(Previously in Swedish on this webbsite 2015)

No one who has seen the TV sitcom “How I Met Your Mothet” can be unaffected by the character Barney Stinson and his view of women. His goal in life is to have sex with as many women as possible and he uses all sorts of unsympathetic and suspicious methods to bring women down. The women he manages to pick up by lying, deceiving, and disguised and then abandoning are usually described as stupid or simply as “bimbos”. These women are portrayed as victims and Barney as unsympathetic, but in her vileness smart and a little funny. After all, the women seem rather stupid going on Barney’s improbable lies. However, this is just one way of looking at the relationship between Barney and his “victims.” This description is based on a more traditional view of women and women’s sexuality. Women should be passive and not initiate sex. 

However, one can make a slightly more non-traditional interpretation of the roles and reverse the reasoning and immediately Barney appears as the victim. This interpretation is based on the view that women use Barney for their sexual satisfaction. They pretend to go on his tricks and play “bimbos” to get him in bed. They are not interested in anything other than sex and are completely uninterested in Barney as a person, he is reduced here to a living dildo for these women. That he then “abandons” the woman after intercourse is actually in line with what the women want, they are not looking for any relationship with Barney. This interpretation of the relationship between Barney and his “conquests” also explains how he can use the pub he always hangs on, MacLarens, to pick women up. In this place, Barney should be both known and infamous by the vast majority, few of his pick-up victims should be unfamiliar with Barney and his methods. The fact that he then succeeds as often as he seems to do can be interpreted here as having a good reputation as a lover and that the women therefore allow themselves to be “picked up”. Barney thinks he’s in control, but in fact he’s the one who’s being used by smart women. Barney transforms into an even more sad figure here than he seems at first glance.    

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