Toys of Promise
I haven’t been to the movies in a long time. If statistics are to be believed, neither have a lot of people. My wife broke her streak by taking my son to see Oppenheimer. As part of the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon, many others marked their return to the movies after long-time absences by seeing Barbie. Not long after the movie’s release I started hearing that the movie was too “woke,” ironically via those who were challenging the notion by pointing out that the phrase “if you go woke, you go broke” could hardly be applied to such a lucrative film.
I try not to concern myself too much with culture war type of issues as they apply to pop culture, but sometimes I just can’t help but come across some take that so badly insults any sense of reason that I have to dig in. This time, it was an article in Huffpost about women reassessing their relationships with men after seeing Barbie. The film’s message about differences in world experiences as seen through the lense of gender really struck a chord for some women, who then found they couldn’t relate to the men who had been their significant others.
After the movie, “we amicably came together to recognize that we’re just not on the same wavelength,” she explained. “We could argue till the end of time what gender/sex has a tougher time going through life.”
“Barbie has helped me graduate out of a cycle of overextending myself into spaces or around people I don’t truly resonate with, to get myself back to discovering what I want out of life,” she said.
Setting aside the ridiculous therapy speak (if you can), this sort of thinking is pretty dangerous. Although women believing they are incompatible with men may be touted as progress, one wonders what the end goal is here. Is the utlimate success criteria for this encouraging of alienation between men and women the destruction of humanity?
I realize that this is just an article to get people to the website and not truly an example of a real, widespread phenomenon. However, I have read a lot of people praising the message of Barbie, so I know that the movie is having some psychological impact. It does speak to where our culture is right now that, while institutions are struggling, people are taking their life lessons from a movie about a child’s toy.
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