Elyse is participating in YALs Virtue Challenge. She is posting weekly about her experiences. You will find more about the Virtue Challenge and a linkup of posts here. Elyse is 18 years old. She is a sophomore at Bakersfield College and is working toward a degree in Microbiology. She assists in the Veil Shop and enjoys reading, writing, and time with friends. I suppose I should also add that she is a Halo addict, even though it hardly seems appropriate here. :)
This submission is a little late, but I’d prefer it to be late and written with genuine inspiration rather than something I cranked out off the top of my head. (And I wander...a lot.) The topic of this blog post will be the movie Brave, which was really popular and then sorta got replaced by Guardians. (Which is also a cute movie…anyway. Back to the post.)
It’s not because Brave is a cute story or because Brave has great animation or funny accents or a really cute main character with adorable frizzy hair.
It’s because Brave isn’t Mulan.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Mulan.
But Mulan isn’t Brave.
Mulan is a story about a girl who has to evince her strength and worthiness by becoming like a man.
Brave is the exact opposite.
There is one scene that will always stay in my mind, and I’m sure those who have seen it and appreciate it like I do are thinking of it right now. I don’t remember the exact details, but I remember the imagery.
It took place in a grand meeting hall, where all the clan/group/whatever-they’re-called leaders had met (I think to show off their sons as potential suitors for Merida, the princess). Something had set them off, and they had begun beating each other to pulps with all manner of weapons and stupidity. It was complete chaos.
But then there was the queen. All she had to do was stand up and walk.
That’s it. Just walk.
She held her head high and her back was straight, her gait was graceful but purposeful.
She walked, and the men fell like sheaves of wheat out of her path.
She didn’t pick up a great big axe or hammer or candelabrum or pig femur or whatever else they were beating each other with and fight her way through.
She just walked.
What Brave communicates is that there is power in femininity. There is power in being a woman, just like there is power in being a man. But femininity is a woman’s power, as masculinity is a man’s. They’re separate, but they complement each other. A woman can still be brave and strong, but there is bravery and strength in being feminine.
Modesty is a woman’s power. Like it or not, the body is the main source of a woman’s power. Because men are mainly visual, they see first. And when they see a woman who is her body, who is her breasts or who is her legs, they see breasts and legs. When they see a woman who is covered and modest, they have to see the girl, rather than her body.
Christian men are still men—they still see breasts and legs (and hopefully they love them, but when the time is proper). But our duty as women is to help men move toward Christ by not making it hard for them to do so. It’s not a battle of, “I’m going to test you to see how holy you think you are.” It’s more like, “Here, how about I cover up so it’s easier for you to think holy thoughts?” It isn’t fair to them for us to make things difficult.
And it’s not just for men. Modesty is for women, too. Ourselves. Our bodies are temples, and they should be treated as such. We need to respect ourselves in order to be respected. We are not breasts and legs; we are children of Christ, created in His image.
Maybe I’ll write a post specifically about Brave and how it shows strength and womanhood are the same.
And you know you all want a My Little Pony quote:
Just because somepony is lady-like doesn’t make her weak. In fact, by using her wits, a seemingly defenseless pony can be the one who outsmarts and outshines them all.
- Twilight Sparkle