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.
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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