#i think these gifs sort of encapsulate my issues with merida #she’s standing up for herself #she wants to choose who she marries/whether she marries at all #and #well #this is very basic stuff #this isn’t even feminism 101 #she lives in a society that’s sexist in a way that everyone’s against #so the audience can feel good about female empowerment #and talk about how great merida is #without actually challenging their own beliefs #and everyone can feel good about themselves #because our society isn’t like this #we don’t expect women to marry some guy on the basis of his archery #and isn’t it nice that sexism’s over now? #so merida will be seen as a feminist character without doing anything that could be labelled as ‘feminist’ #which would be controversial
But how is this an issue with Merida? The film, sure, but a character acting feminist in the framework of a movie that’s pandering to “safe” viewpoints is … still feminist …
Yeah, this is a Brave issue, not a Merida issue, and I have SO MANY ISSUES WITH PIXAR OVER THIS MOVIE, like did you see all the interviews and shit where they were like MERIDA IS A BRAND NEW KIND OF PRINCESS, like fuck you, no, no she’s not, did you see Mulan, did you see Pocahontas, did you see The Princess and the Frog, all of those heroines saved themselves and everyone around them and defied their social expectations
And Brave is not revolutionary!!! It is about a rich straight white girl who doesn’t conform to oppressive feminine standards because of her traditionally masculine skills or attributes, and we are meant to love and praise her for them, and she seems cool, and I hope she does good, but this movie does nothing nothing nothing to challenge anything in society today.
I’m sick of Scotland/England/Ireland and to an extent Wales. Also France. Oh, and Scandinavia in general. I love all my blond blue eyed pale-skinned friends, but there’s a whole bottom half of Europe alone waiting to be explored, nevermind THE REST OF THE FUCKING WORLD. Africa all together. There’s parts of Asia that aren’t China and Japan. There’s parts of the American Continent that aren’t the US, or Mexico (I don’t see Canada get much attention, and I would love to see more love for the Inuit, nevermind Central and South America).
Why can’t we have a fantasy/animated movie in Spain? Italy? Greece? Portugal? Turkey? ANY part of Africa? (Though I’m not sure I trust American animators to be… respectful, unfortunately. Color me cynical.)
I’m so sick of Scotland in animation and fantasy. Particularly with the fascination with the medieval era— what about all the awesome stuff going on in the Southern Europe?
So yeah. Merida, and her stupid accent, can suck it.
I will be rewatching Lilo and Stitch.
This. All of this commentary. Brave looks like it’s going to be a fun, beautifully-made movie, but a lot of the hype over it just makes me roll my eyes. So good on this movie for creating a less traditional female protagonist and animating awesome curly hair, but the above commentary sums up my feels about this movie and how it’s not really all that empowering woo.
I also have a lot of feels about the fact that three bits of media are highlighting the story of Snow White right now. Even if they’re doing it in unconventional ways (Snow White in Once Upon a Time is an awesome character, Snow White and the Huntress is going to be in motherfucking armor, and Mirror Mirror … just looks silly), the fact that, in this day and age, it’s okay to simultaneously release three movies/tv shoes about the woman who’s pure and beautiful because she’s so damn white is problematic to me.
Merida asserting that she can marry who she wants if she wants to may seem basic, but so are children’s movies characters who assert that we should be kind and respectful to each other. I don’t think the focus should necessarily be on medieval marriage choice, but choice in general. There’s still subtle and overt hostility to women actually acting like competent, assertive, adult human beings, so I don’t have a problem with a basic message being repeated over and over, because it sadly still needs repeating. It shouldn’t need to be, but it does—and that’s what I find most troubling.
That’s an excellent point. As I realized that I may not have made it clear when I commented earlier, I just want to point out that I am reserving all judgment for when I actually see the movie and how they treat the issue.
But back to your point, I think the fact that it needs repeating, as you said, frustrates me, but more than that the fact that I think the marketing (and a lot of people reacting to the marketing) are really psyched about how amazingly forward-thinking she is. Forward-thinking by her society’s standards, certainly, but when we, as modern-age women, are going “THIS EMPOWERED WOMAN WHO’S GOING TO CHOOSE HER OWN MAN, FUCK YEAH,” I kind of take a step back and say: “But we should already have that choice.” We are emphasizing the medieval marriage choice, partially because we don’t have a lot to go off of right now, and it makes me feel like we’re setting ourselves back in time. The fact that we’re looking at a woman who says that as Holy Shit The Most Empowered scares me a bit. The message being repeated is a good thing, but the fact that it’s being treated as if it’s new and revolutionary is not.
So while I’m probably going to love this movie and Merida as a character when I see it, I’m also sitting here and worrying that women are saying “good enough” to hints of social progress (cheering at the depiction of something that, for most of Western culture at least is commonplace) when we deserve more than that. It’s like how people reacted to the Bishoujo FemShep design with: “Well at least it’s not as bad as Bishoujo Liara.” Guys, we can’t do that anymore. We just can’t.
I hope the movie proves the marketing wrong, honestly. I hope she’s a more pro-feminist character than we’ve seen so far.
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