Added: February 4, 2017 – Last updated: February 4, 2017
Author: So-Jin Park
Title: What/Who is Sleeping?
Subtitle: Sexual Violence against Adolescent Girls and Revenge in Contemporary Film Versions of “Sleeping Beauty”
Journal: Asian Women
Link: DBpia (Restricted Access)
Abstract: » This paper discusses sexual violence against adolescent girls and their revenge on rapists in Arang (Ahn, 2006) and Maleficent (Stromberg, 2014) in comparison with traditional versions of “Sleeping Beauty.” In the traditional Sleeping Beauty legend, the sexuality of an adolescent girl (a princess) is controlled from her birth on the pretext of protecting her, and the sexual violence against her is linked to a paradoxical construction of adolescent girls’ sexuality: they must be innocent yet sexual, and their sexuality needs to be shown but must remain inactive. These contrasting concepts are also found in two contemporary films. Arang (Ahn, 2006) is a Korean film based on the 400-year-old Arang legend, and Maleficent (Stromberg, 2014) is a popular retelling of the 1959 Disney film Sleeping Beauty. While the “sleep” of adolescent girls is a central motif, both films deal with sexual violence against the female protagonists, who both subsequently take revenge on their rapists. Through this revenge, buried truths about violence and human greed are revealed, and the guilty take responsibility for their crimes. Meanwhile, the two films emphasize solidarity and support between the female characters as they heal from their traumatic experiences. Arang (Ahn, 2006) in particular criticizes the malfunctioning social justice system in Korea, advocates for social efforts to listen to the abused, and shows how sexual violence damages a girl’s whole being.« (Source: Asian Women)