Was thinking last night about alternate stories where Cinderella has a wicked stepfather ...and realized that this could not happen.

The reason for Cinderella's predicament was her wicked stepmother --- who is in a predicament herself.

Consider this, if I'm the stepmother: I had a first husband and two daughters I loved very much, and then I lost the husband (to war, illness, a hunting accident, whatever). By rights, his daughters should get everything of his.

But unfortunately, I have to get married again, because for whatever reason, this society can't help a woman alone deal (maybe I need a loan, and the bank just won't give one to a respectable widow without a man signing off on it).

And now my new husband, whom I married for convenience or survival, owns everything I own, by the customs of this nation. Including all that used to be my beloved first husband's. And he's got a kid, and she'll get everything he has, so she'll it ALL. Including what should have been my Drucilla's and Anastasia's. Just because I needed that bank loan so they won't starve now, they'll starve after he dies. All because I'm a woman and had the tactlessness to survive my husband (and maybe he'd died without a specific will that all the money goes to his daughters, or his will gets overridden because heck, I'm the only one who was witness and I'm a woman).

Frack, I'll be wicked too. It's not a bad stepmother that's Cinderella's problem, it's the patriarchy.

(The wicked stepfather/real father problem is Donkeyskin.)
ext_12535: I made this (Default)

From: [identity profile] wetdryvac.livejournal.com


I've seen a number of variants of that story, and always ended up at, "The wickedness is in the doing." As such, a lot of the wickedness is in the background - forcing women to compete with each other for property via potential property holders - but a lot of it is also in the foreground: That Cinderella is done specifically to by those around her.

In turn, even the supposedly good things she experiences are largely done to her rather than, "OK, here's a potential option or trade."

In further turn - and the part that seriously creeps me out - is the idea that the slipper itself, as an object, has more more of her identity in it than her voice, her face, or her own doing.

Any society placing humans in object category and placing objects-non-human above both human and object-human is unspeakably broken - and that pretty much describes what I see any time I walk out the door.

From: [identity profile] indicolite.livejournal.com


In further turn - and the part that seriously creeps me out - is the idea that the slipper itself, as an object, has more more of her identity in it than her voice, her face, or her own doing.

In a science-fiction world, the prince searches for the girl who has the two-factor authentication (password and RSA passcode token) to assume the avatar he met at a Metaverse ball...

I'd read that. Maybe I'll write it.

In turn, even the supposedly good things she experiences are largely done to her rather than, "OK, here's a potential option or trade."

Yeah, Cinderella's passivity is very frustrating, and I think I've seen several authors mention that the story is about enduring abuse rather than taking action --- while the actual wicked-father archetype, Donkeyskin, _does_ have the heroine take action and get her heels the hell out of there with what valuable goods and skills to trade she can carry. I.e. you can flee a male threat but you can't flee a female one (except in the story of Katie Woodencloak, according to Wikipedia).
Edited Date: 2013-06-03 07:03 pm (UTC)
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