+
upworthy
Identity

Poet says he won't let his sons play with dolls and women are tearfully praising the message

The unexpected twist hist hard. And that final line? Phew.

demetri manabat on stage performing a spoken word poem

Demetri Manabat's "Barbie" poem makes a powerful statement.

Usually, when you hear a man say he doesn't want his son to play with dolls, you have a pretty good idea of what beliefs sit beneath the sentiment. It's not unreasonable to assume that some combination of misogyny, homophobia and problematic ideas about masculinity are at play in such an attitude.

That's why an unexpected turn in Demetri Manabat's spoken word poem, "Barbie," caught people's attention.

Manabat referred to "Barbie" as "a poem about dolls" in the caption of a TikTok video showing him performing it on stage. He opens the poem with a provocative statement: "My sons will never play with dolls. In fact, I refuse to let my sons play with dolls."

He goes on to explain that if he ever catches his son with a Barbie or a Bratz doll or a Polly Pocket or Cabbage Patch, he would set them straight, "knowing that's not how God intended" for men to act.


The audience sits quietly through all of this, and a heavy pause lets them stew in his words. But then the twist comes as Manabat explains the why behind his feelings about his sons playing with dolls, and it's one heck of a gut punch with an absolutely knock-out last line.

Watch, all the way to the end:

@demetrimanabat

“Barbie” A poem about dolls. I hope you enjoy. Much Much Love Always & Forever Demetri #barbie #poetry #doll #spokenword #writing #writer #lasvegas

Is it any wonder the video has been liked over nearly a million times in three days on TikTok alone?

People in the comments were as expressive about their feelings as some of the live audience members who called out during the poem.

"I was like booooy, you better be goin somewhere with this, and yall he WENT somewhere," wrote one commenter.

"This is one of those poems you have to stick around for. I hope millions stick around for it, sir," wrote another.

One commenter simply wrote "*deletes paragraph*" as a joke about how they were initially responding to the poem when it began. Another wrote "*trust the algorithm, trust the algorithm*" in a similar vein.

Lots of people shared the lines that hit them particularly hard.

"'My boys will not make toys out of women.' This is a very amazing and beautiful piece. More people need to hear it," wrote one person.

"Treated like a woman well before she was one but never taken seriously long after she became one" has me in tears," shared another.

"'Stretch marks tattooed across her skin as a result of reaching so far across the universe she bridged heaven and earth.'" another wrote.

"'Is the child inside of her not dying, too' felt like everything just got knocked out of me. That was one of the strongest lines I've ever heard," shared nother.

Poetry has the power to speak truth in a way that helps us understand ourselves and our world better, and spoken word poetry in particular, with its rhythmic storytelling, is a powerful tool for synthesizing complex thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Manabat could have said, "Without understanding the true value of women in real life, boys playing with dolls could symbolize men seeing women as plastic playthings to be handled and controlled and casually tossed aside," but that wouldn't have been nearly as effective as the picture he painted with his poetry and that last line—"My boys will not make toys out of women, so I refuse to let them play with dolls until they actually understand the difference between the two." Phew.

Here's to the poets who put humanity into words, and here's to conscientious men who give voice to the struggle too many women have endured for generations.

You can follow Demetri Manbat on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and X.

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.

Keep ReadingShow less
Canva, @melissamesser/TikTok

Postpartum can be a challenging time. Extra support goes a long way

Bringing a baby into the world can be a dream come true for many women. But that bliss is quickly compromised by the physical and emotional toll caused by the postpartum phase.

During this time, when hormones are raging and focus is compromised and energy is practically nonexistent—all while trying to recover from extreme physical transformations and keeping a newborn alive—having partner support is more important than ever.

That’s what makes one woman’s detailed list of things husbands (or just the partner who didn’t not deliver the baby, really) can do to help support mom moms through postpartum such an important read.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

A 6-year-old asks ​Neil DeGrasse Tyson an adorable question. He gives her an awesome answer.

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." — Albert Einstein

Neil DeGrasse Tyson at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

I recently spent some time with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. He's known not only for breaking down stereotypes about what kinds of people go into science, but he has actively stood up and spoken against those who would close its doors, especially to young women.

So when Neil was asked this question by a little girl during a public speech, he gave one of the best answers I've ever heard. It may drive some parents crazy, but it also might just help change the world.

Keep ReadingShow less

Arjun Mahadevan's life pro tip Twitter thread

Arjun Mahadevan gave the world a gift when he crowdsourced the best “life pro tips” from nearly 22 million people. He shared the top 20 in a Twitter thread that’s got over 619,000 views. Mahadevan sourced the tips from the Life Pro Tips subforum on Reddit, which has been running since 2010.

Mahadevan is the CEO of doolaHQ which he calls the “business-in-a-box” for LLCs.

Mahadevan labeled his advice “20 life tips you wish you knew when you were 20,” but they are helpful for everyone regardless of age. They’re useful for anyone who is in a relationship, has a job or wants to stay sane in an aggravating world.

Keep ReadingShow less
@jac.rsoe8/TikTok

Some dads just get it.

There’s no shortage of stories out there showing how emotionally distant or out of touch some baby boomers can be. Younger generations are so fed up with it that they have their own catchphrase of frustration, for crying out loud.

The disconnect becomes especially visible in parenting styles. Boomers, who grew up with starkly different views on empathy, trauma and seeking help, have a reputation for being less than ideal support systems for their children when it comes to emotional issues.

But even if they often have a different way of showing it, boomer parents do have love for their children, and many try their best to be a source of comfort in some way when their kid suffers.

Occupational therapist Jacqueline (@jac.rose8) recently shared a lovely example of this by posting a video of her boomer dad helping her through a divorce in the best way he knew how.

Turns out, it was the perfect thing.

Keep ReadingShow less

A teacher collcts "rent" from ger 3rd-grade students.

Financial literacy is one of the most essential life skills determining someone’s future success and mental and physical well-being. However, only 17% of American students must pass just one semester of a financial literacy-based class to graduate.

This development flies in the face of public opinion on the topic. A recent poll found that 88% of Americans wish they had been taught financial literacy in school. The same number said their state should require either a semester or year-long personal finance course for graduation.

A teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina, has taken that problem to heart and is giving her 3rd-grade class rigorous, hands-on lessons on the importance of personal finance.

Keep ReadingShow less