Disney, Brave, Merida – A Tribute to Women

5 Sep

To the Women of America (and all other women):

As one who used to hunt nuclear attack submarines as a younger man, this may seem to be a strange admission: I really liked Disney’s movie Brave. And not because I have a fetish for fiery redheads.

Maybe. Some things are classified for a good reason.

Anyhow, I’ve come to suspect that Disney is particularly careful in considering the themes of its movies. Almost to the point of positive social messaging, perhaps. Doesn’t the main character’s name in Brave – Merida – sound more than a bit like ‘Merica (i.e., America)?
And so, at the risk of scorn, let’s consider Brave from the perspective of being a subtle message to the women of America, and by extension other women.
The men in Brave are a collection of buffoons, twits, and nincompoops. This comic but mildly negative portrayal of men is just what McGill University academics Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young were writing about in their book Spreading Misandry (hatred of men). But it does juxtapose brilliantly with Merida.
I used “juxtapose” to seem as if I’m really smart and educated. Don’t believe everything you’re told.
Merida is the fiery sorta-Scottish small town princess who out-guys the young guys in all the guy stuff: galloping horses, archery, and the like. If feminists had masculine sexual apparatuses, they’d be standing at full attention at the very thought of this, and it’s not hard to understand why.
Sorry. Couldn’t resist.
But a witch, an evil bear, and one traditional mother later, and Merida comes to realize that she’s been selfish. In trying to be a better man than the men, she abandoned the essential contribution women make to society. A contribution which is essential in regulating the masculine half, amongst other things.
Where would we be without you?
Were I to use my Grade Six Health class as an analogy, think of red and white blood cells. Red blood cells are the ones that carry oxygen throughout the body (i.e., nurturing women). White bloods cells fight infections (and demon bears; i.e., protective men). If all the red blood cells decide to act as white blood cells, it doesn’t matter how good they are at it.
Who’s left to carry the oxygen, and what do you think will happen to the body?
Brave is both a tribute to women who embrace the essential traditional contributions of women to society, and a frank but subliminal message to young women, especially in the American social context. Men aren’t capable of replacing you; never going to happen. By abandoning the essential traditional role of women in society – the quintessential feminine duty, if you will -, we are all harmed by it.
Some will immediately attack this as sexist. They delight in “strong” Merida’s showing up the young men. But as Brave shows us, Merida isn’t truly strong until she has the courage to accept what it truly means to be a woman. (In the majority of instances, obviously.)
Whether it’s my own mother, or mother of seven (really??!) and delightful blogger Dotta R., I can only pay just tribute by saying that your sacrifices and contribution are as important to society as that of any man, be he The President, some CEO, or whatever.
How obvious does a truth have to be before Disney feels compelled to make a movie about it?
For the young women of America, and the world, I’m not telling you how to live your lives. Your decisions, not mine. But what I am telling you is that you are inherently beautiful for being women. You are inherently, absolutely, and 100% as important as any guy.
So find the courage to discover the woman whom you were meant to be, and love her in a good way. She deserves it.
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18 Responses to “Disney, Brave, Merida – A Tribute to Women”

  1. yakinamac September 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    And I’m happy to tell you, you’re inherently beautiful as a man; as good as any woman, be she the President, or some CEO or something.

    • navigator1965 September 5, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

      Yak,

      Goodness, but you’ve made me laugh! Must be the Fellowship of the Oxymoron.

      Than you.

      • yakinamac September 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

        It’s a great and exclusive club – but I see you got dibs on ol’ Legless! I’ll have to embrace my inner dwarf (now there’s a phrase I never imagined writing).

  2. navigator1965 September 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Yak,

    It appears as if it is your destiny to be the Gimli (Manitoba) of the Fellowship. No small role, obviously. Dare I suggest that you delve – was that a Freudian slip, or a Tolkienesque one? – into the topic?

  3. yakinamac September 6, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    Now you’ve confused me – easily done. Suggest away – but what topic?

    • navigator1965 September 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

      My bad for using too Canadian a reference. There is a place called Gimli in the Province of Manitoba Canada. Delving was a double entendre to the LoR Gimli dwarf, as dwarves delve into the depths of Middle Earth. Topic was just the oxymoron thought.

      • yakinamac September 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

        Ah – thank you. Apologies for being a thickie.

  4. lensgirl53 September 7, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    As an American Woman, I wholeheartedly agree with your observation of the movie, “Brave” or for that matter, most television programs in general. Whatever happened to the good ole days of Disney when the mother was killed or just plain missing or never mentioned… i.e. Bambi, Finding Nemo, Cinderella, The Fox and the Hound, etc….so many more. I noticed it way back when. I love your end message that sums it up in a “more precious than rubies” kind of way. We are all beautiful and worthy in the way that God intended and not the way the world defines worth. We are not measured by how we stand up to men but how we stand up.

    As much as equality can take on different meanings, like who wears the pants (old expression before pants became either or) equal pay grade, etc..it can be the barrier to meaningful relationships and confuse the genders. Did I say that? Yes, I did. Equality is a relative term that tries to put everyone on the same playing field. It was never, ever meant to be. Men are men and women are women. (bumper sticker message) but sadly, even that is becoming blurred. Sorry for the rant…I could go on but I have my own blog…LOL.

    • navigator1965 September 8, 2013 at 4:11 am #

      We clearly think alike on the topic of gender. This going to be a big part of my second book. You might enjoy this site’s perspective:

  5. Dotta Raphels September 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    I don’t know how I managed to miss this one, but thanks so much for telling me about it 🙂

    Now I have not seen the movie but I will as soon as possible. You my friend can advise my four daughters anytime of the day, and as long as you deem fit!
    I’m just overwhelmed by the sense and compassion of this post, if only my women folk will read and adhere. There is so much we can achieve as women without trying to out do the men, sadly society and it’s dictates has in a way reduced us to point proving/approval seeking puppets.

    I know there are some who will cry bloody murder at this, but we all know that the truth will always be truth, regardless of how much it’s hidden 🙂
    As an African woman, I personally know the power women have in my society and there’s nothing as powerful as a discerning woman,filled with femininity and enough tact to rattle any red blooded male…withe this, she makes a formidable asset without so much as a hassle.

    This movie BRAVE is a must see for me, I think I’ll treat my girls as well….heck the teenager will protest but be sure those tact’s I spoke about will come into play.

    This has got to be seen from varying angles buddy, so with permission, I’m reblogging. no need to go seeking for that pedestal now…this one here is mighty big 🙂

    • navigator1965 September 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      You are far too kind, Dotta – thank you for your sentiments and the reblog. I suspect that your teenage daughter will enjoy the movie when all is said and done. Besides what I hold to be a rather beautiful main theme, Brave is also a great Disney offering in terms of its being a fun movie to watch.

  6. Dotta Raphels September 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    Reblogged this on DottaRaphels and commented:
    THE POWER OF A WOMAN… what the hell were we thinking?

  7. Dona M. September 12, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    Perfect! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, I completely agree with this and have been trying to put those thoughts into words. Thank you for doing it for me!

    • navigator1965 September 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      Dona,

      This is my 3rd attempt to get a reply to stick.

      You are very welcome, and I am glad it was of use to you. I couldn’t seem to find anyone who’d written an article on this who seemed to really comprehend what the real message of Brave was, so I took it upon myself.

      It appears as if we are both aspiring writers, and so, from one to another, I wish you the best of luck.

  8. KraftedKhaos September 30, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    Brave-o (har har) on this post!

    I love the way you looked at this movie… but I think that perhaps I would go one step further and propose that perhaps what Disney was saying was that ‘traditional’ female roles aren’t something to be ashamed of. Not necessarily that women ‘should’ be in those roles, or ‘need’ to be, but that if they decide that the traditional role of nurturer is for them, or even if they just happen to find themselves in such, it isn’t something to be looked down upon scorned or ashamed of, as they seem wont to be in this occasionally rabidly-feminist society.

    Any feminist that looks down on another woman for staying at home, nurturing and raising her children and taking care of her family is no better than the ‘patriarchal’ society they’re so intent on vilifying.

    The goal is for each person to be free to live the life they want, not to make one thing better or worse than another, IMHO.

    Lovely post, thank you for inviting me to think!

    May Blessings be upon you,

    A.

    • navigator1965 September 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

      KraftedKhaos,

      Glad you liked it – thanks for stopping by. I can’t necessarily say that my interpretation was any better than yours. I suspect the most important thing about the movie is that it provides a catalyst for such discussions.

      Blessings upon you in return, and Brave-O back!

  9. navigator1965 October 10, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Enjoyed your post on Brave – thank you. I hadn’t considered the movie from the perspective of the quintessential mother-daughter relationship.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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