a gunshot victim bled to death in front of a restaurant where he was working. His turn to the mafia was a cry for help — a need to find a family structure to replace the one he had never really known.

“And who would want to watch that movie?” Smith concluded.

Social media erupted with responses to the article.

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