jasonsteinfairytales

Rags to Ritches: Turning Mistreated Women into Bitches | March 25, 2012

The “rise tale,” as Cinderella’s “rags to riches” plot conveys, gives a false message to the young female audience that the mistreated girl who keeps her mouth shut will eventually live a happy, validated life. However, this fantastic motif leaves no room for reality, especially considering ti only exacerbates the misogynist roles given to women. We see that in the common Cinderella story, the mean, domineering stepsisters almost rip the shoe out of the Prince’s hands to try to fit in it; they even cut their toes and heels to physically cut off their masculinity so they can fit into the “dainty” shoes. Yet the entire time they forget that by actively taking the shoe, they are assuming the masculine role by putting the shoe on themselves. The submissive Cinderella bides her time sifting around in the ashes, waiting for the Prince to slip the shoe on her, allowing him to assume the “proper masculine” role. Only then can he find the right girl, the virgin prototype female that is his soulmate: Cinderella. Thus, the end of the story in which the Prince settles with his destined woman only furthers the premise in the majority of Grimm-era fairytales that women are submissive and men make all the important decisions.

How can a child read this fairytale, amongst others, and NOT think that she should just let the right man come to her, that from the “ashes” she lives in now will burst forth a bright, perfect future. Now, just because these fairytales feed children these socioculturally backward morals does not imply that they never come true; a woman can always woo  a rich man with her breast implants and find herself bathing in dolla dolla bills instead of ashes. What these stories always fail to recognize is that money and marriage to a “Prince,” whether that implies rich beautiful man or just means the one man whom a woman honors and feels a special attachment, often does not translate to a rich life in terms of self-fulfillment and productivity. Money cannot buy everything, and that statement is cliche only because it is true the majority of the time!

Telling anybody that putting things off now for a future full of awesomeness does nothing but keep people looking towards the future. Nobody seems to notice that this motive plagues our current society; always looking ahead to a future full of money/a perfect family/a perfect car/ a perfectlie, Americans skip the present and keep working themselves into a hole (forgetting that the body can only run on so few hours of sleep and so many Big Macs and Starbucks on the go before it shuts down). No wonder our population continues to get more and more obese and less and less happy working longer and longer hours at jobs where title matters. So perhaps people have bought into the rags to riches motive, thinking that working toward a future will only make it perfect. Except people in reality don’t have birds to help them sift through seeds, or more realistically, tax and mortgage papers.

And do not even get me started on magic. The fairy godmother that always appears to help Cinderella (yes, that’s you, Whitney Houston, when you helped out poor Brandy) is obviously just the powerful helper that emanates the glory and divinity Cinderella’s biological mother possessed in comparison to the dreck that is currently the stepmother. But thatneverhappens in real life. People are too concerned with their own futures to take a step back and look at someone else’s.

I wouldn’t let them give me that hairdo even if it meant $5 million and a co-starring spot in a movie.

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Wow, Jason, this is just…awesome! I liked how you explained the idea about the stepsister’s masculinity, that’s a really good point. And I completely agree, that we’re always preparing for the future, and never stop to enjoy anything in the present. I’ve thought about that a lot before, it really kind of sucks! You’re humor is also awesome; I lol’ed at the dolla dolla bills comment!

    Comment by Natalie — April 1, 2012 @ 4:09 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: