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.)
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