The Maleficent Rape Scene That Everyone Is Talking About [Must Read]



Imagine you’re drugged by someone you thought you trusted. You wake up in the morning with your face down in the dirt. You’re aching. Your appearance has changed and you can feel that you’re different as you try to stand through the pain. Beyond the physicality of it, your power was stolen from you. Your flight response. Your dignity.
You’re confused, Enraged, Devastated, and Angry. You set everyone on fire around you. You wish hatred
on newborn babies. You want to hide in an evil shell of darkness where everything is black and no one can touch you. Or ever hurt you. They talk about walls on reality TV shows. Oh, you build walls — they’re walls of thorns with armed towering guards that will crush any man who tries to approach it.
And though it sounds like a rape victim’s story — it’s not. It’s the storyline of Maleficent.
Rape has so permeated our culture that it ended up in a Disney movie.
It’s a Wicked-like backstory, and in it, we learn why Maleficent casts a spell on an evil baby. She’s a fairy before the black magic begins. She soars through the forest with freedom and passion. She falls in love with Stefan, a human. He returns to kill her so that he can be king.
But he doesn’t kill her. He rapes her of her ability to fly. He drugs her and leaves her so that he can bring her wings back to the king of the humans like Dorothy was told to fetch the broom of the Wicked Witch. She wakes up moaning, wailing. Stumbling. Utter devastation.
My 5-year-old digested the scene as an act of betrayal. She flat-lined the reasoning for Maleficent’s rage: “He cut off her wings.” Maleficent was wounded. But she survived. More, she recovered — physically and psychologically.
Grown women know better. I know better. I’m too familiar with the headlines about the boys who feel entitled to take from women and girls. Boys like these. And these. And now, these three boys, who raped a drunk girl at a prom party. There is so much rape that when you write a story about a woman at her most vulnerable point (is drugged in the dirt enough for you?), rape becomes the symbol. Even if that’s not the writer’s intention. Writer Linda Woolverton doesn’t actually say that this was a rape scene — instead she says in an interview that she had always wanted to do a “dark fairy story.”


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Victor Ndah
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