The Student Media Site of William Clarke College

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The Student Media Site of William Clarke College

We Are

The Student Media Site of William Clarke College

We Are

The Barbie movie was cool… I liked it.

Credit: Sandra Gabriel on unsplash

I know I am late to the party on this one, but I thought I would go to the cinema and watch this doll movie that everyone seems to be going so crazy about. I had heard so many things about this movie, it was incredibly difficult to gauge what kind of reaction watching it was actually going to give me. I had heard that politically it was an absolute disaster, promoting extreme feminism to the masses of daughters that would go along with their mothers dressed in pink so that they could post stories of themselves on their story. And that it was grooming children into believing the transgender narrative painted men to be the bad guys. But I had also heard that it was a beautiful message about equal rights and female empowerment, which would teach people from every creed to respect each other equally and balance the disparity between men and women. Neither of these perspectives are correct.

Now, I am not going to try and explain the storyline because frankly, that would give me quite a large headache (so if you have not watched the movie you may as well stop reading because this will not make much sense). As well as that, I do not think that the storyline, the set design or anything of that nature is really what is important. I can only think of four reasons that people would go to watch this movie:

  1. Because they like Barbie and played with her as a kid.
  2. Because they want to see the ‘funny’ jokes that are teased in the ads.
  3. They want to see Ryan Gosling without a shirt.
  4. They want to be boring people and overthink the movie to figure out what the underlying concepts and political messages are so that they can understand the sociological, economic and political complexities of the human experience through the medium of a film.

The fourth reason… ye that is me, and this movie was made for me.

The storyline is designed as a war between men and women. And the chaos that the plot creates is a direct result of the fighting between the men and the women. The patriarchy (the Kendom), is the world in which the men have the power, and Barbieland is the land in which women have all the power. Unsurprisingly, the ‘plebs’ of the world are the ones that are out of power and they are the ones who experience hardship as a result. That is one aspect of it.

Now through the movie, the plot does well to highlight the distasteful nature of both sides of this war of the sexes.

The men are just plain stupid. They think that to live is to ride horses, talk about cars, fix computers for women, drink beer out of mini-fridges and rule the world through the revolutionary idea of ‘patriarchy’ that Ken has stolen from the ‘real’ world. Every dude in this movie is really quite silly and I can see why some have said the movie makes them feel embarrassed to be a man.

But equally repulsive is the Barbieland fantasy, where every night is a girls’ night, the Ken’s only find validation from female attention, the women are the only ones in power and their methods of taking power back from the Ken’s involve exploiting their stupidity and love for the women in a very deceptive and unintegral manner. The introduction depicted girls, encountering a new worldview that prioritises individual success and empowerment and proceeded to figuratively kill their babies in order to pursue the dream of ‘true girl power’ (if that doesn’t sum up feminism I don’t know what does). And of course, there was that incredibly cringey feminist mantra about how hard it is to be a woman.

(whispers under her breath: Ha! We got him, he called the feminist call to arms cringe. Therefore he must hate women. That bigoted misogynist pig! GRR!!)

Just hold on a second. Take a look at the speech here.


Now the vast majority of men who read that will cringe. And a lot of women, who feel empowered because of the speech’s nature, will take much offence to this. But just think for a second, what if I was to turn the tables and rewrite the script? Then I think that the reaction of a feminist would flip entirely…


It is literally impossible to be a man. You are so handsome and strong, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.

You have to be strong and bulky, but not too fat. And you can never say you just want to be lanky. You have to say you want to live a relaxed lifestyle, but you have to have a six-pack and be 6 feet tall to even have a shot at getting a girl to notice you. You have to be successful and provide, but you can’t open the door and say ‘lady’s first’ too much because that’s just downright condescending. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be too mean. You have to lead, but you can’t lead too hard otherwise your just using your ‘male privilege’. You’re supposed to be a loving father, but you are not supposed to take too much control otherwise you’re an oppressor. You have to always look out for number one, even though you want to care for others.

When you glance at a woman in the gym who seems to be recording herself for some strange reason, you get accused of abuse. You’re supposed to be attractive and have a chiselled jawline, but you’re not supposed to try too hard to look good because that’s just simping.

But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged to suppress masculinity. So go to the gym and punch a bag.

You have to act older than you are and not be a foolish boy. Never fall, never be afraid, never show emotion, be bold! BE FIERCE!! But also be gentle. And yes, by the way, everything that is bad about our society, that’s all because of you! You evil man!

I’m so tired of watching myself and every single other man tie himself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is true for a regular bro on the street, then I don’t even know.


Now when men read that, they’ll relate to it and take it as a creed for their resilience, in a much similar way to the monologue from the Barbie movie. And many women, will cringe, and talk about how easy it is to be a man and how there is nothing to complain about.

The truth is, it is hard to be a human. And the patriarchy and Barbieland are just ideas that people made up to try and deal with the struggle. To try and shift the blame to the ‘opposing team’. This is summed up perfectly in the confrontation between Barbie and Ruth Handler, where Ruth enlightens Barbie that she does not have to give in to any of these worldviews. She can be an individual and have her own ideas.

Men and women are not meant to be on opposing teams, they are meant to work together. The definition of being a man is not to rule tyrannically over women. Just as much as the definition of a woman is not to attack ‘the patriarchy’ and tear down men. Men and women have different qualities but they are ultimately designed to work together. To find identity both separately with those who share their gender and together as a unified unit. This is what the movie is trying to say.

And yes, I will be naming my house ‘Ken’s mojo dojo casa house’ because that’s a cool name.

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