COMMENTARY | A question has arisen among entertainment writers who clearly have too much on their hands. Being a writer with not enough time, but who is always up for a little controversy, I present the question, is Merida from “Brave” a lesbian?
Entertainment Weekly offers the following for red headed Merida’s hidden Sapphic tendencies.
She likes to ride around in horseback shooting arrows.
She squirms when she is forced to wear girly clothes.
She fights like a boy (How else does one fight like?)
She doesn’t want to marry any of the laird’s sons who are going to be presented to her for her hand.
Mind, not one of these aspects of her character is the least bit evidence that any of her ladies in waiting at the Scottish highlands castle are in trouble. Of course the events in ‘Brave’ do not suggest anything to the contrary either, except maybe the people making the suggestion have a few stereotypes in their heads about girls who love girls.
Having known a number of heterosexual women who are tomboyish like Merida and a few gay women who are feminine to the marrow, I have to wonder why this question is even asked. One doesn’t recall any of the other Disney princesses being speculated about whom they would like to sleep with. To be sure most already have a ready-made handsome prince to sweep them off their feet.
Also, “Brave” is not a stereotypical coming of age story with a first love and a girl becoming a woman. It is original in that is explores a mother/daughter relationship in a time of life when the daughter typically starts getting a little rebellious. Of course she objects to marrying one of the lairds’ sons. Her parents want her to do it. They are each, in their own way, kind of icky.
Presumably, because “Brave” is a wonderful movie and has made a pot of money, there will be a sequel and an opportunity for a first romance for the red haired Merida. I hope that Disney and Pixar does not bow to political correctness and try to shoe horn in a girl on girl relationship. They have to consider the time and the place. Homosexuality was not smiled upon in Medieval Europe. Such things obviously took place, but were by necessity covert and riddled with fear and guilt, neither of which needs to be overmuch in a Disney movie.
If one wants to have a gay Disney princess, one should look to ancient Greece for inspiration. Hippolyta or even Sappho herself would suit. Of course the controversy would be unending.