Cinderella, the Survivor: A New Look at an Old StoryMarch 25, 2015
|Full Storify of the tweets here.|
As someone who grew up in an unstable home and went on to have an awful first romantic and sexual relationship, Grey's tweets really hit home for me. To say that a person is simply letting his or her family treat them a certain way is invalidating the fear and feelings of powerlessness experienced by those who suffer from abuse. This holds especially true when you're talking about children being mistreated by their families. When your fundamental model of what loving and caring for another person looks like is warped, is it any surprise that you may go on to have trouble with relationships later in life? Maintaining a supportive, loving relationship—romantic, platonic, or otherwise—is an enormous achievement.
Sure, this analogy isn't perfect. We don't find out how happy Cinderella's "ever after" really is, falling in insta-love might not be the best strategy for cultivating an enduring, healthy romance, and, as my boyfriend pointed out, Prince Charming definitely gets cast more as "the rescuer" than "the partner." I still think that Grey gives us plenty of food for thought.
|Source: This article from The Artifice.|
Ana of Things Mean A Lot has a favorite motto when it comes to writing about women: all the stories, please. I take this to mean stories about women seeking love, stories about women not seeking love, and stories about women that have nothing to do with love at all. The idea that a woman's life (or story, as it were) is only meaningful if she's shattering stereotypes strikes me as extremely antifeminist. Women (like men, like all people) are multifaceted, and just because one aspect of a woman's life strikes you as "cliché" doesn't invalidate her worth as a human being. Still, this does raise a very important question: how do we successfully get the message across that whatever makes a woman happy is worthwhile without unintentionally reinforcing harmful tropes?
What do you think of Cinderella being recast as a "survivor story"? Do you have any favorite stories of abuse or trauma survivors? Do you want to argue with me about feminism? Let's chat!