Sunday, 4 March 2012


The more I see of this film, the happier it makes me.

When Merida rips the constricting clothes open yelling "Curse this dress!" and starts firing off arrows I want to cheer.  For her culture it may be completely out of order for her to "shoot for her own hand", but all she wants is for someone to recognise her for who she is, and to not be paired with a man she doesn't respect.  This strikes me as very sensible.

It reminds me of a scene from Studio Ghibli's Whisper of the Heart, which is about a girl who is inspired to pursue her talent for writing when she meets a boy whose passion for violin making is deciding his whole future.  Through the film they get to know each other better and early one morning the boy arrives back from studying violin making in Italy and immediately cycles over to see her.  He wants to show her the sunrise from his favourite spot on the hilltop so she hops on the back of the bike and off they go.  But on the road up the hill the boy starts to struggle.  She asks:
"Should I get off?."
"No, stay on!" he replies.  "I decided I was going to ride up this steep hill, carrying you with me."
Her face says it all.  "Who said you could decide that?!"  She jumps off the bike and starts to push from behind.  "I don't want to be just a burden for you.  If I'm going with you I'm going to help you."  He agrees, and they reach the top together, each pulling their weight.

I've use that scene to explain to people how I feel about particular issues in the past; mainly money.  It seems like a good model for a relationship; two people who both bring something different to the table but neither plays second fiddle to the other.  Each of them gets to do what they can to contribute, and they move forward together, facing the same direction, and each supporting the other so that no one person is forced to bear all the weight.  If and when I do find myself getting into a relationship, although I know there will be times when one of us needs to lean more heavily on the other, for the most part I'd expect to be allowed and supported in being fully myself and contributing to what we're doing together.  And my partner should expect exactly the same from me.

Until that time comes, I'll be shooting for my own hand.  If he wants to match me, let him.

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