The Student News Site of Dyer County School High School

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The Student News Site of Dyer County School High School

Tribal Media

The Student News Site of Dyer County School High School

Tribal Media

Literary Corner

Barbenheimer: Accidental Connection

The movies of the summer are known for being different, but are they more similar than let on?
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Would you rather see a movie with an all-star cast, philosophical themes, and one of the greatest directors of their generation about one of the most influential inventions of mankind or Oppenheimer? The reason this joke is funny is because you expect Barbie to be the least serious of the two movies. The reason the concept of Barbenheimer became popular was because of the difference between the movie themes. Barbie is pink and fun while Oppenheimer is neutral tones and serious. These movies may seem extremely different, yet they have one thing that connects them: feminism.

Barbie was the blatant feminist film of the year. Men were quickly up in arms about said feminist themes. While it is seen as being primarily feminist, the true message of the story is that patriarchy benefits no one. This patriarchy is clearly seen in Oppenheimer. The movie based on a true story shows the tale of J. Robert Oppenheimer developing the atomic bomb. Doing the double feature of Barbie and Oppenheimer was jarring to go from a movie about women and their place in the world to a movie that didn’t even pass the Bechdel test. 

The people working on the atomic bomb are primarily men. The men who don’t want to go through with it are seen as weak. Oppenheimer is even called a crybaby for feeling guilty about dropping the bomb. These men were hurt by their own system, patriarchy. Similarly, the Kens were hurt by their system of patriarchy as well. They weren’t happy even when they were in charge. They wanted to go back to their friendships. Even when they were in charge, they fought with each other. It wasn’t until the end of the movie when the Kens were truly happy, or Keneough. 

The system working against men for their feelings was only the top of the barrel. Oppenheimer admits that he destroyed the world, rather than fixed it. His decisions, along with the other men, led to the Cold War and a world of paranoia. When he decides to try to stop what his actions caused, the other men dismiss him. The power struggle among the men in charge only made the world worse. Not a single woman was involved in the discussions about the fate of the world. While it is less extreme, a parallel can be made to the Mattel company itself. The entire boardroom was run by men. One of the men even says that he doesn’t have any power and asks if that makes him a woman. While it was a joke, it reflected on how women had no power in a company built off of women. In the end, it’s revealed that even the CEO isn’t happy despite his decisions holding up patriarchy. 

The two movies may have gotten popular by being so different, but their themes are relatively close in nature. The idea that one group should be in charge effectively hurts everyone. Barbie wasn’t saying men were bad, and Oppenheimer was in no way glorifying the men behind the Manhattan Project. The movies highlight how patriarchy affects all of us. The effects on society are shown clearly between two movies that are nowhere near in concept. The movies were both amazing commentary on their individual subjects as well as the subject of people being given too much power.

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About the Contributor
Zee Campbell, Editor-in-chief
My name is Zee Campbell, and it is my senior year. Writing has always been a passion of mine. I love writing about the things that matter most to me, but I also love writing for fun. My goal is to share how I feel and hope to inform others about every topic I write about. Happy reading!

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