Worthwhile Reads: Another Brave Review

Brave Princesses, Avatars in Refrigerators, and the Trouble with Tomboys

Here’s the problem. The kyriarchy tells us that there are two gendered sets of virtues, and that masculine virtues are better than feminine virtues. For example:

  • Masculine: Strength, Courage, Honor, Determination, Combat Skills
  • Feminine: Compassion, Prudence, Negotiation, Calm, Emotional Intelligence, Domestic Skills

Ultimately, Merida very slightly for one moment adopts a couple of “feminine” virtues to resolve the main subplot, but the climax of the movie entails Elinor needing to take on and learn to appreciate “masculine” virtues in herself and her daughter, and the ending shows Elinor embracing and joining in Merida’s wilderness romps. Which is fine and all, but it’s still saying that the “masculine” virtues are better than the feminine virtues. It’s not saying “Be yourself,” it’s saying “Be yourself as long as you display traditionally masculine virtues; if you have traditionally feminine virtues, change.”

How did I not even notice this?


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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.