After Shakira Said That Her Young Sons Thought That 'Barbie' Was 'Emasculating,' People Are Begging Parents To 'Raise More Secure Men'

“I like pop culture when it attempts to empower women without robbing men of their possibility to be men,” Shakira said in a controversial new interview.
When "Barbie" was released in July 2023, social media was immediately flooded with discourse as people reacted to the highly-anticipated movie.
The film grossed over $1 billion in its first three weeks of release, and writer and director Greta Gerwig became the first female solo director in history to have a billion-dollar movie.

But while its cultural impact and staggering box office success is indisputable, some were left disappointed by the "Barbie" storyline, which focused heavily on Ken.

Ryan Gosling stole the show as Margot Robbie’s Barbie’s male counterpart, with the plot focusing on both of them learning about the patriarchy for the first time after they left Barbie Land and entered the Real World.

Others also criticized "Barbie" for being “feminism 101,” with America Ferrera’s famous speech about all of the things that women are expected to be towards the end of the movie being branded “basic” and “surface level.”
Warner Bros / Mattel
And the "Barbie" discourse erupted once again earlier this year when Margot and Greta didn’t receive Best Actress or Best Director Oscar nominations, but Ryan Gosling did receive a Best Supporting Actor nomination, as well as a nod in the Best Original Song category.

“Nominating Ken but not Barbie is so on the nose it hurts,” one viral tweet read at the time, with Hillary Clinton even entering the conversation to throw her support behind the two snubbed women.

By this point, people were getting fatigued by the conversation, and the outrage was branded “the very epitome of white feminism” as it was pointed out that Greta and Margot not being recognized by the academy was overshadowing Latinx actor America’s achievement after she was nominated in Best Supporting Actress.

It's also worth mentioning that the academy recognized Margot’s role as a producer in the Best Picture category, and Greta was nominated alongside Noah Baumbach for Best Adapted Screenplay.

John Nacion / WireImage
Now, almost nine months after the movie's release, the debate around its feminist themes has once again gained traction due to Shakira’s claim that watching the film had been an “emasculating” experience for her two sons.
The singer shares 11-year-old Milan and 9-year-old Sasha with her ex-partner Gerard Piqué.
Christopher Polk / Variety via Getty Images
In case you missed it, Shakira made a series of eyebrow-raising comments about "Barbie" in a new interview with Allure that was published on Monday.

When asked about her thoughts on the blockbuster, she said: “My sons absolutely hated it. They felt that it was emasculating. And I agree, to a certain extent. I'm raising two boys. I want 'em to feel powerful too [while] respecting women. I like pop culture when it attempts to empower women without robbing men of their possibility to be men, to also protect and provide.”

“I believe in giving women all the tools and the trust that we can do it all without losing our essence, without losing our femininity,” Shakira continued. “I think that men have a purpose in society and women have another purpose as well. We complement each other, and that complement should not be lost.”

“Just because a woman can do it all doesn’t mean she should?” the star then asked. “Why not share the load with people who deserve to carry it, who have a duty to carry it as well?”

Warner Bros / Mattel
Suffice to say, people had a lot of opinions on Shakira’s comments and took to social media to share their thoughts.

Discussing what the star had said on a Reddit forum, one popular comment simply reads: “You don't have to like Barbie as a movie (I loved it personally) but this is still one of the worst takes I've ever heard. Girl bye.”

Others were confused about what parts of the storyline were “emasculating” to young men, with one person asking: “emasculating? Why, bc Ken had an emotion and didn't end the movie as god? What's going on with your sons Shakira.”

“It's baffling ngl because Barbie's narrative dedicated soooo much time to Ken and his storyline/character development and went out of it's way to sympathize with his internal struggles and insecurities, and people still got mad,” another echoed.

While somebody else retorted: “Raise more secure men. I loved the movie."

Warner Bros / Mattel
It was also pointed out that Shakira’s quotes validated the entry-level feminism that previously saw "Barbie" receive backlash, with one popular comment reading: “When I watched it I thought that the feminist message was a bit basic and superficial, but it seems that actually that message is needed a lot.”

“There was a lot of discourse about the movie’s message around the Oscars and how it was too surface level to be meaningful or impactful but idk,” another user wrote. “I agree that it’s incredibly introductory, and yet there are people that walked away from it feeling like it was emasculating and man-hating. To me that says a lot. Everyone starts somewhere and if the Barbie movie is someone’s start, I can’t write it off just because my feminism is much more developed. It’s all very interesting to say the least."

This sentiment was echoed over on X, formerly Twitter, where one viral tweet about Shakira’s comments reads: “this is why barbie is a necessary movie for many women to be introduced to feminism 101 as they still suffer from internalised misogyny.”

“Whenever people complain about modern society ‘tearing men down’ and ‘emasculating’ them, it always comes back to wanting to maintain the prestige attached to masculinity,” somebody else tweeted. “It's always about pretending that gender roles are natural and not about power and access to resources.”

John Parra / Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy
While another claimed: “If your sons hated a freaking Barbie movie because they felt ‘emasculated’ then you have failed to raise them correctly, like that’s on you beautiful.”
“Shakira: My boys need all movies (including female drive ones named Barbie) to portray Masculinity & Femininity the way they’ve done for the past 100 years or else they’ll feel small and irrelevant,” one more wrote.

“She really decided to set herself up for disaster with this horrendous take,” another user wrote. Somebody else tweeted: “Her sons are 11 and 9 they do NOT use words like ‘emasculating.’”

Shakira has not publicly responded to the backlash to her comments, but we will let you know if she does!

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