Wednesday, August 02, 2023

A male perspective of Barbie the movie


Because of all that hype, I watched Oppenheimer first, followed by Barbie after a few days. The women in my family were not interested in the movie, especially my daughter, who has intensely disliked dolls since she was petite after seeing a creepy Chucky lookalike at a bubble tea stall. 

I did not really like the movie, but that's because I was not the intended audience. The movie was the first since the pandemic to get women to attend cinemas in droves, and I was happy that groups of girls were dressed in pink in the cinemas. If you can, encourage the women in your family to watch it. It's like Avengers End Game for girls. 

So Barbie is not really a movie that should be commented on by guys, but since I paid for a ticket to watch it, I might as well talk about it anyway.

Here are my points:

a) The Patriarchy treats low-status men way worse than women

The Patriarchy is the villain in this movie. However, it needs to be shown how the Kens overturned a women-led Barbie society just by reading a book on Patriarchy and involving horses. It was even more ludicrous that Asia Ferrera's character could dispel the Patriarchy by coming up with a big rant.

We need to have a better idea of how the so-called Patriarchy works. 

Men know that not all of them will be accepted by a woman, but women will take a more holistic view on choosing a mate, so men in the past would commit violence against other men to find a mate. Over time, men found a way to make peace with each other and came up with the concept of marriage so a few guys would not just monopolise all the women. The competition eventually went into displays of economic resourcefulness. The drive to find a mate is the basis of all civilisation. So the patriarchy is just a system for men to determine who wins and loses and gets to pass on their genes to their children. 

Here's the cinch - the patriarchy will not exist if women do not have standards. If women choose to spurn low-status men, then men will go crazy killing each other to ensure that they don't end up in the lower ranks. This means bigger guns, bigger cars, and bigger erections.

b) Allan is a traitor to his gender and will be destroyed in normal society

The fan favourite of the movie is Allan and Mattel only produced one run of the Allan doll. You got a guy in rainbow colours who is Ken's "best friend", and you wonder why there is no demand for the doll.

I've met a lot of Allan in the IT workplace. If it's one thing IT engineers and project managers hate, it is the effete and scheming eunuch in the workplace who loves ratting on fellow colleagues and picking on male engineers who do not "sayang" them enough. It was so funny that the Indian office sent its "Allan" to Singapore for a project. The Indian Project Managers would warn the local managers before he arrived so that we could defend ourselves or prepare a "warm welcome" for him. Sorry, I can't really provide more details as I still have friends who are ex-colleagues. 

I have no issues with girls who like the concept of an Allan, but I want to remind you that we will "thrash" them until they learn to hide their bitchy scheming or desire for "adulation" from male colleagues. 

c) No, you will never be Kenough

With an insight that Barbie conflates the workings of civilisational progress with the Patriarchy, you will never be Kenough. I fail to see why anyone can conclude that they are Kenough when Barbie does not even give a shit about Ken when he looks like Ryan Gosling. 

Within the system, men must maintain their status to maintain women's interests. Make a slip, and you can fall. If you have a male child, you want to confer that advantage to him. To do that, your empire needs to be bigger, and you need to engage in activities that will widen the size of your empire or bank account. Of course, in the past, you need to kill more people and take their territory. Now you just need to ensure that your income sources increase exponentially.

Of course, there is no need to think so hard about the nature of Patriarchy when you actually watch the movie. 

If a sequel to the Barbie movie is ever made, it will look at how guys really play with Barbie Dolls. It should guest star some GI Joe toys and be rated R21.

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