Last week Bill Maher posted an extended screed against the Barbie movie, calling it “preachy, man-hating, and a #ZombieLie,” the Zombie Lie being that patriarchy still exists. According to Maher, it is “something that USED to be true but no longer is, but certain people pretend it’s still true.” His cherry-picked proof of this is that the Mattel board is currently more diverse than the one depicted in the movie. Of patriarchy, he writes: “Yes, there was one, and remnants of it remain – but this movie is so 2000-LATE.”
Mind you, Maher is saying this in the wake of the Trump administration’s over-the-top misogyny, a massively toxic male supremacist movement led by the likes of Andrew Tate, Tucker Carlson and others, and the Supreme Court decision ending abortion access for millions of women. Around the world, whole populations are swooning over authoritarian “strongmen.” If anything, patriarchy is becoming more entrenched than I ever expected to see in my lifetime.