Conservatives are big mad over the big movie about some little dolls
When my twin sister and I were in the third grade, a large, wrapped present sat under our grandma’s Christmas tree for at least a week before Christmas. My mom told us that the gift was a vacuum for our grandma, and we did not question it. But when Christmas Day arrived, it turned out that the vacuum was actually a Barbie Dreamhouse. A gift for me and my sister — who weren’t exactly Barbie-type girls.
Thankfully this was before everything Barbie became pink, or my sister and I might have rejected it outright. I remember the house having a dark orange roof with yellow and white accents. We also got WWF wrestling figures that Christmas, and the Barbie Dreamhouse soon became a club house for Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Greg The Hammer Valentine and Brutus Beefcake.
My little sisters played with Barbie dolls, and my brother once made a video in high school in which he burned one of these dolls at the stake to the tune of Carmina Burana. It was honestly hilarious, even though my little sisters didn’t think so.
But it was not hilarious when Ben Shapiro did the same thing to protest the new Barbie movie being “woke.” Shapiro was upset that the movie included a transgender character who was “treated normally.” Shapiro is talking about trans actress Hari Nef, who plays one of the Barbies in the film.
Nef sees her inclusion in the film much more positively, as one would expect: “As much as there’s a celebration of femininity and being a girl in [Barbie], I think there’s also an encouragement of letting go of the checklist we ascribe to living, and living your life and being in your body your way, on your own terms,” she said to Out magazine.
That’s a pretty beautiful thing — unless you’re a hateful rat like Shapiro, who seemed shocked that people were mad about the burning Barbie video.
“I take, like, a match and I light the Barbie stuff on fire — and this is apparently terrible,” said Shapiro. “The reaction to me burning a Barbie car with, like, a Barbie and Ken in it, is like the reaction of the Islamic world when someone burns a Quran in Sweden. It’s totally crazy.”
Leave it to Shapiro to include something Islamophobic in his response.
Ted Cruz also had a beef with the movie, claiming that it’s Chinese communist propaganda. Because a cartoonish map shown in the film supposedly shows a depiction of the “nine dash line,” which, on some maps, depicts China’s claims to territory in the South China Sea. However, there are only eight lines on the “Barbie” map and in a very different shape than the typical depiction of the disputed territory.
“I’m not sure this map, which you’d miss if you blinked at the one-minute mark in the third trailer, is admissible in the International Court of Justice. It’s cartoonishly unrealistic,” wrote Toronto Sun columnist Vinay Menon. “Where is continental Europe? New Zealand? What do the sailboats represent? Is that a jester’s crown atop Iceland?”
Cruz remains unconvinced. “China wants to control what Americans see, hear and, ultimately, think, and they leverage their massive film markets to coerce American companies into pushing propaganda,” a spokesperson for Cruz told the U.K.’s Daily Mail.
Wild if true (it isn’t true).
Another person upset is Ginger Gaetz, wife of U.S. Rep. and accused sex offender Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican, who tweeted photos of herself and her husband posing together in front of a Barbie backdrop at a Barbie themed pre-party along with the message, “The Barbie I grew up with was a representation of limitless possibilities, embracing diverse careers and feminine empowerment. The 2023 Barbie movie, unfortunately, neglects to address any notion of faith or family, and tries to normalize the idea that men and women can’t collaborate positively (yuck).”
You know, like how Matt Gaetz positively collaborates with women when he tweets stuff like, “How many of the women rallying against overturning Roe are over-educated, under-loved millennials who sadly return from protests to a lonely microwave dinner with their cats, and no bumble matches.”
Feminist icon, that guy.
Ginger Gaetz also complained about “Disappointingly low T from Ken” — the T being “testosterone.” In other words, Ken, a doll who has no private parts, didn’t have enough big dick energy for her tastes. And given who she’s married to, her taste is very, very bad.
I haven’t seen the movie. My wife said she’d like to see it “a little bit,” and our 14-year-old son shrugged and said, “maybe.” I felt the same.
But now that I’ve learned that Barbie has triggered so many extremist conservatives, I’m more motivated to see the damn thing. Because I love to make right-wingers mad.
So get in, losers. We’re going to see Barbie. I mean, eventually. Probably.
D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.