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One of Ellen's defining character traits is that she can be assertive and aggressive. It's part of the essential dynamic that makes the strip work - she never would have accepted Jamie as a roommate otherwise.

Of course, because she's a mature individual and Leftover Soup is a strip in which honest self-evaluation can take place, Ellen is aware of this trait in herself, and can acknowledge when it's appropriate and when it isn't.

I strive to be feminist in my writing, and one of the ways in which I do so is to take female aggression seriously. Women can get mad (justifiably or not), that anger is real and can have consequences. I also strive to be anti-violence in my writing, which is why Ellen talked with Eric after beating him up and why she didn't beat Jamie up here.

Deliberate forgiveness - for slights both large and small - seems to be a recurring theme in Leftover Soup, for whatever reason. If you did one of those word-cloud things for the dialogue in all the archives, I think "forgive" would probably be a medium-sized word somewhere in the middle. I'm okay with this.

(Wednesday afternoon, INT: EB and JH's living room.)

EB: I guess I'm just stressed out about my Dad getting married, and... various other things. I have a tendency to react to the unexpected by getting aggressive, and I don't always pick my targets or my level of intensity appropriately. I'm sorry.
JH: Well, that's fair. I mean, I stole your glasses, I said I was going to talk to Gina and never got around to it, I'd say a little aggression is justifiable.
JH: And I don't know if I'd even call that aggression, exactly. It's not like you hit me or anything.
EB: Well, aggression isn't necessarily physical violence, in much the same way that affection isn't necessarily intercourse.
JH: Someone should try to convince Max of that.
EB: My thoughts exactly.
JH: Well, I'll forgive you for being aggressive if you'll forgive me for borrowing your glasses without your permission. I didn't mean to worry or inconvenience you.
EB: Sounds good to me.