barbie photoshopped into the oppenheimer poster

Men Still Don’t Get That Women Can Be Barbie Girls and Nolan Bros. We’re Complex!

It was a matter of time before the men got sexist about Oppenheimer/Barbie day.

It was only a matter of time before men tried to claim Oppenheimer for them and label Barbie as a “girl” movie. As the war between Barbie and Oppenheimer continues to heat up, the recent shakeup of Oppenheimer‘s release date had fans worried the showdown of the century might not happen. So when the popular Twitter account DiscussingFilm posted the news that the battle would still rage on this July, some guy who wants to be the alternative to the mainstream media decided to step up on his soapbox and reinforce age-old gender norms. Revolutionary!

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And he really did not need to. Steve Sailer decided to let the internet know that he didn’t think the “target” audiences for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie didn’t have much overlap with Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, writing, “I don’t think the target audiences for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer overlap all that much, so I don’t see what the problem is with them both premiering on July 21, 2023. Barbie fans aren’t really into ‘I am become Death, destroyer of worlds,'” on his Twitter account.

Clearly, Steve has not seen my group chats. Despite the obviously sexist tone of this response, it’s just … a weird way of looking at a box office battle in general. The fact that Steve here thinks that two huge movies coming out on the same day isn’t something newsworthy on its own? Weird! Then he decided to go ahead and be sexist about it! Even weirder!

But this mentality, which ushered in a lot of righteous anger online, is problematic for a number of reasons—one being that Steve seems to think only girls into STEM can enjoy Oppenheimer. I didn’t know that Christopher Nolan was actually a scientist! But the tweets angry at Steve? Perfection.

I am both an Oppenheimer girlie and a Barbie bro

See what I did there? Even though I really am a Barbie Girl and a Nolan Bro. Point is: This is my new national holiday, because I am someone who is very excited about both movies because they’re from two of my favorite directors, and they star people I love—plus, again, I’m a Barbie Girl and a Nolan Bro (I have seen everything Christopher Nolan has ever made).

Because man do we love to log onto Twitter and just show misogynists how wrong they are!

And really, wild of Steve to have this take when all we did for a full day was make memes about Oppenheimer using the Barbie marketing.

But as Ami Berger pointed out on Twitter, having different tastes in movies is … not an uncommon thing.

I love wearing bright colors, being girly, but also, my comfort movie is Zodiac by David Fincher. Men like Steve want to put people (particularly women) into a box, and it is always a man who is transphobic in the comments that will log onto Twitter and say things like this by talking out of their ass.

The reality is that men like Steve are going to do this until box office numbers come out. I know I am going to go to a theater and a man will take my Oppenheimer ticket and ask if I’m seeing Barbie. I know this because it’s happened to me (when I was trying to see Venom, of all movies). So, someone needs to create a Barbie/Oppenheimer shirt so I can buy it and wear it to my double feature so people (men) will stop asking whether or not I even know what Oppenheimer is about.

(featured image: Warner Bros./Universal)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.