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  • Cinderella has gotten a lot of grief in recent years for being anti-feminist, but does the

  • movie really deserve this hate?

  • The 1950 film is often assumed to be a story about a weak, passive woman who has to be

  • rescued by Prince Charming and becomes a rich, happy princess thanks to pure dumb luck and

  • a pretty face.

  • The film has become a straw man for the argument that Disney princesses are not good role models

  • for girls.

  • But if we look closer at the actual movie, this is all a misreading that doesn't pan

  • out.

  • Painting Cinderella as no more than a damsel in distress ignores the context of her life

  • and blames a victim of emotional and physical abuse for being unable to escape her situation.

  • This unnuanced view cheapens what is actually an empowering message at the heart of Cinderella.

  • This isn't a story about a man stepping in to save a helpless woman.

  • It's about a woman who faces adversity head on, who chooses kindness and optimism even

  • when it's hard, and who uses her own creativity and inner strength to rescue herself.

  • The story of Cinderella is so familiar to us, it's easy to assume we know everything

  • about it and watch the film passively.

  • Disney itself now even plays into the Cinderella fallacy, as we can see in The Cheetah Girls.

  • “I don't wanna be like Cinderella / Sittin' in a dark cold dusty cellar / Waitin' for

  • somebody to come and set me free.”

  • But the criticisms usually focus on our culture's shared interpretation of Cinderella, not what

  • the character actually says and does in the film.

  • "That means I can go, too!"

  • "Huh!

  • Her, dancing with the prince!"

  • "Well, why not?"

  • Sure, the princess culture at large markets unfair beauty standards and other problematic

  • ideas to young girls, but it doesn't actually make sense to saddle this film in particular

  • with so much blame.

  • Critics of the movie probably feel they're espousing girl power by attacking the damaging

  • idea that a happy ending equals a handsome prince.

  • But, counterintuitively, the tendency to dismiss Cinderella is actually a little sexist.

  • The character's chief personality traits -- kindness, caring and optimism -- are stereotypically

  • feminine.

  • "Cinderella likes you too!

  • She's nice, very nice."

  • "Poor little Gus!

  • Here!"

  • Cinderella doesn't stand up to her abusers in a traditionally masculine way.

  • She doesn't physically fight back, make daring plans of escape, or hold back her tears.

  • So writing off Cinderella is on some level buying into masculine standards of strength

  • and weakness.

  • Saying her traits of kindness and perseverance aren't good enough devalues femininity.

  • And it also unfairly presumes that a victim of abuse should fight back.

  • Because we're primed to watch Cinderella passively, people tend to willfully ignore

  • the context of Cinderella's upbringing and the trauma she suffers as a child.

  • Even though the opening scenes of the film literally state that her stepmother abused

  • her.

  • "Cinderella was abused, humiliated, and finally forced to become a servant in her own house."

  • Lady Tremaine is lit in a way that reminds us of a horror movie.

  • The visual contrast between her and Cinderella makes it clear that Cinderella has no power

  • in their dynamic, and she has no choice but to obey.

  • We witness a truly disturbing scene of abuse when Cinderella's stepsisters rip the clothes

  • from her body, while Lady Tremaine watches with satisfaction.

  • Cinderella's eyes widen in total terror as she backs away from her stepmother's

  • advances.

  • And her expression communicates to kids that Lady Tremaine is as scary and powerful as

  • any dragon or witch.

  • The black background as Anastasia and Drizella rip Cinderella's dress frames and emphasizes

  • the terror in Cinderella's face.

  • The stepsisters leave Cinderella feeling destroyed, her dress in tatters.

  • And the scene leaves us feeling we've just watched a violent assault.

  • "Through it all, Cinderella remained ever gentle and kind, for with each dawn she found

  • new hope that some day, her dreams of dreams of happiness would come true.”

  • Cinderella has to retreat into her imagination in order to stay sane.

  • Our first interaction with her shows her using fantasy as a coping mechanism, and remarking

  • that dreams are the only aspect of her life she can control.

  • "Well there's one thing -- they can't order me to stop dreaming.”

  • A key thing our culture often misses is that Cinderella's dreams don't revolve around

  • a man, but around a vision of future happiness, where she can live free from her abusers.

  • "If you keep on believing / the dreams that you wish will come true."

  • Cinderella's inner strength and tireless imagination manifest physically as the Fairy

  • Godmother.

  • If you'd lost all faith, I couldn't be here.”

  • It's when she believes she's hit rock bottom that her Fairy Godmother materializes,

  • and the reprise of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

  • "It's just no use..."

  • -- tells us that she is the embodiment of Cinderella's dreaming or her heart's wish.

  • When she needs it most, Cinderella has willed a loving maternal figure into existence.

  • Since she has no real family, the fairy represents her determination to mother herself.

  • The Fairy Godmother's magic works through imagination, creativity, and resourcefulness

  • -- all qualities that Cinderella relies on for her survival, as that represent the true

  • powers.

  • Each magical transformation finds hidden potential in what Cinderella already has.

  • A pumpkin becomes the carriage, the mice become horses, and Cinderella's horse, who assumes

  • he'll pull the carriage, becomes the coachman.

  • Gus's transformation especially symbolizes how imagination can help us overcome our oppressors.

  • When he's transformed into a horse, he's finally able to escape Lucifer's clutches,.

  • Cinderella's ability to remain positive makes her fantasy of freedom become a reality,

  • at least for the night of the ball.

  • Cinderella proves that imagination can be power, offering joy and independence when

  • the outer world seems bleak, and training the mind to be resourceful.

  • "Well, maybe this is a little old-fashioned, but I'll fix that."

  • So Cinderella's fantasies really displays of strength from within, not the passive,

  • mindless daydreaming they're often seen as.

  • Her ultimate triumph over evil comes when Lady Tremaine shatters the original glass

  • slipper, and Cinderella reveals that she has the other.

  • Her imagination and inner strength brought her the Fairy Godmother, her night at the

  • ball, and thus the glass slipper, so Cinderella provided herself with the one thing that could

  • free her from this abusive household.

  • This slipper is physical, hard evidence that Cinderella willed her fantasies into a reality.

  • A glass slipper is the perfect symbol of a dream made real.

  • It's made of glass, delicate and fantastical, not the most practical footwear -- even the

  • idea of a “glass slipperseems otherworldly.

  • But it is real.

  • It can be felt and seen.

  • Lady Tremaine's act of breaking the slipper is her symbolic attempt to shatter Cinderella's

  • dreams, but those dreams can't be destroyed.

  • So we see that the shoe isn't a frivolous accessory at all, but the tool Cinderella

  • needs to break free.

  • After all, I suppose it would be frightfully dull, and boring, and completely...wonderful.”

  • For Cinderella, wanting to attend the ball actually has nothing to do with finding a

  • prince.

  • It's about freedom, choice, and agency over her own life.

  • "Oh, no.

  • What do they want?"

  • It's a much-needed fun night off, a much needed brief escape from the oppression of

  • her daily life.

  • Have a good time!

  • Dance!

  • Be gay!

  • Now off you go, you're on your way!”

  • It's not Cinderella, but her stepfamily, who are preoccupied with the prince's eligibility.

  • "Every eligible maiden is to attend."

  • "Well that's us!"

  • "And I'm so eligible!”

  • In the scene where the prince first sees Cinderella, she doesn't even see him.

  • She's enamored of her surroundings, excited to explore a new place she normally wouldn't

  • have the privilege of visiting.

  • She doesn't even realize she's dancing with royalty.

  • "Oh, the prince.

  • I haven't met the prince."

  • "A prince?"

  • The unexpected love she finds functions as poetic justice for her cruel step family,

  • who are punished for their vanity and greed by witnessing the object of their hatred receive

  • the very thing they coveted.

  • Cinderella's good heart makes her capable of true love, whereas her stepsisters are

  • far too petty and selfish for a true connection.

  • The experience of falling in love is also an unforeseen reward for Cinderella's righteousness

  • and perseverance.

  • She escapes her abusive family to start a new one that will reflect her values and understanding

  • of what a positive loving environment can be.

  • The prince is also absent not just from Cinderella's dreams but also her final escape.

  • Ultimately, she saves herself.

  • When Lady Tremaine discovers Cinderella was the one dancing with the prince at the ball,

  • she follows Cinderella to her room and imprisons her there, in yet another undeniable act of

  • abuse.

  • It's Cinderella who retrieves the key to her door through teamwork with her animal

  • friends.

  • The termCinderella Storyis often applied to sports or other situations when someone

  • unknown comes seemingly out of nowhere for a huge win beyond anybody's expectations.

  • But the Cinderella in these stories has struggled and worked to bring about their success.

  • So while it may it look like dumb luck to an outsider, the Cinderella is generally receiving

  • the just rewards of hard work, grit, humility, and believing in dreams that seems unrealistic,

  • all things that Cinderella herself exemplifies.

  • Where?

  • In the trap?!

  • Why didn't you say so?”

  • Cinderella demonstrates that real kindness is active, not passive.

  • Rescuing her friends in this oppressive household is brave and heroic.

  • The film establishes Cinderella's compassion.

  • She clothes and feeds the animals, and they show their gratitude by helping with her morning

  • routine.

  • It's reciprocity for the care and love she generously offers them.

  • When Gus gets stuck in a mousetrap, we see that Cinderella is quick to help those who

  • can't help themselves.

  • And she's spirited -- she doesn't hesitate to tease her friends --

  • Serves you right for spoiling people's best dreams!”

  • -- or stand up for herself in her interactions with Lucifer.

  • "You mean, old thing!

  • I'm just going to have to teach you a lesson."

  • These interactions are important to show us that Cinderella's not a pushover.

  • She knows when she's being treated unfairly, and, when she can object, she does.

  • But there's a distinction between this and someone who represents a truly grave threat

  • to her safety.

  • When Cinderella tells Bruno to stop dreaming of chasing Lucifer, it's because disobeying

  • Lady Tremaine's orders could result in losing his home.

  • "Suppose they heard you upstairs...You know the orders.

  • So if you don't want to lose a nice, warm bed, you'd better get rid of those dreams."

  • She knows that Bruno's situation could become parallel to her own, and she's been forced

  • to value practicality over justice in order to survive.

  • Nearthe end, we see a return to the parallel between Cinderella and Bruno

  • "Bruno...Yes, Bruno!

  • Quick!

  • Get Bruno!

  • Get Bruno!"

  • At this critical moment, Cinderella decides that Bruno should disobey orders, despite

  • the danger, because they have a real opportunity to escape.

  • Her changed attitude toward Bruno reflects that she's newly emboldened in own situation.

  • But the help of her friends -- and her concern for them as well -- are key to all of their

  • rescue.

  • In the end, the friendships Cinderella has built through kindness make her escape possible.

  • It's unfair of us to expect that Cinderella should be able to escape her situation sooner

  • just by being a little bit sassier.

  • She grows up in an abusive environment where she lacks all power.

  • Her kindness and ability to cope through fantasy actually represent her strength and bravery

  • in the face of adversity.

  • In the time since the film's release in 1950, perhaps qualities like kindness and

  • optimism have come to seem simple, obvious and naive.

  • But in reality, these qualities are undervalued, difficult to practice and not at all common.

  • This is a story about a woman who is both feminine and strong, who doesn't have to

  • rely on a man, or take on traditionally masculine characteristics, to triumph over evil.

  • The movie's not perfect and certainly reflects its times, but the desire to oversimplify

  • Cinderella as backward reflects a hidden disdain for femininity.

  • A closer look at the character reveals that this has been a story about a strong woman

  • all along.

  • "Oh, well, it's over and..."

  • "Cinderelly.

  • Look!

  • Look!

  • Your slipper.

  • Your slipper."

  • "Thank you.

  • Thank you so much for everything."

Cinderella has gotten a lot of grief in recent years for being anti-feminist, but does the

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シンデレラ被害者を責めるのはやめよう (Cinderella: Stop Blaming the Victim)

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    徐芳儀 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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