The Narrowness of Barbie Feminism

I was rooting for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, but I was ultimately disappointed by the movie. I got to review it for The Dispatch.

Gloria comes off as the Betty Friedan of the film, giving voice to the problem without a name. She offers her lecture on the impossibility of being a woman to each brainwashed Barbie in turn, like an ideological inoculation, and her frustration and exhaustion call them all back to themselves.

The message resonated with Hari Nef, a transgender actress who plays Doctor Barbie. In an Instagram post promoting the film, Nef said that the experience of being a woman badly is the most universal experience of womanhood. Nef and a group of transgender friends call themselves “the dolls” because, as Nef explained, “underneath the word ‘doll’ is the shape of a woman who is not quite a woman—recognizable as such, but still a fake.”

Read the rest at The Dispatch

I think the movie was muddled rather than just bad, so I made sure to highlight a more positive take on the film from Helen Andrews in a post for Other Feminisms.