Memo for Democrats: Stay the hell away from the Barbie Hype

Forward Progressive
5 min readAug 2, 2023

The movie is so “woke” that it sells a LITERALLY anti-democratic message as social justice.

UPDATE: Here is a review from a liberal woman YouTuber that supports my arguments and partially inspired this commentary. Feel free to watch it before reading further.

UPDATE: So I made a meme on Facebook where I use a blunt headline.

“Sorry ladies but to the average guy Barbie is 2 Hours of man-hating and when celebrated will drive them away from your causes:”

Unfortunately, I feel I have no choice but to be honest with my Democratic friends of all genders and to get their attention. They are driving men away.

I dropped my medium post in the comments but as you would expect not many people read it. So I got several responses that didn’t seem to respect my take and I was even accused of “male fragility.”

If a man ever used the term of “female fragility” it wouldn’t be considered socially or politically acceptable so why should the opposite be true? I have seen people be torn down for less because of all the “dog whistles” I am always hearing about in our public discourse.

I promptly unfriended the author and unfriended everyone who liked it because I will not tolerate insults to my identity which have been often been used by liberal activists in recent years since social media migrated from being an organizing tool to a tribal weapon. None of them knew me well so i wasn’t surprised at their over-reaction.

My main response to anyone making light of my commentary on the movie is this isn’t “just a movie’ its a 2-Hour left-wing propaganda piece that seeks to divide us by gender. The ending doesn’t make up for it.

Hopefully someone will get the message someday that Hollywood changes the culture best when it doesn’t brow beat audiences with its “messages” as the current “culture wars” are being inflamed by content that doesn’t just address issues directly it militantly attacks Americans.

Of course, a bunch of people are going to declare “that’s a right-wing talking point” as it is no surprise that the Right is upset at this movie. But I don’t think the Middle is a big fan either and they should be heard too.

The big mistake Democrats make is thinking “common ground” is a weakness all the time. I hate to tell you but neither Joe Biden, Barack Obama AND Donald Trump all AGREE we shouldn’t “Defund The Police.”

This is just my honest perspective and frankly is a cry for help from a Democratic activist with three decades of experience in communications and politics who has witnessed the best coalition-building campaigns up close from Obama 2008 to Biden 2020. Movies like Barbie don’t help.

ORIGINAL POST:

I decided to watch Barbie to get in on the fun but i was shocked at how anti-democracy it was and I would recommend that Democrats stay away from the hype because the message of the movie to men basically serves as a free 90-minute advertisement for Trump or DeSantis or any of our foreign adversaries who benefit from America being politically divided.

First off, I expected a comedy with some woke commentary but it wasn’t funny at all. I saw the movie in a theater full of women and most of the “laughs” came from awkward chuckles at how bizarre it was. I have never thought Will Ferrell was funny either and he basically played Will Ferrell again here.

Technically speaking, the screenplay was horrible. The plot was convoluted and the story contradicted itself. A couple examples include:

*** Spoiler Alert ***

Ken taught the Barbies about the “Patriarchy” but for some reason they folded immediately and actually said they liked it. I think this would have been much more interesting if they showed how he persuaded their entire society to change overnight.

Yet I don’t understand what lessons Ken learned in the “Real World” because when he tried to get jobs he couldn’t get any because he was a Man. If they had him meet the Taliban maybe it would have made more sense!

Barbie also broke one of the cardinal rules of writing which is to “show don’t tell” the audience the message and that “less is more.”

The word “patriarchy” is used so many times it felt like a college seminar.

This movie threw all subtlety into the dumpster fire and was so heavy-handed in its commentary that the characters and plot were completely two-dimensional.

Its a movie about toys but even the Mattel executives were two-dimensional even though their real board is almost half women.

Overall, the movie threw a giant tub of lighter fluid on the Culture Wars.

Nearly two decades after Barack Obama’s unifying speech at the Democratic National Convention that laid the pathway for him to become the first African-American President for some reason Democrats keep reacting to Right-Wing Tribalism (the MAGA Cult) with their own version of Left-Wing Tribalism (aka the Anti-MAGA Cult) which is the form of “wokeness” criticized by smart commentators ranging from James Carville to Bill Maher.

But the funny thing is that I kind of agree with the commentators who have said that this movie is so woke that it actually comes off as anti-woke because it makes such terrible arguments for tribalism.

The ending says it all.

*** Spoiler Alert ***

How does Barbie save the day? By making the men so jealous that they get too distracted to participate in a vote at the Supreme Court on whether to change the name of Barbie Land to Kendom.

Yes, Barbie championed the use of “Voter Suppression” to win an argument.

Technically there is a happy ending where everyone comes together but the governing deal offered to the Kens? ZERO members on the Supreme Court.

So, this is either fascist crap being sold as social justice or the most ironic satire ever filmed.

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Forward Progressive

Jim McBride is a former VA Dems Chair Candidate and Founder of Blue Victory War Room and “Keep Virginia Blue” War Room briefings on events.democrats.org.