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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Is the Barbie movie anti-men?

Warner Bros.
One of the many posters for the Barbie movie featuring Ken.

For decades, Barbie has been the doll who was everything. Barbie is a doctor, Barbie is an astronaut, and Barbie is even the president. Barbie has always represented the core message that young girls could truly do anything their hearts desired.

So, when the Barbie movie was announced earlier this year, there was a tidal wave of excitement and anticipation for the movie’s release. For months before the premiere date, there was advertising for it everywhere; all of a sudden, there were sweatshirts, makeup, and tons of brand collabs all for the Barbie movie.

However, after the movie was released, many people spoke out about the film being misogynistic and “anti-men.” Social media was covered with negative reviews saying the entire movie was made for radical feminists and that it had some sort of evil agenda to pit society against men, and others saying it was deeply rooted in misandry.

Many of these negative reviews are from men saying that the entire movie treats men as unimportant objects and side characters, but after these reviews, people brought up that many movies do the exact same thing, but to women. I believe that most of the people hating on the movie either don’t understand or dislike the idea of the gender roles in our society being reversed.

Those who find the movie misandrist likely don’t see the message it’s trying to convey about how our roles in society are primarily decided by the patriarchy, and Ken, played by Ryan Gosling, has his “mojo dojo casa house” which shows us a tinier, more extreme version of the world we live in. I have seen an abundance of reviews saying the film is a load of propaganda disguised as a comedy to spread some underlying political agenda, but I think the real purpose of the movie is simply to reach women everywhere and show them they’re not alone.

I think some of the “anti-men” propaganda people are seeing in the movie is the result of people assuming that this world the Barbies live in is fundamentally flawed because the Kens don’t serve a particular purpose. All of the jobs are done by Barbies, their Supreme Court is made up of Barbies, and every night is girls’ night; it is a mirrored reality to the one we lived in not that long ago, where almost all positions of power were held by men. 

Another argument I’ve seen from people saying the Barbie movie is an attack on men is that the so-called bad guys and villains in the movie are all men. I see this from a different perspective, I think that none of the men in the movie are specifically meant as villains. They’re all just misguided in one way or another.

For example, some people see Ken as a bad guy because he brings the patriarchy to Barbieland, but even when he does this, it is only because he is so easily manipulated by the real world and believes this is the best thing for everyone. Others see the CEO of Mattel, played by Will Ferrell, as the villain, but he truly believes he is doing what’s best for little girls across the world. The patriarchy is the real villain in the movie, and the evil actions are just a result of that overlying issue. The movie teaches us that patriarchy is bad for everyone, and while Barbie finds her place in the world, Ken learns the meaningful message that he is “Kenough.”

The patriarchy is the real villain in the movie, and the evil actions are just a result of that overlying issue.

Although the movie is meant to be a comedy about Barbie finding her place in the real world and Barbieland, it also gives an insight into the genuine issues many women face in their day-to-day lives. Those who say the movie is “anti-men” clearly didn’t get the message of the movie and its significance to women. Barbie is and will continue to be a movie that can unite women worldwide in the face of adversity.

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About the Contributor
Addie Woltil
Addie Woltil, Copy Editor
Addie Woltil is a sophomore entering her second year writing for The Central Trend. She is excited about another year of writing on staff and more to come. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, going to the mall, and watching overrated reality TV shows. She loves ending her day in room 139 and can't wait for what's next. Favorite fruit: Mango Favorite TV show: How I Met Your Mother Favorite day of the year: July 24th

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