If you are a woman in business and want to share your business story, then share it with us here and get featured!

Is Greta Gerwig’s Barbie A Statement Against Gender Prejudices Or A Beginning Of New Bigotry?

The movie is a sophisticated comedy/fantasy that reveals Ken’s and Barbie’s process of learning the language of real world; where Barbie is the object of gaze.

Most audiences are phony, with insufficient knowledge and never got a grasp of art whatsoever; not now, not ever, not eighty years back. Today marks the fourth day since Greta Gerwig’s Barbie came out; and we already have fifty shades of reviews from audiences, globally – to refer to some, the film turned out to be “an entire waste of time,” or “child-like crayon drawing” or “too pink”, and for some it is a “side-splitting experience” with “perfect harmony”.

Is Barbie’s pink the marker of power?

To posit a few opinions, Gerwig’s vision and strategy of dealing with male chauvinism is undeniably fresh and clever, however the film fails to resolve gender binaries and its consequences; as, reversing the power structure and gender politics by making matriarchy superior to patriarchy does not necessarily conclude the imbalance (initial sections of the movie). However, as it progresses, the screenplay complicates the concept of gender: “I do not have a vagina. He does not have a penis. We do not have genitals.”

What makes Barbie a Woman? Is Barbie really a Woman? If we consider the above the dialogue of Barbie in the movie Barbie, did Greta Gerwig try to deny the Lacanian “lack”? If so, then Barbieland is neither patriarchal or matriarchal; nor is pink the signifier of femininity. Gerwig promotes a utopian and genderless land of apparent balance, which in the film happens to get interrupted by real world.

The matter of the male gaze

As gathered via social reviews, Greta Gerwig created the most fake real Barbie world which stands as the direct contradiction to the real world outside – and for both Ken and Barbie, the real world played the role of “mirror” Especially the realization of the masculine self by Ken is thoroughly Freudian and is the mirror moment.

The movie is a sophisticated comedy/fantasy that reveals Ken’s and Barbie’s process of learning the language of real world; where Barbie is the object of gaze.

Ken self-fashioned and understood “men rule the world” and he aimed to begin patriarchy “fresh” in Barbieland and build Kendom . However, Ken’s meaning is only created with the presence of Barbie and not vice-versa; thus, going beyond the self-other dynamics. And Geriwg destabilised the law of the Father with the dialogue of the CEO of Mattel (Will Ferrell) “Please call me Mother,” breaking away from stereotypical norms, the father as the centre, which promotes gender as a fluid concept.

The movie ended with a bang: “I’m here to see my gynaecologist”, but…

Nevertheless, there remain conflicts and unexplainable sections in the movie, and in the meaning behind making of Barbie – the doll and its identity.

As in, not having genitalia and standing as a feminist marker to make young girls understand their identity as woman, does not align. Given that femininity/masculinity and being a woman/man is not the same thing, Barbie and her pink land is justifiably feminine/masculine, and powerful, but why a woman and not a man?  This clarifies, even though Gerwig made an evidently healthy amount of effort to stand against bigotry, but unconsciously ended up falling in abyss of social constructionism. Gender unceasingly remains a social construct in Barbie, by shunning its potential fluidity.

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

Liked this post?

Join the 100000 women at Women's Web who get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads - you can also start sharing your own ideas and experiences with thousands of other women here!


About the Author

1 Posts | 183 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

All Categories