Men Who Hate 'Barbie' Are More Worried About Being Seen As 'Secondary' Than 'Evil'

The Barbie movie continues to prove that many men are still missing the point.

ryan gosling, ben shapiro, margot robbie Fred Duval / Shutterstock, Ben Shapiro via TikTok NNclipart via Canva

Since hitting domestic theaters on July 21, 2023, the glamorously pink-infused and women-centric blockbuster "Barbie" reached an all-time high in the box office, exceeding profit expectations by snaring $155 million from its opening weekend alone. 

To add the icing on the strawberry-flavored cake, Greta Gerwig, co-writer and director of "Barbie," made unforeseen box office history by scoring the top-grossing premiere ever for a film directed by a woman.


Such pivotal milestones are certainly a cause for celebration. Who would think to bash the all-empowering film embraced by critics and movie-goers alike? 

Unfortunately, the Barbie movie has received outrage from a horde of male viewers who believe the comedy film is anti-men.

In just a few days, the film has been rewarded with a series of high praise, but not for nothing. With a cast, director, and story driven primarily by women, it’s hardly surprising that the film would be loaded with feminist undertones. 

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However, some male viewers (and non-viewers) have engaged in discourse surrounding the way the film negatively sheds light on men, particularly with respect to Ken, Barbie’s partner.

According to TikTok user Sydney's (@sydneyyxmarie) video on the platform, she believes that the select male bunch who deem the film as “man-hating” have completely missed the point of the movie.



In bright pink text, Sydney wrote, “Me thinking about all the men who called the Barbie movie ‘man-hating’ and how a lot of women said it was actually very generous to men and at worst showed them as silly little guys rather than intentionally malicious, then realizing that to men that IS ‘man-hating.’”


She continued, “Men who have brought into patriarchal standards of masculinity would RATHER be portrayed as mindlessly violent and malevolent than be portrayed with any similarity to how they’re used to seeing women.” The user concluded, “They’d rather be evil than secondary.” 

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The video received comments from people who felt ‘Barbie’ was ‘too kind’ to men.

A user commented, “Didn't think about it like that, but omg it makes sense. They’d rather be intentionally cruel than emotionally vulnerable. That’s nuts.”

Others felt that the movie had portrayed men in a way that may have been more than they deserved. “Genuinely the movie handles ‘men who feel lost in the changing world’ with such kindness and delicacy. It's too kind to men,” one wrote.


“Barbie is too kind to men. They don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. They lost that privilege,” said another user. A final user added, “Very ironic that the movie is in no way radicalizing hating men but their reactions sure are. As per usual lmao.”

Speaking of people who missed the point of the film, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro readily voiced his objections regarding the Barbie movie in a 43-minute rant, which opened with a short clip of himself throwing Barbie dolls into a dumpster and lighting them on fire. 

As for the rest of the video, Shapiro traversed into a rabbit hole of inaccurate claims, where at one point he said, “The basic sort of premise of the film, politically speaking, is that men and women are on two sides and they hate each other,” only further proving how easily such grappling topics, even in its most light-hearted form, are often misunderstood and ignored by men.


'Barbie' is not anti-men — but it loosely asks men to question society, gender roles, and themselves.

We as a collective undeniably live in a patriarchal system divided by subsystems, which manifest their own characteristics and cultures that have historically been set in place to keep men at the forefront of all operations. 

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As a consequence, there has been little room on the makeshift pedestal for women to occupy without facing severe prejudice, violence, and criticism from men and even fellow women counterparts. The film makes no effort to hide this reality, and rightfully so, even in the fantastical realm of Barbieland, but its approach is far from man-hating.

Much of the story aims its focus on imagining a world under a matriarchy while reconsidering just who or what Barbie actually represents — that is, if she has to represent anything at all. The film also tackles themes of toxic masculinity and the notion that the patriarchy instills harmful expectations onto both women and men. 


One of the film’s main story arcs begins when Ken accompanies Barbie on her journey to the real world and becomes inspired by a male-driven reality that later incites him to impose his findings onto Barbieland, a place where Kens are ranked as second-class citizens.

By the end of the movie, however, Ken realizes that the patriarchy isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it’s rather exhausting.

While painting a matriarchal landscape of the world through Barbieland, the film suggests that simply reversing the roles of men and women won’t solve the world’s problems as it still alienates people in the process. Such is the case with Ken, living in the stifling world of multifaceted Barbies and the never-ending “girls’ nights,” to which he feels unsatisfied and serves no purpose... well, other than “Beach.”


Overall, not only does the film not hate on men, but it highlights the internal turmoil society nurses into all of us through our unrealistic expectations of each other — and, more importantly, of ourselves. 

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Xiomara Demarchi is a New York writer and frequent contributor to YourTango’s news and entertainment team. Keep up to date with them on Instagram.