Is it kenough? The double standards surrounding media coverage of Barbie’s Oscar snub and the women in Gaza

Mahnoor Jalal

Mahnoor Jalal


You heard it, your tl has been ranting about it, we’ve seen enough think pieces from publications to write an entire PHD about it. The Oscar nominations were announced on Wednesday, and Twitter users were outraged by noticing that the nominations for the coveted Best Director and Best Leading Actress awards did not include Greta Gerwig or Margot Robbie. Hence led to a breakdown. Some called it a classic example of sexism. Others said this proved the message of the film on how women can do everything they can but never get the acknowledgement a man does.

The most amusing responses of all of these came from the girl boss feminist herself, Hillary Clinton, who took it really as a feminist failure to write a personal note on her Instagram account for Greta and Margot.

“Greta and Margot,” the message read. “While it can sting to win the box office but not take home the gold, your millions of fans love you. You’re both so much more than Kenough.” Signing it off with #HillaryBarbie.


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A post shared by Hillary Clinton (@hillaryclinton)

We should however point out that this is the same woman, who in November, refused to call for a ceasefire in Gaza because it would not destabilise the rule of Hamas. Which would lead us to question that for white feminists, isn’t the plight of brown women kenough to call it a crime against humanity?

The on going genocide of Gaza has now been described as a humanitarian catastrophe by the UN, with the most extreme cases of torture and violence being inflicted upon the women and children. As of this moment, there are more than 50,000 pregnant women who are forced to give birth without proper medical equipment, or anaesthesia. For those with menstural cycles, the NPR writes young girls are resorted to taking pills to block their periods, or cut out scraps of cloth from tents to make pads. Because of the ongoing displacement and evacuation as the Israeli army progresses towards bombing the city of Khan Younis, the problem of finding clean toilets or water is a growing crisis for many women and girls, that now taking showers is considered a luxury.

Despite several calling the genocide of Gaza a feminist issue, the silence from most of the prominent female politicians or public figures goes on. As we have witnessed with the ongoing awards season, the dominant debate among feminists on the internet was Barbie getting snubbed, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, Taylor Swift gossiping with Selena Gomez, yet no outrage on the woman in Gaza who tearfully held her dead baby in her arms while revealing she took 150 injections just to have him. Or that a nine-year old girl Lama decided to become a journalist  had to brave bombs, bloodshed and violence in order to keep reporting on the genocide inflicted upon her people.

How many painful auditions must Palestinian women and girls go through to prove that they’re kenough? What more atrocities lie in store for them in order to get white feminists to recognise them as human beings, rather than disposable objects?

While I’m aware that my words are just a shout in the void, and by the end of the day it will always be the first world problems of white women that over-shadow anything brown women have done. But the least we can do is take a stand and remember never to forget Palestinian women in discussions surrounding feminist justice and solidarity. Your feminism is not valid if it revolves around a mediocre film like Barbie, and not Palestinian women. It’s racism to it’s core.