Analysis Of What's Wrong With Cinderella

1024 Words3 Pages
Everyone knows and loves the enchanting childhood fairytales of magic, princes, and princesses, but very seldom are privy to the detrimental impacts of “happily ever after” on the developing youth. Fairy tales are widely studied and criticized by parents and scholars alike for their underlying tone and message to children. Peggy Orenstein, feminist author, mother, and fairy tale critic, has made it her personal mission to bring these hidden messages to the surface. In the article, “What’s Wrong with Cinderella?” Orenstein dissects the seemingly innocent tale of love and magic, and the princess many know and love, and points out its flaws and dangers. Fairy tales, Cinderella in particular, are not suitable for children because upon deeper evaluation,…show more content…
Throughout many fairytales, Cinderella more evidently, there is the stigma of male roles and female roles. The man is the prince, the knight in shining armor, the strong protector and able provider, and the woman is the princess. Dainty and innocent, weak and capable only of looking pretty, fostering children and maintaining appearances of house and home. These roles of placement have been around long before fairy tales, and they’ll be around long after fairy tales, but the inclusion of these roles through characters in fairy tales does nothing but enforce the idea that this is the way things are meant to be, and women who do not assume these roles are wrong and unworthy. In her article, Orenstein refers to Cinderella as “the patriarchal oppression of all women”, and she is exactly right (Orenstein “What’s wrong with Cinderella?”). The impression left of these gender stereotypes travels off the pages of the fairy tale and into the real world when studies show that there is a “23% decline in girls’ participation in sports and other rigorous activity … has been linked to their sense that athletics is unfeminine” (Orenstein “What’s wrong with Cinderella?”). The blatant disregard for equality in these stories can be summed up with a term Orenstein coined, “relentless resegregation of childhood”, which ultimately defines what it means to be a boy or a girl in the terms of set behaviors and life duties (Orenstein “What’s wrong with Cinderella?”). Whether it be Cinderella or any other princess, the fairy tale business makes it a point to create a place for women with their stories, and unfortunately that “place” is demeaning and still practiced
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