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What Barbie tells us about the Right. (Hint: it’s all sex.)

If you have been watching the aftermath of the Barbie movie, you might have learnt a lot about the Right. The most important lesson is that everything is sex.

Barbie, like almost every “woke” development now, is a “groomer.” Poor Stereotypical Barbie thought she’d fixed the world for women’s equality, and now it turns out she’s a demonic force.

The American radicalising Right had been allowed to like Barbie because, for them, she was only about training girls in the utterly unattainable standards of femininity to which they must devote their lives. It’s all clothes and makeup and the perfect figure. Be pretty/perfect. Be still and silent.

Barbie the movie reminded the moral minority starkly that there was a more dangerous side to the doll than that. She threatened to teach their daughters (white liberal) feminism. Aw heck no.

Barbie has no reproductive organs and, for this Right, woman has no other purpose. Woman is utterly defined by her ability to spawn. Biological essentialism is back with a vengeance. No reproductive rights for you, girlfriend. No contraceptives or ability to initiate divorce. No vote. No career. Get baby fever and know your God-given place.

The opening scene of the film is sin made celluloid. Bored girl children are being socialised into deadening domesticity over their baby dolls, when sexy Barbie appears causing a violent orgy of destruction. Smash those baby dolls, little sisters.

The movie’s central tension between Barbie Land and Patriarchy makes clear that Barbie, for all the damage she does, is meant to help girls aspire to a role in the civic space, or even in space.

More dangerous still is the fact that Ryan Gosling’s Ken reveals the Right’s “truth” about the feminist project: the neutered man. Cue spasms of incel horror. The Right completely missed that the film’s joke was about the movie industry: Ken was being put in the female role in movies. Instead he was perceived as another weapon in the ginned up Masculinity Crisis.

Some on the Right saw what the Left saw: Barbie ultimately leaves the gender dynamic pretty much untouched. They could see Barbie’s conclusion (spoiler alert) in a visit to the gynaecologist as a reinforcement of their anti-trans sentiment: sex is genitalia. I prefer to see it as a pro-trans message: this woman chooses her womanly genitalia.

The Right loathes the concept of “gender.” “Sex” is all, binary and heterosexual.

Sex – identity and act – at least for women, must be sacred and reproductive.

The idea of blurring,“races” or sexes, is a nightmare for the bigots on the Right. And so their performance of gender online is about sexual polarity.

The Right’s performance of gender is only out-dramatised by one sector: drag artists.

For the Right’s men, they are inspired by the fascist posturing of figures like Bronze Age Pervert with constant inspiration from the muscled White warriors of the ancient world. In a homoerotic act, they ogle the glistening muscles of the biggest men. No wonder Melbourne’s gym-junkie Nazis turn out in black shorts instead of black shirts. Hello sailor?

The women of the Right have moved from the honeytrap sexual appeal of their earlier influencers like Lauren Southern to the Tradwife. In this performance of Barbie-like submissive femininity, they hope to tempt women to the glories of domesticity, to catch the Right’s baby-fever.

Some on the young Right also saw a warning that Barbie Land conveys for men. Barbie Land has been equated to “the longhouse.” The Right used to fret about “the cathedral,” a description of the modern world which argued that the liberal establishment had destroyed everything. Only a revolution into patriarchal and authoritarian monarchy could save the nation. The cathedral has become the longhouse, emphasising the shift in focus. The longhouse says that the feminisation of the modern world is the true crisis.

Apparently before those muscled Greek idols forged everything worthwhile about civilisation – including manly architecture – people lived in matrilineal longhouses ruled by the Den Mother. That society was barbaric, muddy and lame. Just like Barbie Land (minus the pink).

The destruction caused by this modern feminised, diverse, and excessively egalitarian world – a new longhouse – has apparently fostered cross-breeding between “races.” It has led, oh horror, to moral destruction in not just extra-marital sex but the existence of LGBTQIA+ people in public. Even worse, they exist in front of children.

If gender ceases to be about wholistic identity and freedom of choice about how the individual presents themself to the world, and instead is a representation of genitalia, everything becomes unavoidably sexual.

There is safe sexual where men are manly and women are cute.

There is dangerous sexual where this mandated binary is confused. Any LGBTQIA+ presentation that does not abide by that binary represents a derangement of genitalia.

Thus the existence of LGBTQIA+ people – or feminists – in front of children is “grooming.” In the Right’s obsession with genitals, this “deviant” presentation of gender is advertising confusing or aberrant genitalia.

This is why a story book that includes a family with two penguin dads or someone with non-binary gender identity is described as “pornographic” in the Moms for Liberty purges taking place in American schools and libraries. A Mem Fox picture book with a woman discreetly pictured in a bath was removed for being pornographic.

And so anyone who merely supports the equal existence of LGBTQIA+ people will find themselves labelled a “groomer” by online commentators. One community member fighting the Florida book bans explained the intent: This entire effort is “designed to put LGBT people back in the closet and keep us there.” Ron DeSantis’s recent campaign ad made clear that his presidential campaign was pursuing that very goal.

A figure that epitomised the clash of worlds in Barbie was Dr Barbie. The vast majority of normie viewers probably never noticed that the actor, Hari Nef, is trans and that’s just fine. It’s the performance not the “sex” that counts. For the Right, this was one of the appalling efforts by the demonic Left to “indoctrinate” their children with “pornography.”

The same cohorts that are driving the attacks on LGBTQIA+ existence are the ones hyper-sexualising prepubescent children in kiddie beauty pageant displays which border on “child sexual abuse material.” Florida is the driving force in the war on Queer. It is also the state where “conservative” rural mothers partake in the highest number of child beauty pageants of anywhere in Republican America where these grotesque displays dominate. Apparently the only safe place to display sexualised womanhood in Purity Culture America is on the pre-teens. No wonder these are also the states supporting child marriage most vehemently.

These mothers treat their children like Barbies.

Barbie was a lot of fun. The lessons the Right are taking from it, however, are scary. Any of us living in a secular world where incels are a laughing stock and the domestic goddess is a cookbook need to pay attention.

Our efforts towards an inclusive and egalitarian world are a call to revolution for them. America is showing us what they intend as theocratic Right forces table ever more laws to constrain sexuality.

The same forces are at work in Australia. The IPA is trying to drum up a parents’ rights campaign (which translates to radicalised Right wing parents dictating what everyone’s children learn at school). The attempt to stop Big W stocking a guide for parents on how to talk to children about sex was precisely the game plan. The campaign to make this an Australian battle is underway.

Don’t ignore them. They are sure as hell not ignoring you.


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  1. Phil Pryor

    There was a time (wasn’t there?) when a joke or opinion was just that, to be remembered, ignored, used, repeated, forgotten, whatever. Our balance was “natural” and we moved on seeing or not. Barbie was a creation, a doll, one of many minor items of possible awareness of not. I will not be seeing this movie, have little interest in it or the rising discussion volume. De Santis of Florida and Roskam of the IPA have much in common, especially in being primitive, ignorant, mediaeval, romanist ratbags worth little. Then again, I shared classes and activities with Jack Howard, remembering his unchanging emptiness, fixations, shallowness, self focus and drive to be not ugly. Loudmouthed logs and brown dropping deviates are forgettable, should be ignored, but, seem to get Huge Coverage, Inflated Notice, Enlarged Attention. Just think clearly, think for yourself, think ahead, think of others. A better world for us all might result from that. And, ignoring or confronting media rubbish is very useful. Barbie who or what?? (Lucy’s effort was energetic, considered, and must interest someone.)

  2. Uncletimrob

    I found it very amusing to read this in The New Daily

    “Barbie, the Greta Gerwig film inspired by the famous Mattel doll, has become the highest-grossing film in Warner Bros history, surpassing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, according to the Box Mojo Office page”

    Of course it couldn’t remotely be because the rwnj’s told everyone about it and how bad it is, now could it?

    No, I’m not interesting in going to see it ….. probably makes me sound old and grumpy but I’ll wear that.

  3. Lyndal

    I had no intention of seeing the Barbie movie – all the pink was just one turn-off.
    Now, having read this article, I think I had better round up the grandchildren and make sure to see it.

  4. Canguro

    Never having had a doll to call my own, or played with another’s, it’s practically impossible to jump on the zeitgeist fantasy bandwagon: I’d considered it, having read of Greta Gerwig’s modus operandi wrt the the making of the movie and having a slightly obsessive interest in cinema per se, vis-a-vis the technical challenges, the ability of actors to inhabit and animate the lives the characters they play, the undoubted collaboration of skill sets brought to play in the creation of cinematic fiction or for that matter, the documentarians who’ve collectively added so much to the corpus of worldly knowledge and awareness, but her undoubted cinematic masterpiece will remain unseen by this correspondent.

    As the screenwriter of nine films, the director of four, as well as having acted in close to thirty films, Ms Gerwig’s resume is firmly established and at the still young age of forty, one might assume that her best years are still to come. Presumably the collateral spinoff from Barbie’s success as one of the most successful productions in recent history will both cement Gerwig’s reputation and also ensure that she will never have to queue in a breadline for a handout should the future bring such a calamity to her fellow Americans.

    As Lucy Hamilton’s essay illustrates, the capacity of people to take a fictional filmic production and use it to project their thoughts, fears, fantasies and prejudices and parlay them to societal issues at large is salient; it speaks of the deep undercurrents at play in the (un)consciousness of mankind, as the French surgeon, neurobiologist, writer and philosopher Henri Laborit eloquently explained in the 1980 French production My American Uncle.

    Given that the USA is a teeming festering land of conflict, fear, hatred, discrimination, thuggery and evil along with harboured dreams of wealth, success, primacy, eternal life, supremacy, it’s hardly surprising that given it’s also the epicentre of the cinematic universe that such attention should be showered on this rich flick of a slick chick’s animation.

  5. Olivia Manor

    Did anyone notice that the latest victims of DV, killed by their petty gangster partners, were both Barbie look alike? Fits in with the narrative of the macho guy in total charge of the pretty doll like woman. Heaven help her if she strays or is perceived to stray from their control. I have often wondered, why women attracted to hyper masculine guys, feel they need to look like a replica of sexy Barbie, and go to great lengths to do so, in the end looking like clones of each other.

  6. Lucy Hamilton

    Hi UncleTimRob. Like Lyndal, I had no intention of seeing it. Actually the reason the film did so well is because it’s a really fun film. I actually saw it twice, and I haven’t done that for years. The message is pretty useful in a vehicle where one wouldn’t expect it, but the execution is a joy. Very entertaining indeed.

  7. Phil Pryor

    Perhaps an attempt might be made in a follow up satire of this, starring the afore mentioned Amanda Howmanybloodystone, now infesting ABC airwaves like an audio pestilence. Amanda’s great bulk is, fortunately, not increased by one gram of brain matter, good for the ego but poor for a public mouth of no worth. What a Barbie followup, the Huge Brainless Barbarian.

  8. Canguro

    PP, re. Amanda’s great bulk is, fortunately, not increased by one gram of brain matter, Gold comment! A laugh out loud moment, and a koala stamp coming your way.

    Another example of how a high level of education as well as a series of privileged positions in public office has no necessary correlation with wisdom, perspicacity, understanding, or appropriate perspective. Reptilian-brained tribalism seems to dominate the lives of many.

  9. Ally Morgan

    Could the Author please tell me what THEY mean by “WOKE”?

  10. Phil Pryor

    I’m sorry to mention a matter of weight, ungentlemanly, but she referred to her guest on a leaked gossipy bit, but live recorded, as beng a bit “F-wit”, quite coarse. She has been in public life for a long time and my assessment was, always, that she had little benefit from formal education and lacked some essentials in reasoning and foresight. (more brains in a can of Pal) To be open and honest, I have two degrees, three prof certs incl cert. 4 in workplace training and assessment, which means little anyway. I don’t take myself and statements seriously so who should?

  11. Lucy Hamilton

    Hi Ally. I trust this is the first time you’re reading one of mine, because I often define it at the risk of burying pieces in lardy loads of repeat exposition. Woke is used by the Right (in a bit of cultural appropriation from Black America) to label anyone they find annoying, boring or dangerous. They seem to mean anyone whose opinion is dependent upon science or data. They also mean anyone who is interested in compassion, social justice or fairness. If you click on my name, you can see that I gave a bit more of the definition in the last piece I published. Hope that answers your needs. Cheers.

  12. New England Cocky

    @ PP: With all those academic qualifications it is no wonder that your comments are concise and erudite.

  13. Phil Pryor

    Ah Cocky, they don’t really matter much, but continuing keen observation, research, commenting and U3A keeps the mind running a bit. We fail us all a little if we fail ourselves, becoming too complacent and detached. And they can always threaten or sue.. I’ll retaliate with my legal friends, Lou Pole, Lee Gitimate and Sue Yerassoff.

  14. Terence Mills

    Amanda Vanstone evidently called her guest a ‘fuckwit’ after the recorded interview when she thought the microphones were off.

    Sadly the ABC have decided not to play this interview : what a shame. We could make up our own minds on who the fuckwit is.

    I imagine that Vanstone will now be sacked by the ABC and will probably take up an position with sky-after-dark where she will be appreciated.

  15. totaram

    Canguro: Please check carefully. Since I seriously resented the “interventions” of Amanda, (when she was once Minister for Education and etc. showing the Howard government’s disdain for anything educational), I can assure you that she has few higher education qualifications of relevance to any function carried out by her. I agree wholeheartedly with PhilP in his assessments, which are usually spot on. Just to back up his assessment, I might humbly mention that I do have a Ph.D. in a STEM area. But then most pollies just have a law degree of some variety, and assume that is sufficient. There are others who never went to Uni and regard that as a badge of achievement. The (in)famous Craig Kelly comes to mind.

    Please check the Wikipedia articles on Amanda, as well as Craig Kelly. But of course there are those who claim that Wikipedia is a left-wing conspiracy/web-site.

  16. Fred

    I’m sorry, but isn’t this whole thing being way over-thought? So somebody made a movie based on dolls. Apparently it causes viewers to align with various parts of the movie based on their position on the political spectrum. Get a grip, it’s not a deep philosophical discussion, rather a frivolous money making enterprise with an excessive amount of pink.

  17. Canguro

    @totaram, just to clarify; I did not say the highest level of education, and that fact that she has double degrees in law & arts does imply something greater than Certificate or Diploma levels of education, and obviously more than simply being a high school graduate.

    As for your advice on checking her Wikipedia page… you did notice that I linked that page to my comments, didn’t you? A little googling indicates that around 50% of Australians are university educated, so I think my comment stands the test for relative accuracy. Apart from all that, I couldn’t agree more with your observations that she was eminently underqualified to act in the political roles that she did, but that’s no surprise and she shares that ignominious assessment with many inhabitants of the political classes.

  18. Lucy Hamilton

    Hi Fred. From the Right, yes?
    My points are really important ones about the Right’s current campaigns against women and LGBTQIA+ people. Give it a read again thinking that Barbie is not the point but the example.

  19. leefe

    ” … this rich flick of a slick chick’s animation.”
    “Lucy’s effort … must interest someone.”
    “it’s not a deep philosophical discussion, rather a frivolous money making enterprise”

    Ooooo, the natives are restless and must loudly proclaim their lack of interest in (and understanding of) a film from which they could actually learn a lot if they put aside their preconceptions and biases, and watched it with an open mind.


    The interviewee has insisted that it not be aired. It was not a decision made by the ABC.


    For the record I, at least, appreciate the article. Like yourself, originally I had no interest in seeing the film – for one thing, I’m deeply allergic to pink – but once I heard a bit about it and the approach Gerwig took to the characters, I succumbed. As you say, quite apart from any messages people may take from it, it’s just damn good fun.
    Pity about the colour scheme, but.

  20. Lucy Hamilton

    Appreciated Leefe <3

  21. Douglas Pritchard

    It was a bit disturbing to learn recently that they had a writers strike in USA.
    Being of a curious nature I took an interest in the marching crowds.
    I mean, from time to time I do catch some of their exported entertainment, so my expectations were not that high.
    I suppose I was a bit surprised that some of the flag, and banner waving “writers” looked quite intelligent, and probably some of them justified being paid.
    I don`t think the strike had a great deal of effect on the quality of their product, so it was a risky venture..

  22. Mark Shields

    “It’s all sex” doesn’t surprise me. Corporate hegemony has existed on sex as a marketing tool since it discovered that ALL Religion is twisted around sexuality in one way or another. Unfortunately, the more we focus on sex; (gender, perversity and family values), the more the religious Right have to complain about. Meanwhile, the planet we all live on is still seen as a female victim, Mother Nature. Most of us know that NATURE (gender non-specific) will always prevail over human frailty. But in the meantime, we human imbeciles are still trying to work out how much damage we can do to our planet; to maintain our wealthiest, most royal, and stupidest fucktards in their positions of power and privilege! Whilst we the majority whinge and moan about social corruption, no-one seems to have made a real dent on the likes of Jeff Bezos or Clive Palmer!
    Why the fuck is this?

  23. Clakka

    Such is the ambiguity of Uncle Sam. Is it art imitating life or life imitating art? With their designer perfection and 1000 mile eyes, both Barbie and Ken in your face, along with the dress-up options, it seems to have been hard to define what’s going on beneath the covers. Seems they might know what’s happening north or south of the Mason-Dixon line, but prefer not to raise the ‘ugly’ truths or look down to the fire and ashes beneath the mantle piece. Oh, no, no, no, it’s meaningless and irrelevant, especially when one is aspiring to an all-inclusive greyness.

    Speaking of greyness and grey, Portnoy was soon relegated to the sock drawer when they discovered 50 Shades of Grey in the confines of the pantry. It seems to have titivated a rush to the recipe books and aprons, a table groaning with a Disneyland of endless temptations of pies and sweat meats. But, no, no, no, no, definitely not the forbidden fruits, coz Ken and Co have got the keys to the gun cabinet.

    Just like fairy floss, it’s just so darned confusing and difficult to lick.

    When Barbie and Ken came along, I just scarpered to the river to swim naked with the fish and get mud between me toes ‘n things, and have remained there ever since.

  24. Michael Taylor

    It’s laughable how triggered the right-wing prudes are over a movie based on a doll.

    Not Rambo-ish for them.

  25. Fred

    Lucy and MT: I do get the issue with the Right – I’m left of center, but using a doll movie as the carrier to discuss the matter… ?

    Leefe: I was referring to the movie when I said it wasn’t a “deep philosophical discussion”, not what Lucy wrote. Her articles are always good.

  26. Lucy Hamilton

    The film is actually a very useful framework for the message, Fred. Not just because of the use I’ve made of it, but because it is an intelligent and thoughtful film with a most entertaining screenplay.

    Women get a little tired of men writing off every commercial work pitched at us as trivial and unworthy. Please have a look to see whether you are dismissing this work because it is pitched at a feminine audience.

    It plays with pink and dolls but it addresses very serious issues. The two are not incompatible. Jane Austen was dismissed for her limited domestic focus, and yet she created art of great ironic wit within that framework.

    These points may be hard to accept for people who haven’t seen the film.

    Try putting your masculinist benchmarks of worth aside and see if you can allow the points I make. If not, leave it for people who are up for it.

    I understand your difficulties, but I am a little shocked by all the manly posturing going on in a bunch of comments.

  27. Fred

    Lucy: I agree with the points made in your article. Admittedly I’m not a big movie theater goer and Barbie didn’t get me excited although I did watch a program about the making of the movie. No I don’t automatically “dis” works targeted at women, but I do draw the line at “The Real Housewives” franchised series.

    The problem with the Right is their general “superior attitude/whatever nastiness they feel appropriate” to any other group not of the same mindset and is not limited to LGBTQIA+ and women. The overturning of Roe v Wade and various states preventing all abortions including pregnancies as a result of rape and/or incest is a terrifying future if we import US RWNJ attitudes.

    Given the lack of genitalia on both Barbie and Ken dolls and the movie is PG rated, a lot of reading between the lines is going on. I’m finding it difficult to understand why the Right is in a frenzy about the movie unless they truly believe it will influence the behavior of anybody who watches it, in which case it just proves they are NJs. It’s supposed to be a fun light movie.

  28. leefe


    The RRWNJs are capable of getting into a froth over anything that doesn’t conform to their strict ideas of What Should Be. Pronouns (even though most of them don’t even know exactly what pronouns are)? Woke! A Black actor playing The Little Mermaid? Woke! A woman in the lead role of a Star Wars film? Woke! A gay character in a TV series? Woke! (unless they’re a villain.) Accurate history of colonisation? Woke! One personalised beer can label? Horrifyingly Woke! Leggings? Woke! and disgusting unless the person wearing them is someone they can happily and freely sexualise. Fat women? Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhh!!

    As for the film … it’s been quite deliberately written, acted and produced to enable all that reading between the lines. The film itself works on a number of levels. The surface is the fun. But below … oh, below there is a lot going on for those who are able to see it. It isn’t just a child’s movie. It’s been so successful with adults because it says so much about our modern society.

  29. Lyndal

    After reading Lucie’s last comment, I have to remind everyone of Margaret Robbie’s major role as Serena, the perfect wife in the Handmaids Tale.

  30. leefe

    Lyndal, I thought that was Yvonne Strahovski. I know these blonde Australian beauties may seem interchangeable within the industry, but they are separate people. And, y’know, actors; not the people they portray. I mean, Derek Jacobi once played Hitler, but I fail to see the relevance of that to his portrayal of Hamlet in the much earlier BBC production; or vice versa.

  31. Lyndal

    Leefe, of course you are right. Apologies to all concerned.

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