(Some spoilers below.)
At no point does Lawson say that the movie is missing a depiction of maleness or male relationships. Instead, he make the (valid) argument that of the infinite the story lines available, Pixar chose one of the flattest, easiest, and most conventionally feminine, one that Lawson rightly summarizes as, “She’s just a girl who doesn’t want to get married? She’s a girl who rejects girl things and is thus a hero? (Because girl things are silly, whereas swords and arrows are totally cool, period.)” And oh, by the way, she doesn’t get along with her mother and turns her into a beast—teenage girls, amiright?
There is no larger theme of mortality (Toy Story), loss and grief (Up), humanity (Wall•E). There isn’t even anything all that new about Pixar’s take on mother-daughter relationships: they fight, Merida runs away from home, uses magic to punish her mother, instantly regrets this, and comes around when she’s forcefully reminded that she’s still just a girl who needs to be protected from the scary, wild world.
Beyond that, I was uncomfortable during the scenes with Merida and her mother-as-bear, because though I knew the point was to laugh (and to marvel at the truly impressive animation), I realized later that I don’t need yet another opportunity to find humor in the literal dehumanization of a woman, and I don’t need yet another example of a woman who is supposedly better off for having been forcibly changed.
To date, Pixar has released thirteen movies. Its first twelve featured male protagonists, a problem in and of itself, which is why Brave was so damn exciting. (I teared up every time I saw a preview because…Brave!) But ultimately, what sets Brave apart from those first twelve movies is not that its protagonist happens to be a girl, but that its protagonist must be a girl. Woody, Carl, Wall-E, and the rest: the gender of these characters could be swapped without significantly changing the stories and themes of their movies, but Merida must be female, because only women are expected to choose between rejecting traditional gender roles and keeping the kingdom safe, and it breaks my heart that this is the only story Pixar could think to tell about a teenage girl.
TL;DR: Where’s my “Define Dancing” moment of Pixar magic? The closest Brave gets is that one brief but beautiful scene in which Merida takes a day off from being a princess and rides through the woods, practicing archery and eventually climbing the falls, looking for just a minute like everything I’d hoped she and her movie would be.
I enjoyed the movie, and more so its music, but I also wasn’t captivated by it like I was the Toy Story movies, Up, Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Wall-E. I agree with the common criticism of the movie, many of the story beats felt typical Disney, and not a good way but in the it has been done a dozen times sort of way.
The following quote from above is an excellent point and not one I thought about until I read it.
“I don’t need yet another opportunity to find humor in the literal dehumanization of a woman, and I don’t need yet another example of a woman who is supposedly better off for having been forcibly changed.”
The GOP obsession with my private parts is getting out of hand. I’m just gonna post this without additional comments because I have NO WORDS! These assholes are getting out of hand with their bullshit. ~ Kim
Newest GOP Attack on Women: Just Say No to Tampons
In recent weeks, the GOP attack on contraceptives and women’s rights has been returning to the legislative tables, and causing a stir among women’s rights activists and media outlets nationwide.
Now it seems that many within the Republican party who strive to ban contraceptive use also see it as a necessity to prohibit the use of tampons, and seek to ban the sales of these and similar products as soon as possible.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) recently put together an all male panel for discussion at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the contraceptive coverage rule and excluded women from the conversation. It seems that he is set to establish a similar group of men to discuss the use of tampons within a woman’s vagina.
It is unnatural for a woman to insert a foreign object into her body for the sake of stopping the menstrual flow. I, as well as several others seek to eliminate the sales of such objects. Women should let nature take care of itself the way that our Almighty Creator intended. To try to manipulate and control such an occurrence goes against God’s plan for women.
Initial drafts of this new legislation have already been brought before Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and several other GOP Congressmen. It is likely to come to a vote as early as next month. If passed, tampons will no longer be available to sell or purchase, and women will have to find an alternative means to alleviate menstrual excreta.
Several Democratic Congresspeople are already petitioning in dissent of this new piece of legislation, and will not give up without a fight to preserve a woman’s right to take care of her own body as she deems most effective.
This is a joke…right?
Is there a link to a story about this somewhere?
I think everyone should work in food service at least once, simply because it cultivates an empathy that, as far as I can tell, is otherwise nonexistent. Anyone who claims that the United States is free from day-to-day classism has clearly missed out on what it’s like to be the person behind the cash register, or the person standing to take orders from and bring food to seated guests who can’t be bothered to say please or thank you.
And sarcasticsamwise makes the excellent point that it’s approximately one million times worse for women, who are already walking targets for harassment and abuse, but who, when put in a position of marked and socially accepted subordination are that much more likely to be treated like shit.
Long story short, don’t be an asshole; tip your servers, and tip them well.