Well … I gave in, took my youngest daughter, and went and saw the new Barbie movie. What convinced me? The brief review by Michael Knowles of the Daily Wire!
His claim, in disagreement with Ben Shapiro, was that Barbie was not woke or liberal, but rather, under the surface, a conservative movie. So, looking for some summer fun with my youngest, we saw it.
Disclaimer: I am not a movie reviewer. But here it goes any how.
I have to say, I was quite surprised! I actually liked it. I laughed—quite hard at times. I really enjoyed the deeper hidden meanings (for adults) of the story.
It is true. Barbie is not really a liberal, woke, or transgender driven film. There is a remnant thread of conservatism running throughout the movie. For the most part, with a few small exceptions (like possibly Allan), men are men and women are women. And, because of what culture and consumerism has done to male and female, Barbie and Ken have to figure out who they really are. What a great idea and vehicle for this massive life question!
However, that is all the movie could deliver of worth in my estimation.
While men and women get the choice to be as they are designed to be, mostly, the movie writes off patriarchy and barbie land as cultural constructs to deal with a tough world. So, while Barbie is herself and Ken is himself, which is good, they are, in my interpretation of the film, quite egalitarian. To be clear, I have no problem with women pursuing careers of all sorts, so long as it is what truly serves the creation mandate, the marriage union, and the family.
Sure twisted versions of “patriarchy” and “matriarchy” have to be identified and jettisoned. I agree with that. Sadly, though, the movie throws out the baby with the bath water. What we need is a good gospel transformed and centered “pate” and “mate” that is flexible enough to handle the diversity and spectrums of men and women God has created. Pate and Mate is first biblical, and second, it is true to how life actually is.
Therefore, I felt quite let down with the shallow moral of the story: “I am me.” That does not tell us much at all. That does not explain much about us at all. That overlooks some big items regarding the very clear design of man and woman, male and female.
Yet, thankfully, maleness and femaleness, mostly, are preserved. This has to be the absolute baseline—which line to cross is altogether destructive of who we are as man and woman, created in the image of our glorious God and, for those who believe, redeemed in his beloved Son, and brought back to what we were made for with the hope of a glorious future.
Moreover, the family is preserved. Pregnancy is re-elevated back to, at the minimum, an equally legitimate choice for women. This is a small step in the right direction. And this I want to point out and applaud!