Through Alma Beltrán y Puga
Is Barbie feminist? Is Greta Gerwig’s script in line with concepts of gender equality? The film is undoubtedly liked for selling an international dialogue on feminist concepts and gender roles. However answering those questions is sophisticated. Barbie opens in a model of a feminist utopia: an international the place girls are rulers and males servants. Those inverted political gender roles are in line with radical feminist theories that believe girls’s liberation will handiest be imaginable when feminist values, similar to care and discussion, are taken critically, and ladies in energy include them. Then again, Barbie Land is a portrait of this feminist myth with an excessive amount of red and an excessively fundamental liberal concept of the State: civil and political rights are the basic rights of society.
However what about social justice, or, to position it in human rights phrases, social, financial and cultural rights? A core perception of feminism is that gender is an axis of energy that constitutes roles of superiority and subordination in society thru financial preparations, in addition to get admission to to civil and political freedoms. Isn’t get admission to to well being care and schooling as vital as political illustration? As we cross about finding what’s outdoor Barbie Land (alias, the Actual International), Stereotypical Barbie and Ken come across gender-based discrimination and patriarchy. Ken learns what patriarchy is meant to imply in line with a ebook (almost definitely written by means of a person) and Barbie’s conventional femininity is puzzled by means of two younger scholars in a highschool. That is probably the most we get of social justice within the film. Training confronting gender stereotypes.
Then again, in our actual international, well being issues. Past Barbie’s issues of cellulite and flat ft, sexual and reproductive rights, get admission to to medications, and equivalent remedy for other folks with disabilities, weight problems, and different well being issues appear by no means to be a central a part of the film. In fact, this is a Hollywood movie and we shouldn’t be expecting a profound complaint of world well being inequality in a film in line with dolls. However let’s take into consideration it. Isn’t Mattel (alias, Capitalism) meant to do something positive about it? Or the Kens or the Barbies? Or the Actual People? Aren’t we meant to be being concerned extra about out there and freed from discrimination well being products and services? What about remedy for prostate most cancers and HIV? And get admission to to vaccines? In 2023, are we able to truly reside in a truth the place we don’t speak about those vital problems?
Ladies’s actions have traditionally been occupied with gender-based discrimination in well being care, which contains, significantly, our ancient quest for reproductive justice — securing get admission to to secure abortions in addition to to dignified childbirth products and services and contraceptives. Get entry to to birth control additionally comprises males and their cultural resistance to the usage of condoms. Unprotected intercourse is likely one of the primary drivers of the transmission of sexually transmitted sicknesses and the reason for undesirable pregnancies. Ladies’s actions have additionally demanded higher get admission to to social safety advantages, schooling, and equivalent hard work rights.
So, on this context, is Barbie feminist? A solution to this primary query is that it has a glimpse of feminist concepts referring to gender inequality, similar to within the comedy of gender stereotypes about what’s hegemonic masculinity and femininity, which nonetheless as of late makes us chortle. Regardless that some argue that it reviews Capitalism, in many ways it sort of feels a protracted business in want of a (neo) liberal ordering of society and lacks a critique on what has brought about ancient gender disparities. On this sense, it falls in need of as it should be portraying the interrelation of gender, energy, and the regulation. Since a tender target audience has been captivated by means of this Hollywood blockbuster, we must analyze the social discourses at the back of it and the information of rights depicted.
In brief, we must thank Barbie for fostering a gender-equality dialog between generations. On the identical time, after residing in an international dystopia and looking to live on a virulent disease, we must even have world well being and social justice as central subjects of the ones conversations.