Barbie: Hot Damn I Love This Movie!
I have spent years in the trenches of social media, battling all manner of MRA, incels, and other masculinity extremists. It is an art form to respond in ways that are effective. I’m here to tell you that Barbie the movie is the most powerful act of gender aikido that I have EVER seen on film, or anywhere else.
Put simply, Barbie flips gender privilege as a driver for men’s, (women’s and non binary folks’) self-reflection. →Male viewers feeling like men are second class citizens in Barbieland? Oh, I get it. I felt it myself watching the movie.
“Imagine real life being like that every day… Oh, wait.”
The central tenet of the film is that once we name the mad litany of contradictions inherent in patriarchal “never good enough” roles for women… once the words are spoken clearly, women will snap out of the trance of patriarchy. America Ferrera’s “It is literally impossible to be a woman” speech is transformational. I firmly believe many men who are seeing this speech will be snapping out of it, too.
For decades, MRA, MGTOWs, incels and a whole host of other manosphere extremists have sought to dogpile on, erase, dismiss, and demonize the word patriarchy wherever it showed up. Well, sorry about all that hard work keeping it marginalized, bros, but at a $billion dollars in ticket sales and climbing, Barbie has mainstreamed the concept of patriarchy GLOBALLY with a whole generation. And I promise you, you won’t get that genie back in the bottle.
But also, and this is crucial to understand, Greta Gerwig has made a damn fine movie. All gender politics aside, It’s entertaining, unpredictable, satisfying and fun. It’s amazing work of filmmaking by any standard you care to name. Truly an Oscar worthy film.
My mind was working at every level watching Gerwig’s Barbie. I saw it from the entertainment lens. I saw it from my own resistance as a man. I saw it from within my masculinity work. The intersection of these things coupled with the heartfelt impact of Gerwig’s sometimes deeply emotionally effecting story had me weeping. I kid you not. I wept in part because of how perfectly this film causes us self reflect. Is…