Colette Dowling's The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independency

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Colette Dowling's The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independency In her book, The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independency, Ms. Colette Dowling states her belief in a condition which she names "the Cinderella complex", being an intricate system of beliefs put upon women which make them feel as if they must be submissive to the wills of others, seemingly less intelligent than they truly are. However, with a more detailed analysis of the tale of Cinderella, Dowling would have realized that this is not a completely accurate naming of her discovered complex. But in order to prove this, we ourselves must take a closer look at the tale of Cinderella. In the classic version of Cinderella, that written by Charles Perrault, we are presented the image of a girl completely submissive to the will of her stepmother and of her sisters. Not quite flattering to the modern woman. However, let us examine the author and the circumstances surrounding his retelling of the story. Charles Perrault was a French nobleman, whose project was to collect tales from all over the world and rewrite them in such a format as would make them suitable for his intended audience, namely the French court. In the world of royalty, it is the man who is truly important, the sole purpose of his wife being to bear him children and make him look good in public. Perrault's Cinderella is a perfect example of what, in the eye of his audience, would be considered the perfect wife. She was a hard worker, who never objected to anything that she was told. She was "sweetness itself", according to Perrault, a perfect girl without a trace of animosity in her being--as is shown in her final treatment of her stepmother and sisters. She would ne... ... middle of paper ... ...lking on our drive home from school, I said to her, "if I were a girl, it's not like I would turn 19 and suddenly say I have to get married now', it's more like you know, maybe I am ready to get married'." But she responded that it's not that simple...that she felt pressured to get married quickly, because if she would wait, all the good husbands would be gone already. She also mentioned that girls who wait longer take on a status of being less than prime candidates for matches. This shows an evident external force acting on women to make them fear their own independence. (However, I cannot state the existence of such a condition in the same manner anywhere outside the American religious Jewish community.) Sarah was married on December 29th, and moved to New York three days later. So perhaps the condition would be more appropriately named the "Sarah complex".

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