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“Merida’s sexuality is a non-issue in the film, and the fact that this topic is even worth mentioning is because women are constantly sexualized.”—Autostraddle, “Brave’s Unconventional Heroine: What Doesn’t Queer You Makes You Stronger” [x]
I want to write gushing thoughts on how great it is to have a princess movie wherein the princess doesn’t have a love interest, doesn’t end up with a love interest, but isn’t wholly against the idea of a love interest when it is right for her (which is not right now or possibly ever) and I wanted to write more gushing thoughts about an action/adventure movie revolving around a relationship between a mother and a daughter, but part of me feels like this shouldn’t even have to be something to applaud because it should be goddamned commonplace. It isn’t, and that’s why it’s sad and why it needs to be pointed out.
- this review of Brave concisely sums up my feelings about it.
- pixar film about a father and son's relationship: WONDERFUL CLASSIC FAMILY FILM OF WONDERMENT
- pixar film about a parental relationship between an old man & a little boy: ORIGINAL!
- a triumph of the imagination!
- pixar film about a mother and daughter's relationship: what is this i don't even
- where are all teh menz!!
- why isn't the daughter saddling herself with a husband
- what is the world coming to
- make it go away
half-remembered things re: female sexuality
At an undergrad conference I went to one of the students presenting referenced a woman academic who came up with this idea that the virgin/whore dichotomy wasn’t that simple because it was possible to be a “bad virgin” — a woman who isn’t a virgin in the sense of “saving herself” for a man but who is virginal and queer (especially as, in patriarchy, only penis-in-vagina sex counts as “deflowering”) or virginal and ace or virginal and celibate on her on terms and for her own reasons.
If I’m recalling correctly, the point was that slut!shaming is bullshit and women engaging in sex for their own purposes and pleasure is radical and deserves respect, but that there are radical forms of “virginity” too that are in opposition to patriarchal culture in their own way and that, particularly in the case of queer virginity, are also punished by society.
Thinking about Merida reminded me of that whole presentation — she’s scary because she’s not directing her sexuality at a man or men in general. Her virginity isn’t about self-abnegation or “saving herself.” She’s doing what she wants with her body and what she wants happens to be not marrying or having sex right now. Furthermore, through her athleticism and horseback riding we’re given the picture of a woman who takes great pleasure in her body at the same time she’s firmly saying no to marriage and sex with a man right now.
The question of what her sexuality is precisely is left open. But even if one day she does decide to marry and have hetsex, that will be radical inasmuch as it will happen only when she wants it.
Does anyone happen to know the name of the academic who came up with that “bad virgin” theory? At the time I saw the presentation I made a mental note to look her up but I was so busy with school I quite forgot about it until the media jerkiness over Brave brought it to my mind. I believe the woman academic was involved in Ethnic Studies/Chican@ Studies scholarship.
Jen, I want to know why you didn't like 'Brave'.
Eh. It just didn’t have that Pixar spark and it disappointed me because, based on the first teaser trailer and hype, I expected a lot more from the story.
I really did like the animation-everything was so beautiful & the music was fantastic! I liked that, for once, it was about a mother/daughter relationship and there was no need for a prince charming.
But then, why did all the guys have to be idiots? Why was the queen the only competent person in the kingdom? Merida also irritated me with her behavior towards her mother; it made me sympathize with her less and less. The whole bear magic didn’t make sense to me-it really had no point and didn’t serve the characters. I understand that it was meant to give time for the mother & daughter to learn about each other but it really could’ve been dealt other ways. The whole idea of “fate” and the wisps, which was how the movie was being marketed, didn’t even matter in the end. Merida wasn’t really changing fate; she was changing her mother’s mind. There was no epic personal journeys for any characters, which was fine since there doesn’t always have to be. But it all felt very anticlimatic and random. There were motifs that could have been explored more, like the tapestry and story of the prince.
Don’t get me wrong, “Brave” is a good movie. I just wouldn’t buy it or even rewatch it for a while. I will say, though, that after watching the film in theaters, I came home and hugged my mom and called her “Bear” for a few days. lol
So I just watched the "Brave" trailer...
A) SOMEONE FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGED THE EXISTENCE OF WIMPLES IN THE MIDDLE AGES! :’D (But she should be wearing a veil over it… XP )
B) Wait why is she wearing a corset this is the Middle Ages…
C) The dress rip is cute but totally unrealistic, I’ve been able to shoot even in VERY ill-fitting 14th c. gowns (Faye, remember that wonky blue linen gown that has like NO mobility that I really must get to fixing? I can still shoot in it. XP )
D) The clothes actually look pretty good!
E) Julie Fowlis did a LOVELY job of singing Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird a’ Chuain for the trailer. I hope they stay with the traditional theme for the film’s soundtrack!
F) Disney finally has a princess I can relate to! :’D (Ok they were all cool, and I wouldn’t mind being a lady, but Merida is admittedly very cool. :3 )
G) Ok so who’s coming with me to see this in costume? XD
Right, well I went to see Brave today and im less than impressed, so i need a rant.
First off, Merida is the new Disney Princess, so I went in with a Disney Princess frame of mind, as you do.
Now Merida is a good all round character. She’s independent, fierce (wont Tyra be proud), brave (nooo, you dont say!), a fighter and speaks her mind. Brilliant, something that should be shown in Disney films, although this kind theme in princess is getting old. As the independent lass she is, she doesn’t want or need a prince (Mulan, Pocahontas, anyone?), so decides to compete for her own hand in marriage. Fair enough, but dear old mother intervenes (Tangled) so they argue, blah blah blah, Merida meets a witch who turns Meridas mother into a bear, not what she was expecting and the film continues so she can turn her mother back.
SO, this is a Disney Princess film, right? Theyre all based on fairy tales, right? Now tell me what fairy tale this is from.
Wheres the awesome yet cheesy soundtrack? Only two, but good, songs in the whole film, not even sung by the characters.
Why is it set in medieval scotland? Throughout the D.P films, times and settings have been loosely kept to. Beauty and the Beast- France, hints in the first song and ‘Be our Guest’. Mulan and Pocahontas are obvious, yet slightly blurred. Bar the Princess and the Frog, which I’m not the biggest fan of because of the heavy period setting.
Now I know Disney are trying to reinvent the princesses with all the redesigns and new round of princesses, but why cant they keep some routine/ old ways to it? You go into a DP film knowing to expect a cliche princess, cheesy songs, a (animal) sidekick, happiness throughout, a sad bit or two and a happy ending.
Why does this have too change?! If I didnt know she was a DP and saw the film, I wouldnt think she was a DP. Its a good film yes, but not for the Disney Princess franchise.
I’m in love with her hair though.