Movie review: ‘Barbie’

I went to see a movie that the right wing hates but that has become a cultural phenomenon. I went to see “Barbie.”

I was thoroughly entertained. The film is visually appealing with colorful animation, hilarious action and witty dialogue. The message is one of women’s empowerment.

Barbie is an optimistic movie in very scary times, not only for feminists, but for everyone under attack from the reactionary right wing of the ruling class. And I certainly need all the optimism I can get. It has a “don’t worry, we will win back what has been taken from us” message.

The film does stress the need to organize to fight back. Other key organizing points stressed in Barbie are: divide and conquer the enemy, but our side must have total solidarity with each other and with our cause: know what you’re fighting for (demands), and if we stick together and stick to the plan, we will win!

However, the film suggests that, without any bloodshed, we can make a wonderful liberal world. We can even change bosses’ minds through clever messaging. And there will be lots of resources and kindness. All it takes is for women to be in charge of everything.

The film presents women’s oppression in a very petit-bourgeois (middle-class) feminist way. National oppression is totally ignored; there is even a joking reference to smallpox and Indigenous history. Bourgeois feminism ignores racism and poverty, claiming women’s oppression is all about mean men.

The filmmakers are good representatives of the liberal wing of the ruling class. Who doesn’t want kindness to reign supreme on earth?

But the truth is that our class, the working class, can’t just wish for people to see that love is the answer. Morality and “universal human values” are impossible in class society. There is a class war raging, and the fightback from our side is just beginning.

There is no other way. We can not vote away war, oppression and economic injustice. We have to go into the streets while setting up our own organizations independent of the murderous ruling class. Capitalism must be overthrown.

To see or not to see Barbie, that is the question. If you want to be entertained without blood and zombies everywhere, I would recommend wearing some pink and going to see Barbie.

But when you leave the theater, be ready to fight!

Susan Schnur

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Susan Schnur
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