Thursday, June 23, 2005


I've been reading about the Cinderella complex - perhaps you've heard of it. It's when girls have read so many stupid stories and watched so much Disney that they think they need to marry a nice man to be complete. All life is suffering until they get rescued from their life of loneliness, and they have to compete for the prize because there's only one Prince Charming to go around righting the wrongs. You've got to be really pretty and really good to catch the eye of ol' Charmy boy that's for sure.

If you look around there are so many of these girls out there going to the night clubs in their little dresses and make up trying to get noticed by some rich looking guy in a suit. They prop up a huge bridal industry - if you've ever been to the mall when there was a bridal show on you have probably been amazed at the premium just for tacking the word "bridal" onto a product's name.

Feminists hate this stuff...

Liberal feminists (and some feminists even go further and call themselves pro-sex feminists) say of course it's alright if a woman wants to be with a man, and if she decides she will feel happy raising the children carefully and getting treated like a princess because he can afford for her not to work full time then hey great.

But no woman should be forced into the usual assumptions about relationships and power and labour and so on.

For a modern woman, it's hard to know which feelings are legitimate. For example, I might feel the urge to make a boy a big cake with icing roses and I might also feel the urge to write a song and I might also be interested in sewing the fabric that's been sitting in front of me for over a week now. The sewing is because I like to make pretty things and I like to be pretty by wearing pretty things. The cake is because I like to make nice things and I like to give nice things to nice people and make them feel good. The song is because I like to make music and I want it to be a career.

Now is it wrong of me to want to make friends, a romantic attachment, make people happy? Sometimes it feels so, but that's probably because I'm more extraverted than my introverted mother who raised me, and because of those confusing feminists who remind me I need a career. I'm not even sure what a career is. I know it's good to have a source of money and to get good at doing some nice or useful things or things that bring joy, but a career is not really a thing or a process - it's just a label for a bunch of related behaviour. If my activities fall into the pattern, then I have a career and I'm Good. If they don't then I'm drifting and that's BAD, especially for a girl who might get married. That might actually be Shameful.

I'm calling it the Anti-Cinderella complex, or maybe even the Margaret Thatcher complex. And I'm signing off with a reminder that Mrs Thatcher used to make breakfast for her family every morning the whole time she was prime minister.


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