Friday, May 17, 2024
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Friday, May 17, 2024

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The New ‘Barbie’ Movie Paints a Miserable World for Young Girls; It’s Not One I Want to Live in

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The new Barbie movie paints a miserable world for young girls. It’s not one I want to live in.

I finally broke down and went to see the new “Barbie” movie. First, I read Ben Shapiro’s scathing review and read the elite, liberal media articles mocking his scathing review. I really have no interest in the movie, but you can’t write a review about something you don’t see.

I tried to go into the movie with an open mind, although I refused to join the hordes of women and young girls (preteens, teens, etc.) decked out in hot pink. A friend of mine said, “Does everything have to be political?” In other words, can’t people just enjoy a movie without it bogging down in our country’s divisive culture wars? Sure, I said, but this movie is trying to SEND a cultural message, and it’s doing it to kids. So it’s fair game that we analyze that message.

The movie was worse than I expected. Sure, it’s well-crafted, a sugar-high Candy Crush or Candyland type world of fantasy and satire, with Oscar-worthy acting by lead Margot Robbie, great sets, and snappy dialogue. The movie muddles its message at the end, making it somewhat confusing what it’s trying to say. It comes around to the right message at the end, that women should be able to be whatever they want, including a mother.

The problem is that it puts down men to get there, and it never corrects that.

Why are we supposed to be celebrating a movie that tells little girls that all men are sexist, superfluous jerks?

For most of the movie, “Barbie” creates a miserable world for young girls, where men are figures of ridicule who are not necessary or worthy of any admiration. There is not a single admirable man in the movie. It’s not a world that I want to live in. It’s also divorced from actual reality.

The movie has two worlds; there’s “Barbieland,” painted as a female-led utopia, where everything is plastic and perfect, no one has cellulite, everyone is happy all of the time, and, as Barbie notes, men are “superfluous” jokes. And then there’s the “real world,” which is painted as a patriarchal nightmare dominated by catcalling, sexist he-men. There is no in between. There is no “world” where men and women interact with mutual respect and recognition that each gender gains something from the other.

The movie opens with a scene of young girls in a desert smashing baby dolls as it informs viewers that, until “Barbie” came along with her many careers, little girls were forced to play with baby dolls and role play as mothers. This is painted as such a horrific thought that the baby dolls end up with their heads smashed to bits on rocks. I’d call that an abortion analogy, but the liberal, elite media would go wild on me. A woman is the president in “Barbie Land,” and the Supreme Court is made up of women too. For all the female power, though, it’s a pretty cold, plastic world.

There is a mother in the “real world” who looks tired, frumpy and exhausted and confesses how hard it is running around after kids.

Ken is painted in “Barbieland” as an effete, de-masculinized, basically castrated figure, who is powerless, stereotyped, and mocked by Barbie, whose affections he is desperate to get. He gets his worth through Barbie’s attention. Barbie rejects him throughout the entire movie, rendering him pathetic and declaring, “Ken is totally superfluous.”

He fares no better in the “real world,” where he prances around drunk on patriarchy, excited about horses and trucks and thinking he can get a job just because he’s a man. The real world is described as a place where “men rule, literally,” and Ken even chooses a book on the origins of patriarchy from a school shelf. Then he returns to Barbieland, and promptly starts turning it into Kenland, and the other Barbies end up subservient to the Ken dolls and brainwashed. Both worlds are miserable extremes.

At one point, Barbie even tells Ken, “I don’t want you here. It’s Barbie’s dream house, not Ken’s dream house.”

That’s the message the movie gives to young girls. Prioritizing the “I.” There is no “they” or “we” in this movie. There is no “their dream house.” Men exist as characters of ridicule. That doesn’t mean the movie doesn’t have funny moments. When all of the Kens strum away at their guitars thinking the eye-rolling Barbies will love their songs, who can’t relate?

My idea of a dream, utopian world, is different. It’s one where men and women both feel valued, and where they thrive together in equality. Empowering women doesn’t mean men need to lose their power.

In my dream world, men and women enter into loving relationships, and they create loving families. Sure, if you don’t want to have kids, that’s a choice some people make. However, the messaging in this movie reminds me of the messaging in the ’80s, when women were encouraged to be so career-focused that some waited too long to have families, and now they’re bitterly regretting it.

I don’t want a world where men are stereotyped and devalued. At least on the right and in the Midwest where I live, they generally are not. I also don’t want a world where gender is eradicated; the movie avoids that trend, at least.

I think the world is better with men in it, and many women appreciate and find masculinity attractive. It’s not something we should make fun of, discourage or depress.

I think it’s great when women have a career (I’d be bored without intellectual stimulation and have always had one) but being a mother is a cherished gift that is unparalleled on this earth (I’m one of those too).

Newsflash to the “Barbie” writers, but, in the real world, the U.S. Supreme Court has four women, a woman is vice president and, until recently, a woman was Speaker of the House. In contrast to the warped, unrealistic sexist “real world” in “Barbie,” there’s an argument that men are the ones who are degraded today. Women now outnumber men in the U.S. college-educated labor force, for example. More than three-fourths of suicides are among men, to cite another example.

A healthy society devalues neither.

Is there some sexism in the “real world” today? Sure. There’s some. I’ve rarely had a female boss in any of my professions, for example, and I’ve felt sometimes that I have to work twice as hard to be taken seriously. I’ve been objectified and sexualized when men are not. However, I generally feel that women today have the power to create their own paths, whether that’s becoming a mom, having a career, or, hopefully, both. The movie nominally makes this point toward the end, when it inundates the viewer with images of mothers and daughters, and showcases a mother and daughter who befriend Barbie, and argues suddenly that women can be anything they want, but that’s after it spent almost two hours convincing us that Ken and all men are misogynistic idiots, and women are better off without them.

I played with Barbies as a kid. However, in contrast to the movie, I imaginatively pretended Barbie had a career,  but also that she found true love with Ken. I liked that dual fantasy. I also enjoyed putting her in pretty clothes. She was just part of my imaginative childhood. I also created a stand to sell my mother back her old magazines from the basement, forced my poor brother to play school when he was done with school, and wrote a 28-page crime novel in fourth grade.

I never once considered smashing the heads of baby dolls or considered Ken to be “superfluous.” That would never have entered my mind, but this movie is planting in the minds of many impressionable girls that men are superfluous morons.

It’s tempting to praise the “Barbie” movie for, at least, recognizing that binary gender exists, except it falls into the trap of old-school feminists who believed empowering women means disempowering men. It doesn’t. Men and women have different power; masculine and feminine energy are different, and they should be able to not only exist side-by-side but also build one another.

Barbie is gender on steroids. I did laugh when they tried to negate the criticism that she is a “white savior” character with a subtle aside. I remember the days when feminists hated Barbie because she was white, blonde, and too thin. Interesting, then, that they picked “stereotypical Barbie” as the protagonist.

By denigrating men and trying to convince impressionable young girls that they’d be better off without them or without babies, I think “Barbie” is painting a crass and damaging picture of a real world I wouldn’t want to live in and don’t believe exists. Well, it’s the world as seen through the “woke” “feminist” viewpoint admired by the left, I suppose, and maybe it exists in liberal enclaves on the coasts. There’s an entirely different reality out here in the Heartland.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Push Questions About IDs For Illegal Immigrants, Voting

(The Center Square) – Some Wisconsin lawmakers are trying to calm fears about illegal immigrants getting IDs and voting in the state.

The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections and the Senate Committee on Shared Revenue, Elections and Consumer Protection held a hearing Thursday with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, some local election clerks and Fond du Lac County’s district attorney.

“We're not trying to get anybody into a bad spot here, or in a corner, or make accusations on that level,” Sen. Dan Knodl, R-Germantown, said. “We want our clerks, who are already stressed enough, to know that we are here to be there as an assist to them.”

Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, said he wants to make sure voters have faith in Wisconsin’s electoral process.

“This is one of the topics that hit our inboxes quite a bit the last three months or so,” Krug added. “We thought it’s pretty important just to vet it out, to get all the information out to the public.”

The Wisconsin Elections Commission was invited to Thursday’s meeting but didn’t attend because commissioners were having a meeting of their own. But that left lawmakers’ questions unanswered.

Wis-DOT Deputy Secretary Kristina Boardman said Wisconsin is known as a strict voter ID state.

“I want to make very clear that Wis-DOT is required to provide free identification cards for U.S. citizens that request them for the purposes of voting, and that to be eligible for that free identification card one must be a U.S. citizen and at least 17 years of age,” Boardman said. “Wis-DOT staff do not determine voter eligibility or register anyone to vote. Someone who has a Wisconsin ID or a driver's license is eligible to register to vote online, and that information will be confirmed with Wisconsin DMV systems to ensure that the information entered for voter registration is consistent with the DMV's records

Boardman said in Wisconsin, less than a fraction of one percent of ID requests are fraudulent.

“We put together [a] case activity report, assemble all of the documentation that we have, we have the investigator that had the case pull that together, and we do refer that to law enforcement so that they can take whatever action is appropriate,” Boardman added. “We note what statutes we believe may have been violated. And then it's up to law enforcement to take action.”

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Senate Republicans Override Evers’ Vetoes

(The Center Square) – On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate voted to override nine vetoes from Gov. Tony Evers, including the vetoes that scuttled PFAS clean-up money, millions of dollars that were earmarked for hospitals in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls and a plan that would allow advanced practice registered nurses to work more independently.

“The legislature has passed hundreds of bills to solve problems facing Wisconsin businesses and families. Most of these bills were signed into law, but many were vetoed by a governor more focused on politics than policies that help everyday Wisconsinites,” Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said Tuesday. “Overriding the governor’s obstructive vetoes is the last, best way to address these critical issues.”

The override votes came one day after Evers sued the legislature over nearly $200 million that is attached to some of his vetoes.

Most of that money is the $125 million that’s supposed to go toward PFAS clean up in Wisconsin.

“For the fifth time this legislative session, I voted to provide Wisconsin families with the largest investment in clean drinking water in state history – five more times than every Democrat legislator in this state combined. The bill that Gov. Evers vetoed (SB 312) would have created a grant program that targets this critical funding to areas of the state most heavily impacted by PFAS contamination while protecting innocent landowners from financial ruin,” Sen Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg, said.

Evers has accused the legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee of obstructing his plans to clean up Wisconsin’s drinking water, and of delaying his other actions across the state.

LeMahieu said Evers is simply playing the game.

“While Gov. Evers plays politics, the legislature will continue to do the right thing on behalf of the people of our state,” LeMahieu added.

Senate Democrats responded with game-playing accusations of their own.

“Coming in to do all these veto overrides was clearly a stunt to try to appeal to voters ahead of the fall election,” Den. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, said. “Clearly Republicans were hearing from things in their district and wanted political cover. I don't think they got political cover today. I think what they got was people realizing just how afraid they are.”

But Tuesday’s veto overrides are largely symbolic.

While Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate have a veto-proof majority, Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly do not.

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Trump Holds Lead Over Biden Heading Toward November

With less than half a year until the 2024 presidential election, former President Donald Trump holds a sizable lead over incumbent President Joe Biden in several swing states.

While the overall national polling varies and shows a tighter race, Trump holds significant leads in several swing states.

According to Real Clear Politics, Trump leads in a slew of key battleground states like Arizona (+5.2), Georgia (+4.6), Michigan (+0.8), Nevada (+6.2), North Carolina (+5.4), Pennsylvania (+2.0), and Wisconsin (+0.6).

Other polling has shown Trump with a dominant lead in the Sun Belt while performing less well against Biden in some rust belt swing states.

“As the old saying goes, good gets better and bad gets worse, and it’s clear President Biden is in bad shape right now,” Colin Reed, a Republican strategist, former campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and co-founder of South and Hill Strategies, told The Center Square. “Five and a half months is an eternity in politics, and there’s theoretically still time to right the ship, but it’s getting late early for the president, especially when Father Time remains undefeated and doubts about his age continue to grow. “

According to the Real Clear Politics’ national polling average, Trump leads Biden 46.1% to 44.9%.

A New York Times poll released this week showed leads for Trump in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania but slightly trailing Biden in Wisconsin, raising concerns among supporters.

Trump’s lead has been in large part fueled by minority voters flocking to his side.

Meanwhile, Biden’s approval rating has plummeted since taking office. While that is not unusual for incumbents, Biden’s approval is lower than recent presidents.

Gallup recently released polling data showing that in the 13th quarter of Biden’s presidency, he averaged a 38.7% approval rating, worse than Trump at the same time in his term.

“None of the other nine presidents elected to their first term since Dwight Eisenhower had a lower 13th-quarter average than Biden,” Gallup said.

Axios reported this week that Biden and his team think the polls don’t represent Americans’ actual feelings and that the president’s position is strong.

“They're still 50% (well 45%) to win, per betting markets,” pollster Nate Silver wrote on X. “But Biden has been behind Trump in polls for a year now. His approval is in the tank, and voters have been clear they think he's too old. If Trump wins, history will not remember Biden kindly.”

Meanwhile, Trump spends valuable campaign time in a series of court appearances for his myriad of federal prosecution court dates.

“I’m under a gag order,” Trump told reporters after a court appearance Tuesday. “Nobody has actually seen anything like it ... I'm beating him in every poll and I have a gag order, so I think it's totally unconstitutional."

Republicans have blasted Biden for Trump’s prosecution, accusing Biden of using the Justice Department against his political opponent.

“Despite Far Left Democrats’ illegal election interference, President Trump is beating Joe Biden in the polls!” Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., wrote on X Tuesday. “Voters see right through the sham Biden Trials and know President Trump is the best choice for president.”

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