The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Why the Barbie Movie is Important

It’s Not Anti-Man, It’s Anti-Patriarchy

If you are like me, and among many others, you were impatiently awaiting the arrival of the ‘Barbie’ movie, featuring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie…. and Ken.  

For me, this movie was lifechanging. I truly believe I am not the same person as I was before this movie came out.  

The film starts off with the “transition” from baby dolls to barbies. Then jumps right into Barbie Land where everything is seemingly perfect.  

Barbie Land is the perfect utopia, until Stereotypical Barbie starts having “irrepressible thoughts of death” and she suddenly gets flat feet instead of the trademark arched ones, cellulite, and depression.  

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Barbie visits Weird Barbie- because obviously everyone had one- and she is told she must go to the real world, find her kid, and make things right to go back to the perfect world that is Barbie Land.  

As Barbie is on her way to make things right, Ken appears, and he obviously brought his rollerblades.  

Once they get to the real world, Barbie mentions to Ken that she is feeling conscious but of herself. But Ken is feeling admired. That is the first mention of how women are objectified but men are typically adored.  

As Barbie… and Ken continue to rollerblade down the pier, Barbie experiences something no woman should ever have to experience.  

Someone touching them without notice or consent. In Barbie’s case, a man on the pier smacks her on her butt, so she retaliates by punching him in the face.  

Now, Barbie… and Ken get arrested, and by the police she continues to be objectified by how good she looks in tight clothing.  

When Barbie… and Ken shoplift some cowboy/girl attire, they are arrested yet again, and Barbie must hear about how she looks better in even more clothing because it leaves more to the imagination.  

Disgusting right? But unfortunately, this is the real world.  

When Barbie finds her kid for the first time, Ken finds out about the patriarchy and how men are very well respected in the real world.  

Ken loves the idea of the patriarchy (and horses) so much that he goes back to Barbie Land without Barbie to tell the other Ken’s how great it all is.  

Meanwhile, Barbie is having a difficult time being taken seriously on how she just wants everything to go back to normal for her. 

Then she meets the woman who has been playing with her, and they all work together to go back to Barbie Land to make things right. But when they get there, everything is not how they left it.  

The Ken’s were so in love with the idea of the patriarchy (and horses) that the Barbie’s ended up being “brainwashed” by them; and so, the seemingly perfect Barbie Land had turned into Kendom Land.  

Barbie wants nothing more than for things to go back to normal, but Ken has already taken over Barbie Land and her Barbie Dreamhouse by turning it into the Mojo Dojo Casa House.  

Soon in the movie we see Gloria and her daughter reappear to Barbie Land to inspire Barbie to take back Barbie Land.  

Then, Barbie experiences something that every woman I know has experienced.  

“I’m not good enough for anything.” 

“What if I am not pretty enough.” 

Two sentences that every woman I know has thought or said about themselves. It is almost as though the patriarchy is designed to make women feel inferior to men, and just feel so bad about themselves.  

But let me tell you, everyone who may be reading this article, you are enough, and you are pretty enough. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.  

Once Gloria gives a speech about what it means to be a woman (if you haven’t heard it yet, please do it is more powerful hearing it than reading it).  

I was able to find the speech online:  

“It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we must always be extraordinary, but somehow, we’re always doing it wrong. 

You must be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you must be thin. You must have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass. You must be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You must lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas. You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You must be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people. 

You must answer for men’s bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining. You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood. 

But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful. 

You must never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault. 

I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don’t even know.” 

After hearing this speech in the theatres (twice) I cried, every time I hear it or read it, I am smacked in the face with the reality of what it means to be a woman currently.  

The Barbie movie was designed to shine light on how messed up the patriarchy is. The Barbie movie was not designed to belittle men or make them out to be the villain; the Barbie movie is about spreading awareness on how the patriarchy affects everyone, not just women.  



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About the Contributor
Charlize Harding
Charlize Harding, Editor-in-Chief
Hello! This year's Editor-in-Chief is Charlize Harding. She has been writing for about a year and a half; last year she served as the News Editor. In addition to the paper, she is a part of Gannon’s service sorority, Gamma Sigma Sigma; the English International Honors Society, Sigma Tau Delta, and co-editor for Gannon’s literary magazine, The Totem. Charlize also works on campus at the Writing and Research Center. During her down time, she loves to watch movies, go out with friends and just chill. Thank you for all of your support with The Gannon Knight!

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