For many years, we’ve become accustomed to Hollywood churning out movies with left-wing messages about gender, identity and more, or in short, how entertainment elites believe their audiences are supposed to think.
It’s annoying. It’s not even about whether you agree or disagree with the message, but the fact that you can’t enjoy a movie without being preached at.
I expected the new “Barbie” movie to be full of this kind of propaganda because it’s just something I have come to expect with most movies. Blockbuster hit “Top Gun: Maverick” surprised me in having little to none of this. The same was true of the recent Michael Jordan biopic “Air.”
The same was true of “Barbie.” In fact, the primary plot was largely based on the fact that there are only two genders: You have girls, or women, or Barbies. You have boys, or men, or Kens.
Women have certain traits that are biologically inherent to them as females. Men have certain traits that are biologically inherent to them as men. Not only are human beings limited to these two genders, but these male and female genders are very different from each other—and that’s okay.
In fact, it’s great!
Some of the most hilarious material in the film is about differences between the sexes. Barbieland is a matriarchal world where women are in charge because, well duh, it’s all centered around Barbie. When Ken and Barbie venture into the real world where men have historically had advantages, an elated Ken, who was always disrespected as a man in Barbieland, tries to get real-world jobs based on nothing other than the fact that he’s a man.
It turns out he might need degrees and such, too. He doesn’t get it.
I couldn’t stop laughing.
Okay, this is it. After this, I'm checking out of #Barbie discourse 😏 @benshapiro is wrong on the message. It's not "woke". In fact, it actually supports some of Shapiro's suggestions for rebalancing the sexes, ones he offered on his podcast last week. https://t.co/XrTqXlo00S
— Stephen Kent (@Stephen_Kent89) July 25, 2023
To the degree that there’s any message in that and in “Barbie” overall, it’s not really left-wing or right-wing. It’s a human message about respecting the other sex and other people. For girls and women, there is also a different positive message that women in my own life have said touched them (two told me they cried and they know who they are) but there sure as hell BETTER be a message for women alone in any movie about Barbie.
When I saw the “He-Man” movie many years ago, they definitely had a little boy audience in mind. And they should have. I was one of them!
Conservative commentators reflexively declaring Barbie “woke” are either just trying to get clicks or are so accustomed to having that kind of material in anything entertainment, they are reaching to find it here, too. I have seen so many critiques that are all different. Most can’t even agree on where they land in their criticisms. It’s scattershot.
I’ve seen this before. The 2007 movie “Juno” received the ire of Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives for supposedly promoting teen sex. But many pro-lifers, including me, had an entirely different take: The pregnant teenager seeking an abortion decides against it because she’s convinced it’s a human being inside her.
My friend Stephen Kent did a fantastic job at BASEDPolitics earlier this week in showing how Barbie actually affirms some of conservative critic Ben Shapiro’s traditionalist ideas about men and women.
I had a similar takeaway. In an environment where various authorities are confusing an entire generation of children about what gender they are, this is a common-sense movie targeted at kids confirming that they are either boys or girls. Full stop.
There is nothing in “Barbie” that says that a biological male or female can’t be attracted to the same sex. There is nothing in the movie saying that biological males and females can’t feel that they have male or female traits that are the opposite of how they were born.
But “Barbie” doesn’t explore that—because gender identity is not something kids should be forced to contend with in the first place. Only the most whacked out, ‘gender spectrum’—there are 1000 genders!—trans activists would have a problem with “Barbie.”
I saw a few movies over the past week, and it was touching to see so many parents—so many mothers with their daughters—taking their children to this runaway hit film. I could barely move in the lobby on each day I attended. That’s a good thing.
“Barbie” is better than just an entertaining movie. It’s a normal, if unique, movie, for normal everyday people with refreshingly normal themes.
I’ll take it.