October 26, 2010
“Women: Victims or Contributors?” In the article “A Feminist’s View of ‘Cinderella’” Madonna Kolbenschlag, a noted feminist theologian, author, social philosopher, and psychotherapist, approaches the well-known fairytale “Cinderella” from a feminist’s point of view. She presents many examples to support the argument that women are degraded throughout society and the story. While some compelling evidence can be found that agrees with the degradation of women claim, Kolbenschlag makes compelling arguments that women allow these burdens to be placed upon themselves. Kolbenschlag begins the article by telling that it is one of the most popular children’s stories documented and that it has a popular moral of good fortune being given to those who deserve it. She then goes on to say that Cinderella has good virtues, because she accepts her place in the household and doesn’t complain. She accepts her worthlessness. Kolbenschlag states that women are treated unfairly because they are subject to gender roles. She also discusses how small feet in the story plays into sexual bondage and the degradation of women in that sense. She tells that women leaving the house was wrong back in history and that the glass slipper contributes to that idea.
Finally, at the end, Kolbenschlag takes one final bash at males by using the prince as an example of how men mistreat women. When Kolbenschlag makes the relation that Cinderella is like the Jews in the Holocaust of World War II, she misrelates it and argues more for a different point than for the one she intended to make (535). She said that Cinderella really believes that she is the victim and that she belongs in the fireplace cleaning and doing other random chores around the house. What she is trying to display with that metaphor is that women are diminished by their surroundings and tricked into believing that they are worthless. The argument that she really
Cited: Kolbenschlag, Madonna. "A Feminist 's View of 'Cinderella '." Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum 6th edition. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. New York: Longman, 1997. 533-538. Print.