Worthwhile Reads: Tangled Redux

Those of us who have left the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements have found the Disney movie Tangled especially poignant. In contrast, those in the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements have found the movie disturbing. So I thought I’d take a moment to round up some of the responses from both sides of the aisle.

Pro-Christian Patriarchy/Quiverfull:

Mangled: Stay At Home Daughters on the Silver Screen, on Ladies Against Feminism

Our Response to Repunzel, on Visionary Daughters

Anti-Christian Patriarchy/Quiverfull

That Evil Feminist Movie, “Tangled,” on No Longer Quivering

My Life, as Told by Disney, on Love Joy Feminism

When Men Wax Poetic about My Womb
What the Ruff, the Spotted Hyena, and the Cuttlefish Taught Me about Gender and Sexuality
When Marriage Looks Like the Only Escape
What Courtship Was for Me
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.

  • Julie42

    It’s always surprised me how Christians make a huge deal out of simple movies like this. It’s almost like they see these movies as more harmful that outright raunchy, violent movies. Those movies are outright bad, but movies like Tangled give people ideas. “How dare someone present ideas that I disagree with in a positive light!” Think of the children!

    It really is sad skimming the pro-patriarchy opinions. It’s just scary seeing how much they insist that Rapunzel was wrong, even though she was in a genuinely abusive situation. I remember talking with my mom when I was younger and asking questions about whether there were any exceptions to obeying parents or the government, and of course she said that you shouldn’t obey if they tell you to do something wrong. That’s the obvious exception. But what goes over the heads of many Christians is obedience to arbitrary rules. It seems like that’s what they’re defending here.
    Rapunzel was simply asked to stay in the tower. She may not have liked this, but she wasn’t being asked to do anything wrong, so she should have obeyed this authority. They are defending Gothel’s right to complete control as the authority figure and reprimanding Rapunzel for not submitting to that complete control. They don’t seem to understand that complete, authoritarian control is a bad thing in itself! This seems to stem from the old testament with God’s completely arbitrary rules with terrifying punishments. But of course, as supreme, merciful God, he has every right to command whatever the f*** he wants just because he f***ing can.
    And you should obey because he is your authority and he’s been so good to you. Father knows best!

    • shadowspring

      They are especially convicted by (and silent about) the fact that Gothel was cannibalizing Rapunzel’s youth to feed her own life. That is what these QF moms are doing: the get social credit points for keeping their daughters locked up, and any achievements their daughter have (sewing, knitting, politicking for conservative politicians) don’t bring credit to their daughters, all that goes to the home schooling parent. This is what they life for:the approval of their peers.

      Gee, isn’t that one of the reasons public school is “evil”; it fosters an unhealthy peer dependence? I smell a rat….

      • shadowspring

        *hangs head in shame* I should really edit before I hit send. Please overlook the spelling and grammar errors above. At least my capitalization is good! :)

  • http://dream-wind.livejournal.com Christine

    That Visionary Daughters thing made absolutely no sense. It read like a bunch of scared raving.

    Come to think of it, it makes perfect sense now.

    • minuteye

      The logic makes my brain hurt: “Hitler wrote poetry, therefore Rapunzel should have obeyed her mother!”… huh?

  • minuteye

    “Some might say that since your universe is a fantasy universe, God’s ethical system does not apply. But if His moral standard doesn’t have jurisdiction over this film … then who could dare say bumping your mother out of the way would be wrong? Who’s to say any other solution would be morally better? Are we admitting that there is some overarching standard after all?”

    This quote (from the Visionary Daughters article) is very disturbing to me. Do the authors genuinely see the world this way? If you’re not perfectly Christian (according to their framework) you’re all equally bad? They can’t seriously be drawing a moral equivalency between Rapunzel disobeying her mother and murdering her mother? I must have misread that…

    • Paula G V aka Yukimi

      Haven’t you heard the “but if I didn’t believe in god I would go murdering people in the streets” or worse stuff. I am certainly not surprised anymore by people (fundamentalists usually) who think morality comes from any kind of god and extrapolate it to the weirdest stuff like if you are don’t believe in god you bound to be evil, that all sins are equal, that demons/supernatural forces of evil are the ones that make people commit crimes or that we are all capable of sexually abusing kids. The fact that they apply it not only to atheist or agnostics but to people with slightly different sets of beliefs doesn’t make me rise an eyebrow.

  • Caravelle

    I find the first article interesting, how they take Flynn’s words about how leaving her mother would break her heart but she needs to do it because rebellion is good… and they take it as a positive statement the film is making. Haven’t they noticed he’s sarcastic and trying to talk her into going back ?

    I don’t know how much I want to push the point because the film DOES make the point that Rapunzel was right to leave her mother (… because her mother was wrong to keep her trapped and to treat her as a prop instead of a person, but apparently that’s irrelevant)… but Flynn’s words aren’t something you’re supposed to take home as the message of the film.

  • Cathy W

    …if they protested Tangled, then Brave later this summer should make their heads explode. Because the girl not only disobeys, she disobeys by refusing the husband her father picked out for her in accordance with ancient sacred custom! And she has to rescue herself and her family with a decidedly unfeminine skill! She should have left that to her nearest male relative!

  • kalipay

    “We’ve had to watch girl after girl after girl make the same decisions you did, give in to temptation the way you did, sear her conscience the way you did, and run off with scoundrels like the one you did.”

    sigh… that’s exactly what i did according to them, and i am the most happy that i have ever been in my life (except for a few months when i was 16 and living in the tropics) with my “scoundrel” in a far off country.

    it’s been a while since i heard the rebellion=witchcraft verse… it’s unspeakable how freeing it is to not be under the horror and fear of that any more. life is good now. and i’m never reading that article again, but i am going to watch Tangled a few more times.