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Barbie Is Causing Men To Flee The Theaters In China

The cultural and box office phenomenon that is "Barbie" isn't restricted to North America, as it's also pulling in plenty of moviegoers and provoking a lot of discussion in China. And if you thought the U.S. had a monopoly on boyfriends threatened by the film's satirical anti-patriarchal slant, have no fear because that very trend is making a splash on Chinese social media right now.

Nikkei Asia has a report on how the response to "Barbie" among Chinese audiences shows how "gender issues" are beginning to get more attention in the country. It's a fascinating look at how the movie is being embraced and rejected in China, even causing some men to flee the theater.

On social media platforms like Xiaohongshu, the phrase "Men triggered by Barbie" has become a trending topic, and one post in particular by a user named Little Squirrel shows how the movie has become the ultimate boyfriend test for some women.

"If a guy hates 'Barbie,' bashes 'Barbie,' walks out of the theater criticizing [director Greta Gerwig], this guy is definitely a misogynist and he was triggered by the film," the post states. Other women have reportedly shared their experiences with boyfriends and dates who came away from "Barbie" feeling hostile towards the film.

One post states 'a normal guy' will will understand at least half of Barbie's jokes

Fortunately for humanity, Little Squirrel's viral Xiaohongshu post points out two other tiers of reactions men tend to have to "Barbie," and they can be judged accordingly. "If a guy is willing to watch 'Barbie,' understand 50% of the jokes, leaves the theater thinking this is an interesting film, then he is an emotionally stable normal guy with a reasonable value system," she writes.

And there's an even higher tier for all Kens-in-training to aspire towards as they watch the film. "If a guy loves 'Barbie,' wears pink Barbie clothes to watch the film, wears Barbie sunglasses and Barbie hat, then he must be a Ken."

Given the post's popularity, many people in China seem to relate to its categorization of the three types of men who watch "Barbie" on dates: misogynists, normal guys, and Kens. And with the concept of "Barbie" breakups skyrocketing on Twitter, the Little Squirrel system can probably be said to have global applicability.