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by Tess Willoughby
I found this and just about died. As a woman who escaped from my own abuser and “tower” of extreme fundamentalism, I can’t get over this woman’s take on the Disney movie “Tangled”:
Rapunzel’s rebellion, anti-domesticity, and general unwillingness to stay put are decried at length. In the movie, Reims states, “we’re treated to an interesting commentary on homemakers and why these captives to domesticity are setting themselves up for eventual disenchantment.”
Even though Rapunzel was deceived by her kidnapper, Reims writes, because Rapunzel thought Gothel was her mother, Rapunzel is a sinner for rebelling against TOTAL abuse, control, and slavery when Rapunzel becomes an ADULT! Rapunzel is put in the same camp as Mother Gothel (“If we’re prepared to say that Mother Gothel’s sins are inexcusable, we must be prepared to say the same of Rapunzel’s”), even though Gothel is a textbook abuser right down to the insults with “I’m just teasing” and the use of terrors to control Rapunzel that Gothel herself has manufactured.
I was amazed at the thorough depiction by Disney of every kind of mental and emotional abuse. Like many of the captors whom we in this forum escaped, Gothel only turns to physical abuse when all other forms of abuse fail. When Rapunzel tries to escape, obviously suffering from acute Stockholm Syndrome, Gothel stalks her and creates a crisis to force her back into bondage. The world is evil, keep your light in the tower, says Gothel. Mother knows best. You’re 18, 21, 25? So what.
From this writer’s viewpoint, if you’re in a home, being domestic, it doesn’t matter that home is a prison and you’re being abused. It doesn’t matter that your authority figure has no intention of ever letting you leave, and does not recognize that parental authority has an expiration date or that husbandly authority can be abused until it is invalid. If you leave, at all, for any reason, you’re being sinful and rebellious and anti-biblical.