Top-Rated Free Essay
Preview

Rhetorical Analysis of ‘What’s Wrong with Cinderella’ By Peggy Orenstein

Powerful Essays
483 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Rhetorical Analysis of ‘What’s Wrong with Cinderella’ By Peggy Orenstein
Laura Walker
10/20/2014
Rhetorical Analysis of ‘What’s Wrong with Cinderella’ By Peggy Orenstein Using personal experience, Peggy Orenstein, discusses the impact businesses such as Disney and Mattel have on reinforcing gender roles. The fact that she is a mother discussing her own struggles gives the piece a more casual and personal tone. She is speaking to those like her. Having a conversation with the readers causes the piece to be well-rounded. While she does not address the reader directly the casual nature of the writing allows her to make an argument, bring up questions about the argument and then answer those questions all while simply talking about an experience she had with her own daughter. Also unlike a ‘Scholar of women’s studies’ her main focus is on her daughter. Not political correctness or staying true to her feminist beliefs, but providing the best atmosphere for her daughter.
Instead of trying to validate herself as a scholar or someone who constantly studies how gender roles effect young girls, Peggy Orenstein simply uses her personal experience as a feminist who has a princess loving three-year-old. This firsthand experience validates her argument. There can be thousands of studies and observations done on young girls, but no one will understand them as well as a mother. These young girls however don’t always understand their mothers’ intentions the same way. As Orenstein states, “What if, instead of realizing: Aha! Cinderella is a symbol of the patriarchal oppression of all women, another example of corporate mind control and power-to-the-people! My 3-year-old was thinking, Mommy doesn’t want me to be a girl?”
She isn’t as much trying to persuade the reader one way or the other as much as just bringing up the issue and discussing it. She does a very good job of representing both points of views even though she does claim to be a feminist. When she brings up a new point she first brings up the opposing argument and then uses her opinion of said argument to make her point. Before moving onto her next point she often refers back to the argument and it’s points of validity. What she ends up doing is establishing that there is a big grey area. Throughout the piece she is trying to find a balance between discouraging her daughter from being feminine and discouraging her daughter from conforming to gender roles. If she were to “completely and totally reject princess culture” she would “limit” her daughter “from a full exploration of” her “gender and femininity”. “Being a feminist does not mean an overall rejection of everything it means to be a traditional girl.” (Schechter-Shaffin, Shoshanna R.)

Orenstein, Peggy. "Whats Wrong with Cinderella?" Composing Gender. Ed. Rachael Groner and John F. O'Hara. N.p.: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2013. N. pag. Print.
Schechter-Shaffin, Shoshanna R. "A Feminist Defense of Cinderella." The Feminist Wire. Thefeministwire, 27 Mar. 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    In the author's article he presents the idea that girls should follow a more independent manner rather than the stereotype of princess who needs saving in modern films. With evidence from movies like Ella Enchanted where the princess is escaping the binds of having to marry her prince, rather than wait to be saved by her prince it is clear the author supports more feminist themes for modern fairytales.…

    • 614 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Reviving Ophelia, by Mary Pipher,written as a narrative about multiple teenage girls experiences, who discuss their own problems with pipher, a therapist. Pipher wrote this book to explain how from the 1970’s to the 1990’s adolescent girls tend to be putting their lives at risk . The end result may be to kill themselves. Pipher comes into play by trying to save the lives of the young teenage girls who are lost and not sure where to go or who to talk to. Her story reaches out to the adult’s who are not sure how to approach the situation. Adults will have guidance on ways to help out their teenage daughter. Pipher use the rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos to address her purpose.…

    • 664 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Feminist View of “Girl” In order to properly view a story from a feminist perspective, it is important that the reader fully understands what the feminist perspective entails. “There are many feminist perspectives, and each perspective uses different approaches to analyze and interpret texts. One is that gender is “socially constructed” and another is that power is distributed unequally on the basis of sex, race, and ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, ability, sexuality, and economic class status” (South University Online, 2011, para. 1). The story “Girl” is an outline of the things young girls reaching adolescence must do in order to conform to society’s expectations in an era before feminist laws. “In this section, we examine some of the literary means used to depict the world of the child from the child’s point of view and the world of the adolescent — “the folly of youth,” as the cynical Ambrose Bierce would have it — from an adolescent point of view” (Pike & Acosta, 2011, p. 351). As the list of society’s standards in the story “Girl” can be related to an era in which a woman was defined as the caretaker so to say, these types of rules no longer pertain to the role of a woman in our modern day style of living in society today. “In American culture today, for instance, women have access to broader roles than those outlined by the narrator” (South University Online, 2011). Jamaica Kincaid (1978) published the story “Girl” as to show her knowledge of a feminist perspective when relating to a mother’s fear of breaking traditional gender roles, and the tension it may cause on the mother and daughter’s relationship.…

    • 1270 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the text, Gender and Women’s Studies in Canada by Margaret Hobbs and Carla Rice, is a story called, X: A Fabulous Child’s Story by Lois Gould. The main character in this story is not assigned a specific gender, so growing up, the parents of X gave their child both female and male characterized items to wear, play with, and watch. By doing this, X’s parents allowed X to expand and easily discover what it is that X truly is passionate about without the barriers of social constructs. “X was the president of student council. X had won first prize in the talent show, and second prize in the art show, and honourable mention in the science fair, and six athletic events on field day” (168). This story helped me understand that feminism benefits…

    • 290 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Anuj Arora July 10, 2011 Critique Mark Davis Not so Motherless In Elisabeth Panttaja’s, article Cinderella: Not So Morally Superior the author offers an analysis of the classic fairy tale Cinderella. Panttaja’s analysis may be off-putting to some because she describes Cinderella as being crafty and not a princess who is virtuous or patient. Panttaja claims that Cinderella was not as motherless as it seemed. She does on to say that we cannot assume that just because she is the heroine that she is morally superior to her enemies. This is an example of an over complication, in a simple and beautiful story. Cinderella should be about the triumph of good over evil.…

    • 589 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    In James Poniewozik’s “The Princess Paradox”, he introduces the idea that young girls find becoming a princess appealing, even if they are raised to be an independent woman. Poniewozik, who is a media critic for the Time magazine, seems intrigued by the evolution of princesses and how it uses feministic views to create a pleasing appearance to the younger generations who are being raised with feminist ideals. Poniewozik claims that feministic themes find their way into our culture and as a consequence creates the twenty-first century Cinderella, a strong woman who still enjoys her gown. So although some feminist may denounce Poniewozik’s assertion that independent women find comfort in being treated as a princess, evidence throughout his essay could point towards the idea that self-reliant women still want to be saved into sovereignty.…

    • 597 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Reading Synthesis Essay for September 23rd In this week’s readings we focused on gender roles and feminism. This is a topic I knew little about going into the readings but I have since learned a great deal about the struggle of women in our culture. Pop culture is not a female friendly business and it shows throughout the modern culture.…

    • 778 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Comparative Critique In the "Princess Paradox" James Poniewozik starts out his article by taking a stance against the princess movement, but then throughout the rest of his article he talks about how the movement is good for young girls by showing that they can control their own destiny. Unlike the "Princess Paradox", Peggy Orenstein 's article "Cinderella and Princess Culture" takes a stance against the princess movement by stating that the movement is ruining the minds of young girls. Although both authors have feminist points of view, they have opposite opinions on how the princess movement affect young girls, which they try to prove by using different approaches to prove what their opinion is.…

    • 1045 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Comparative Critique

    • 893 Words
    • 4 Pages

    As a journalist and critic for Time Magazine, James Poniewozik concentrates on how the classic fairytale of Cinderella has been reinvented multiple times to correspond with the viewpoints of feminist authors. Poniewozik claims in his article "The Princess Paradox" that "girls choosing the fairy-tale ending is not such a bad thing" (667). However Peggy Orenstein, a contributing writer for The New York Times, would completely disagree with that statement. Orenstein stresses in her article Cinderella and Princess Culture that the "princess craze" and "girlie-girl" culture is ruining young girls as they feel constantly pressured to be perfect (673).…

    • 893 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    English Comp Critique In the article, “The Princess Paradox”, James Poniewozik describes how the princess era is making a comeback. He uses a lot of examples of cinderella stories and other fairytale projects to describe how the princess era is becoming a trend today. He goes into a lot of depth about these movies and fairy-tail projects to get his point across. In the article, “Cinderella and Princess Culture”, Peggy Orenstein starts off by telling us how she came “unhinged” at the dentist’s office whenever the dentist asked Orenstein’s daughter if she wanted to sit in the princess throne. Orenstein immediately attacks the dentist, claiming that every daughter does not need to be a princess in this world today. Orenstein mainly discusses the Disney consumer products having a major influence on the young girls today. Although in both of these articles, Orenstein and Poniewozik act as if they are feminist, they both have different reasons to why they are against young girls being princesses today.…

    • 1059 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Journal

    • 302 Words
    • 1 Page

    Also, Stefan Babich’s article throws more light to the devastating issue of gender gap. She considers the role of female protagonists in animated children’s films. Using Disney and Pixar as a case study, she fairly criticizes Disney films for being sexist and mentions that “A pretty big percentage of the female leads in Disney musicals seem to have only one goal- to get…

    • 302 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Disney Princess Effect

    • 534 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Stephanie Hanes’ “Little Girls or Little Women? The Disney Princess Effect” first appeared in the Christian Science Monitor in 2011. Hanes aims to convince her audience that little girls are being subjected to the hypersexualization of women. With supporting evidence, strategic organization, and a specific purpose and audience, Hanes is able to produce a convincing argument.…

    • 534 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Gender and the Early Years

    • 1475 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Cited: MLA form using EasyBib.com: * Orenstein, Peggy. "What 's Wrong With Cinderella?" Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-girl Culture. 1st ed. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2011. 11-52. Print.…

    • 1475 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    This author, Peggy Orenstein talks about and argues that the isolation of boys and girls are pretty relevant through the commercialization of Disney films and toys when all is said in done. Disney and toy organizations are promoting gender roles as a hidden topic in the matter of what boys and girls ought to partake and be. The view of Disney films creates what girls and boys should and shouldn't make strive toward in the public eye. Orenstein demonstrates that gender roles are made through the utilization of Disney motion pictures. The one point I might want to grow and remark on is the commercialization of the Disney princesses Orenstein discusses with her friends.…

    • 468 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The "battle of the sexes" that rages on today is just as strong as it has always been. Although an ever-increasing number of opinions are being heard and made known, many people are still ignorant and hold on to traditional views that can sometimes be damaging. Even though there has been much progress in the ways of communication and understanding, much is still needed to be done and improved upon. Colette Dowling is a well-respected author on women's psychological issues who uses her personal experiences and insights to enlighten women about themselves. In Dowling's excerpt of The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independence, she provides a clearly written and rational explanation on the psychological issues of dependency women exhibit, but lacks in supporting evidence and examples.…

    • 1515 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays